27 May, 2009

What the Sam Hill?

So what's this blog for? I've been wondering. No one reads it. You will, damn it, but you don't, so why write it? Because I hope to have readers one day, and there's something I learned from years of martial arts study that applies here: if you want to achieve mastery, act like a master everyday. I do that with writing. I write everyday and I read everyday. That's what it's all about. Many writers also keep blogs for their fans. I don't have fans, but I do have a dream and the spirit to carry me through to success in that dream. I'm going to act like I have fans.

A good blog needs an angle. That's what they say. Who's "they"? Editors, publishers, agents. All that crowd. The type of people who would notice the choppy sentences here and wonder if my fiction looks that way. Perhaps. But then, perhaps I just let the paragraph be boss.

So what's my angle? I don't have one. Sorry. I met Stephen Jones (script editor of Hellraiser) the other day and he told me that a writer needs a persona. I nodded at him. It's often true, but I can think of many best-selling authors for whom it isn't. I have a persona. I just don't have to fake mine. You see, I'm honest in a way that not many people are. That's my persona. I guess it's my angle, too.

This blog is about me. As such, it's also about the journey to becoming a successful writer. It's really, really hard. For a long time now I've worked to impress my teachers, Scott Bradfield and Paul McAuley. I worked hard to seek out such good teachers, and it's certainly paid off in my fiction. I don't have all the answers. If Paul McAuley began posting about fiction writing, I'm sure it would be a great resource. However, I can show you the process in a way that a successful writer can't; not without a very good memory and way too much free time.

I'll try to post with what I'm up to every week. Obviously I have selfish reasons for doing this, too. I hope the blog motivates me to accomplish something every week. I'm not lazy at present. I write everyday, but I don't necessarily learn something new every week, and now I have to.

Some of my posts will be things I've learned about writing. These might be highly theoretical and even sometimes obscure. Such snippets of understanding are certainly useful to me, and I'll do my best to explain them.

Other posts will be about my career. Things I learn that help me build a career will be posted here, and those things should, hopefully, also be useful.

Here's a bit of advice for today:
"A writer is a person for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people," said Thomas Mann, a German writer (1875 - 1955).

Think about it. It's true of everything from choosing words to building plots.

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