On this week's lunch, both Jim and Cecily voiced a desire to write fiction in the future and it got me wondering if there are any other writers in the Bald Move community. I'm 28 and have been writing every day since January of 2017 (I might have missed a couple here and there) and while I still haven't managed to finish anything I believe to be publishable, I have fallen in love with the process of writing itself. I find it challenging, but also very rewarding.
From the initial digging for ideas to the three-dimensional chess game of editing, I find the whole thing fascinating. The best piece of advice I could give to Jim, Cecily or anyone else reading this would this who would like to write Fiction would be this: just to have an idea of what you want to accomplish going in, and then just get through the first draft. You can fix a first draft. It's easy to get bogged down in feeling like you've made mistakes and not make it to the end - I already have a graveyard of abandoned ideas behind me. But Ive found if you actually finish the story, even if it's not great, you can now see what it could be, and you can begin scheming ways to get make it great.
In the preface to Joe Hill's new collection of short stories, Full Throttle, Hill writes 'If you Google "How do I write a book?" you'll get a million hits, but here's the dirty secret: It's just math. It's not even hard math--it's first grade addition. Write three pages a day, every day. In a hundred days, you'll have three hundred pages. Type "The End." Done.'
It's not quite as easy as that, and Hill wryly adds a few paragraphs later, 'As I said, writing a book is just math. Writing a good book, that's something else entirely.'
But it really is as simple as committing yourself and your time to working it out, and I think that's what Hill is getting at.
I can relate to Jim and Cecily's feelings of reading a bestselling novel and thinking 'I can do better than that.' But for all I've said, I still haven't managed to write anything that hangs together in a way that I can't pick holes in. But I believe I can get there. And I believe both Jim and Cecily (and ARon too if he every wanted to get back into it!), with the thousands of hours of fiction consumption behind them, could definitely do it too!
Anyway, if there are any other writers out there in the Bald Move community, I am here to talk about all things writing with you. Everybody's process is different, but I've found from talking with other writers that there can be helpful overlaps here and there.
Happy holidays everyone!