Today is the day after Independence Day. We all shot our fireworks, ate our hotdogs, and enjoyed ourselves like we had no shame.
Or maybe that was just me. lol.
In light of all the wonderful freedom we celebrated yesterday I wanted to chat with you about freedom in your writing.
It seems as writers we are constantly putting chains on ourselves, trapping ourselves in corners, or in general restricting ourselves. Sometimes this happens because of deadlines and commitments, if you are prepublished then you can do it to yourself by chasing a market or beating your head against the brick wall of a book that isn’t ready to write.
I know that I tried to chase a book that wasn’t ready yet.
It was a disaster. I tried to force out a story I wasn’t ready to write yet. Not in a hippy-dippy way, not in a the-muse-wasn’t-cooperating way, but in a I-don’t-know-what-I-want-from-this-book way. But I had an opportunity to show the great idea (and it IS a great idea) to someone awesome in the industry that I really wanted to impress who was excited by the idea (because, again, it totally kicks ass) and the results were……….
Yep. It was a struggle for me to force out the story, to drag those words out onto the screen. It was a struggle and at the end of it I was only kinda-sorta happy with some of it. The person I wanted to impress? Well, I failed at that too. And it’s cool, the story was underwhelming at the time.
But I learned something.
I learned that I didn’t want to play the career game. I didn’t want to spend my time not writing worrying about the job of being a writer. What to write next that will sell, what to do to game the system so I can sell, how can I make a splash so I can sell the next books, sell, sell, sell…….to hell with that.
It drove me a bit mad for a few months. I’m done with that now. I had to realize that I didn’t get my ticket to the party by writing anything other than EXACTLY what I wanted to write. The first Deacon book was the book I wanted to exist in the world, to be on a book shelf so I could buy it and read it and think it was awesomesauce. I wasn’t beholden to a concept of the market when I wrote that. I didn’t care about what was hot, what wasn’t, etc. I was punk rock about it! And it worked. It sold and it is the reason I am a writer today with these concerns. So I made a change.
Now I am writing what I want to write. What I want to write. I. Me. Myself. and all the other folks that live in my head.
Now I have several things going: a project done and resting, a project out to publishers, a project sold for 2014, and several short fiction gigs lined up and being knocked out (yes, giant robot story, you’re next. relax, I’ll be there when I finish this blog). All of this and I am enjoying it all because all of it is what I want to write. It’s freeing and wonderful and liberating and writing is a blast again.
So free your mind. Write what YOU want to read. Write what YOU enjoy. That’s the ticket to enjoying this one turn around the world you get.