Monday, April 11, 2005

Writing on Demand

I'm thinking of reasons why I should write jack squat, and oddly enough I find I'm coming up short. Concurrently, I can't think of reasons not to write and while I'm doing all of this figuring out, I'm writing about it on the Internet.

Will wonders never cease. Apparently, irony is alive and well.

So is Mother Nature and I think the Grand Dame is having hot flashes. Here in Texas we've had every type of weather it's possible to have short of a blizzard, but I think Denver rolled snake eyes instead of us. It's now sunny and clear and 69 degrees out while this weekend we had 40-50 degree weather, clouds, rain, wind, and a few locusts for good measure. To top it off, it's pollen season which means my purple Explorer (yes, purple - story for a later time) now sports a nice tint of brownish-green. I keep thinking it's time to wash the car, but then I wait 48 hours and Mother Nature does it for me. During the summer though, you have to wash your car just to cool yourself down.

I'm finally trying like hell to write professionally again and make some money at it. Let me clarify - I've been writing professionally in some form or capacity for the last 13 years, but never made any money at it. I figured it was time for the cash to start flowing in, and as I grow increasingly dissatisfied working for anyone but myself I've looked at different avenues toward creative self-employment. Of course, not all of us can be Dave Barry. Hell, even he has trouble living up to his namesake on a day to day basis.

I flipped through a magazine last night that stated Stephen King makes it a point to write about 2000 words a day, or roughly 10 pages worth give or take. Another author stated that if you were unable to write a sentence, then write a word. My favorite piece of advice was such:
"I write only when I am inspired. And I make it a point to be inspired every morning at 9 a.m."
How can you go wrong with a statement so blindingly obvious and simple at the same time?

I think that's what finally clued me into the simple truth of professional writers - they write. They sit down, and write what's in their head, their heart, on the tip of their tongue. It's very likely that half of what Stephen King has ever written will never see the light of day, because it could be stream of conscious ramblings that helped kick-start his best novels. He could have driven past a burning building one day, then written his thoughts on the matter that night. The next morning, he might have read his thoughts and formulated Firestarter.

I'm just guessing here. We'll see where things go, but when you sit back and think about it, I'm amazed I didn't come to this conclusion sooner. We learn by doing, I guess.

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