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A Rough Weekend

May 21, 2007

Before I really get into what I want to say, I need to give some acknowledements. First, and always foremost, I need to thank my beautiful, talented, supportive and generally awesome wife, Jennifer. Without you, I do not know where I would be today, but I do know this: I would not be writing and I would not be happy. No matter how often I say this, it is not often enough. Second, I need to thank people like Mur Lafferty (of I Should Be Writing), Michael Stackpole (The Secrets) and Cory Doctorow, who helped me realize that there is nothing exclusive about writing, anyone can do it.

What brings this post up? On Wednesday, I went to a reading given by Cory Doctorow and Rudy Rucker, which was fantastic. There, I bought Cory’s collection of short stories, Overclocked, when I got home, I started reading it, and was just blown away. The book is fantastic, I’ve read all but two of them, and I don’t think that its too much of a stretch to say that this is some of the best short fiction I’ve ever read. So what’s the problem, you ask?

You see, for me, there are basically three elements to writing. The first is having something to say. That doesn’t mean that you have to have an agenda for what you write, but only that you have something to say in general, either way, it will show in your writing. Politics helped me with this part. The second part, and this is the big one, is being totally willing to write crap. This sounds odd at first, I mean, who wants to write crap? The truth is that the quality of your writing is not something you should worry about, as it will cripple you. I’ll go more into this in a minute. The third part is actually sitting down and writing, which I don’t seem to have much of a problem with, once I get started.

Part two is where the problem came in. After reading through some of the short stories in Overclocked, I realized where, exactly, I was at as a writer: not far. I spent two days thinking about what I wanted to write, what would be interesting and meaningful. I never came up with anything, but I wouldn’t characterize it as “writer’s block” (which I personally doubt the existence of, actually). The crisis is over now, however. How? Basically, I just resigned to the fact that I might just write crap. And I’m OK with that.

Sorry about that. I know that this is sort of a rambling/ranting post, but I needed to say it. Especially the stuff at the beginning. Thanks.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. May 22, 2007 7:00 am

    Speaking of Overclocked, he just put up a feed of the podcasts for the book, Check it out.

  2. May 23, 2007 11:53 am

    You are allowed to write crap! Really! That’s sometimes the only thing that gets me through the rough draft! “This is crap!” “Who cares! Just get it done! Fix it later!”

    Keep writing!

  3. May 24, 2007 10:10 am

    Thanks for the advice. I had never really thought about it in those terms (“this might be crap” vs. “this is crap”), but it makes much more sense your way. Again, thanks!

  4. Chuin permalink
    May 27, 2007 11:06 pm

    Writing crap is good. I say keep writing crap. Crap is good.

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