Forecast: Greater Word Counts

Hullo, all.

My fingers are getting lots of exercise, and I’m beginning to get back into the swing of things. It’s taking my mind a little while to rewire, though. Writing is a habit just as much as it is an art, I think, and when I haven’t done it for so long, it takes a little while to remember how it feels.

Of the many things I’ve missed, one is being able to read what I’ve written. I know that sounds narcissistic, but it’s true, as well. I take a deep satisfaction in concrete things, and being able to see what I write in a tangible block, either on paper on a machine, makes me think that I’m actually creating something, instead of just some fancy ideas.

I want to do more stuff like this—creating physical things. More than just writing. Dad has a wood-working shop downstairs in the basement. It’s not the New Yankee, but it has enough equipment that perhaps I could make something neat. I think that over break, I’ll talk him into showing me how to work with wood. I have an old chess set that is missing pieces. I think it would be neat to be able to turn my own pieces out, and use them. That would be very neat.

I’ve been reading Neil Gaiman’s blog recently. It ranges in topic, from simple Q&A to talking about the writer’s lifestyle. Today, this was posted:
Dear Neil,
I read your site everyday, and STILL I’m not a famous author, what am I doing wrong?

At a guess, either you aren’t writing enough, you aren’t finishing things, you aren’t getting them published, or, if you’re doing all of those, you’re worrying about the wrong things. Anyway, famousness is probably about as useful for an author as a large, well-appointed hiking backpack would be for a prima ballerina. Honest.

It makes me realize something I already knew. I had misplaced the thought for a little while this semester, but I think I’ve found it again. As a writer, my duty is to write. Spending too much time worrying about whether what I write is good or not isn’t going to be helpful to me—not if it gets in the way of my actually writing something. I need to write first, and make sure it’s good second.

I want to spread my work around more, too. Does anybody know where I could find some contests for short fiction? Or perhaps poetry? I just turned twenty one, I’m an adult now. I hope to start being able to get small works published, soon.


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