It’s 11:13 in the p.m. I figure if I’m still up, then maybe you should be up as well. If you’re off in your own world NaNoing, then maybe NaNo to this.
If you’ve never read Chucky’s stuff, he’s got a real way with words. He’s got a way with words the way Charmin has a way with toilet paper, or Lucky Charms has a way with rainbows, or MacGyver has a way with turning a shitty Chevy into a moderately useable vehicle. I’ve been reading Chucky’s stuff for the past few years and I must admit that he’s a fantastic source of writerly inspiration (see below).
This right here, is the usual stuff you can expect to find from this mastermind of writerly inspiration. He reminds us here that all writing advice is bullshit. There’s really no one way to make this thing work. You either, as Steven Pressfield argues in his book The War of Art, you either get it done or you don’t. It’s pretty much that simple. Yes, you can, like a wonderful podcast I listen to called Writing Excuses, take every microscopic area out of the field of writing and try to approach it that way. Some people function that way, and as long as they’re able to pin the tail on their word donkey, then who gives two pence about the other stuff?
Below I have attached Chucky’s Smile for the day. Go to his Terrible Minds site HERE to read it in the original.
If you want to be a real writer, like, a really real writer, a writer who does it right, a writer who is officially official and who will earn the respect of the rest of the tribe –
You have to write longhand. Forget your phone. Put your phone away. Your phone is just beaming nonsense into your head — telecommunications chemtrails. Real writers write longhand, on notes stuffed into secret underwear pockets. If you don’t have secret underwear pockets, then you are not a Real Writer. That’s just fact. That’s just science. You write your first draft on notes stuffed into underwear pockets, then you write your second draft carved into a fundamental surface: driveway asphalt, a granite countertop, the stump of an ancient and magical tree. (Hemingway once famously carved THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA into the back of an impudent busboy.) When that’s done, eat some bees. Because writers, Real Writers, definitely eat bees. Writers also all have English degrees, or they all die. It’s like water to fish. We need it to swim.
Also, kill a goat. TRUE writers kill goats. But you gotta kill the goat in a real specific way. You have to get a goat, then yell into the goat’s ear the full text of your first rejection letter. You scream it into the goat’s ear at top volume, then as the goat is reeling from the disappointment borne of such rejection, you seize the moment and snap its neck. (Though Edith Wharton famously dispatched her goats with a blunderbuss full of dynamite.)
Of course, none of this is true.
Because all writing advice is bullshit (though bullshit fertilizes). I’m writing this thing because once in a while we are treated to missives from well-meaning expert writers who have come to believe that The Way They Write is the Only Way To Write, because their process has been tainted by the strong smell of Survivorship Bias. “I survived this way, and so you must, too.”
There exists no one way to write any one thing, and as long as your writing has a starting point and an ending point, I think whatever shenanigans go on in the middle serve you fine as a process as long as it gets you a finished book heavy with at least some small sense of satisfaction. If you’re not finishing your books, you need to re-examine your process. If you’re not at all satisfied with your work, then again: re-examine that process.
And that’s it.
Everything else is just picking out drapes.
If you need a handy flowchart reminder, here’s my ARE YOU A REAL WRITER chart, written by me and designed by Rebekah Turner. Feel free to share!
Don’t care how you have to keep yourself honest. Don’t care how you have to do it. You just find a way to keep writing.
P.S. If you’re in need of the right tunes to get your fingers plopping along the keyboard, feel free to slide over to this week’s BEAT.
Don’t know who the kid is; didn’t spend that much time looking at it. Someone labeled this “Best Robot Dance Ever,” and I thought ‘why not?’
Happened on this one this morning. Please use wisely. Get your own work done in your own space. Let nothing, no one, bar this place. Keep working until your song is done. Then, go about your day in the “waking world” as if nothing was ever wrong.
Great music for getting things done.
A good one to listen to when you want to just get stuff done.
If you told me you were drowning, I would not lend a hand. I’ve seen your face before, my friend, but I don’t know if you know who I am.
– Phil Collins
One of my favorites.
Maybe if the Stars Allign..
Maybe if we’re on the same side, same page, all races, same faces,
All staring at the same pack of cards,
Crazy 8s – Same place, baby,
Maybe I’m a superstar, Maybe we should be together,
Bet it all, everything we have, put it all on a shooting star,
Maybe now, maybe never, But we’ll never know unless we try,
Let our hopes float
Straight up ’till they hit the sky,
One more time, bet it all, Everything we’ll ever have,
Keep your smile right, mile high,
Forever’s only ever there if we’re there to really be together.
For my writers out there.
Find your musical inspiration, set the clock, and get some work done.
Hermitude – The Buzz (Mataya & Young Tapz)
Listening to the Glitch Mob. Here’s to you accomplishing everything need to here and now.