I have noticed that many of my fellow bloggers like to discuss the art of writing which I appreciate as they actually do have something interesting to say. However, as you can see from my handmade and not very scientifically accurate pie chart, it is a subject on which I’m loathe to give advice. (Yes, I am dorky enough to have created a pie chart based on the content of my blog postings.)
In my defense I have attempted a couple of posts on the writing experience:
In “The Pits of Meaningless Despair” I compare sending my first novel off to the editor with abandoning my apple-cheeked baby boy at college for the first time. Oh, the horror! As any writer or artist can tell you, our works are very much our babies. To launch them into the big, bad world is very frightening indeed. Will the world be mean to them, or kind? Probably the former. Poor babies.
In “Haunted by Words” I complain that my characters have dragged me down to Wonderland where I am no longer in charge. Not that I ever was, but some days my characters are even more cantankerous than usual. Of course I love cantankerous characters so it’s partially my fault for inviting them to the tea party.
In Teahouses, Madams and Shoes I attempted to explain my “writing process.” All writers apparently must have a writing process and a favorite place to write – a room of their own, so to speak. My process involves a pile of shoes and a Jane Austen doll.
Madams entered this discussion simply because I’d read an intriguing remark by William Faulkner in this interview with the Paris Review. He claimed that the best environment in which to write was a brothel. The girls sleep during the day, thus it’s quiet in the early morning (his time to write), and at night there are plenty of diversions to break up the monotony. Who knows if he actually worked as a landlord in a house of ill repute, as he claimed. I’m fairly certain prostitution is a crime in Mississippi. Not only that, if you read through some of those interviews, you’ll soon realize successful writers get bored answering the same old questions and tend to respond with – how shall I put it? Ah yes – sarcasm. Sarcasm and silliness.
In Nevada, where I grew up, prostitution is a taxed and regulated business so it seems more likely that a famous writer might find nirvana in that state. However, were said writer to take up residence in a brothel today I’m quite certain they would both use it to their full advantage. Imagine the ad on the internet:At the Moonlight Bunny Ranch – Nevada’s finest whorehouse! – you’re promised a real satisfying time (winkie, winkie) while listening to Cormac McCarthy read from his new book, “No Country for Old Whores.”
Ah yes, someday, mark my words, the prospects of more publicity will drive some already famous and wealthy writer to take up residence in a whore house. Who will it be? James Paterson or Stephen King?
Finally, on the writing experience, “Sigmund Freudicon At Your Service” and “Release Anxieties” both describe the insanity following a book release when you face the grim reality that writing a book and going through endless edits are not enough. Now you must pester your friends and family to death for reviews because, unless you have at least twenty reviews, your book will sit on the shit pile forever. Okay, I went more than a little crazy, I admit it. Now I realize it’s not really true. I know many authors with thirty five star reviews whose books are not exactly flying off the shelves. So I went and blew a whole bunch of friendships for naught!
Next: Food, the dark purple slice of the blog pie.