Sunday, July 12, 2009

Mission Statement: What Am I Up To?

My purpose here is simply to share some of the stories I have written.

Writing is not a hobby for me. It is my animating passion. I started writing short stories when I was in elementary school. They were awful, and I gave up on short fiction very quickly. I don't like to read short stories, and I didn't like writing them. In high school and immediately after college I wrote poetry -- really, really awful poetry. After that most of my writing was in the form of journaling, with a crabbed and illegible long-hand, in spiral notebooks. That was something like proto-blogging.

I longed to try to write a novel. I love reading novels in which I can enter an alternate world where I can live with the characters as they face the issues their author throws in their path. Being led through a story by great writing, interesting plots and engaging characters is pure enchantment. Sometimes it's hard to return to my everyday reality. I always wanted to try writing a novel, but was intimidated by what seemed to be the daunting tasks involved.

In the late 1980's I decided that if I was ever going to become the novelist I wanted to be, I needed to get started. I wrote three novels over a period of about ten years. One of them was written primarily during my lunch hours. Some of that story is written on my usual spiral notebooks, but most of it is on a variety of note pads, plain paper and other odd shaped and random paper I picked up from my desk before heading for the lunch room. It's a pretty good story, but I have never had the courage to try to put all the pages in order in order to type it. That will be a project for "someday". Alternatively, maybe I'll put it under my bed and after I'm dead someone will discover it and I'll be the novelist equivalent of Emily Dickinson (or not).

After that, my life went down a new path and, for several years, all my writing was in the form of journaling as I processed the huge changes in my world. A few years ago, I discovered blogging, and my journaling went public, or at least some of it did. It was fun to share my writing with others, and occasionally to get positive feedback. I have never had a huge readership, but it was a start down the road to sharing my writing.

In 2006, I had a huge breakthrough in my understanding of the process of writing a novel. I "received" a story from my subconscious that had significant meaning for me. I finished that manuscript in only a couple of months and then went on to write several others in a blaze of creativity that in retrospect seems amazing, especially considering I was holding down a full-time job at the same time. I learned a little more about my writing process from each of those stories. Each story went down on paper (er, electronic media) more easily than the last. The main thing I learned is that writing is a lot of hard work, but it is work I love doing so much I don't mind the sacrifice of time and leisure.

I have decided to share my fiction both by self-publishing some novels for sale on CreateSpace and serialising other stories here. Instead of writing new stories for a while, I am going to focus my writing time on working my way back through my current inventory, editing, polishing and preparing to share it.

This blog will be both my journal of that process -- essentially reveling in the joy of writing and the anxiety and excitement that go with offering the fruits of my labor to others --, and as a marketing vehicle for my stories.

My current plan is to post fiction on Wednesdays and to blog on Sundays. That is subject to change, but it's at least a plan to start with that will keep me from neurotically trying to post every day.

Starting this Wednesday, I'm going to begin posting a serial story, called Road Trip. It's a "Buddy Story" about a husband and wife who take a road trip across America, driving from Florida to New Mexico for the birth of their granddaughter. There isn't a whole lot of plot but the point of a journey story isn't the destination: the point is to the trip itself.

No comments:

Post a Comment