This page has been barren since my last opus—so apologies for that—due to my work for another master. There’s this cool website that I was turned on to called The Prose. I’ve been submitting challenges there over the last few weeks because, let face it, the traffic here is not as robust. You can view my profile here. Go nuts.
Work on my second book comes along at a steady pace. I’m completing about a chapter a week, in hopes that before my daughter is born the first draft can be completed. I struggle with the reality that this book is being written fairly quickly, whereas my first one was a far more painstaking process.
In my experience, the longevity of a work, as well as the time spent to complete it, does not correlate to the quality of the piece. I have fallen too quickly into the trap of boasting about the agonizing process of writing a book. In reality, I’ve come to discover that the process should be rather straightforward. Things should just flow. After that, it’s only your WPM that slows the process. So, kiddos, take a lesson from ol’ Uncle Stuart, don’t brag about how long your book was, or how long it will be, the time spent writing it, or how long it took you to name your main character: it’s all bullshit. Nobody cares.
Still, practice what you preach. I haven’t been the best at this this week. Earlier I told someone that they weren't a writer, when it turns out they were very prolific. I’m very passionate about what I do, and I like being in the company of other writing professionals, if not to bolster my own skills. That said, I heard this person say they were a writer and my immediate reaction was to say, “No, you’re not. Shitting out Harry Potter fan-fiction on your Deviant Art page doesn’t count.” Luckily, I have more tact than that. Later, on Friday, I was confronted to explain my criterion for being a “writer,” and so proceeded my throwing pearls to pigs, until I awkwardly broke off the conversation.
Maybe I’m just a shitty person? It would explain a lot of things, namely getting in unwelcome arguments about philosophically unverifiable designations. In my mind, since publishing my first book, I would say that I am an “author,” not a writer. 15-year-old Stuart was a “writer,” aping characters, concepts, plots, from my favorite TV shows and books, writing without abandon rote and cliché narratives. (Though, as I write this, the thought occurs to me that children will “play doctor” and someday grow up to eventually receive training and licensing to be one. So, perhaps I’m wrong to discount the future efforts of my soon-to-be daughter’s resuscitation of her stuffed Totoro after the triple-bypass goes horribly wrong?) I think being an author now, to me, is having the patience to hear critical feedback, while also striving after the impossible task of making your characters exist on their own merit. And so, being the black-and-white person that I am, I will accept nothing less than 100% of my efforts towards achieving this, as well as be prone to discrediting my contemporaries for not volunteering the same efforts. I’m a passionate and insecure person. It’s only in my books that I can be truly me.
Still I feel remorse for what I said. After all, I feel very hurt when I must justify myself to others needlessly. Far be it from me to dish out to others what I lament receiving. My languid pace to seek forgiveness from this person, is only impeded by also considering their presence unbearable. Have you ever known someone who, whether they are involved in a conversation or not, will just insert themselves into everything, uninvited, to claim being an authority of the smallest, inconsequential things? It is infuriating being around people like these. It’s like I say, “So, I was at the store the other day…” and out of the ether materializes a lugubrious, squawking creature beating their breast, declaring “I’VE BEEN TO A THOUSAND STORES!!”
All this considered, in my brief time on this planet, I’ve learned the merits of letting go of festering feelings. I should just get over myself and proceed with caution.