Monday, January 12, 2009

just another manic Monday

Hey, I am the first person to tell everyone I meet -- who, on hearing my profession, often say: "Oh I've thought about writing a book" always says "so why don't you?"

Because, seriously, it is something anyone can do. If you're determined enough anybody can...

Write a book that is.
Get it published and make a living (let alone a jazillion dollars) is a little more complicated. But that is not as far out of reach as some people might make it out to be. It's not (unless you happen to be very lucky or sleeping with the editor) easy. Someone has to win the lottery, so some people do get lucky. Others slog there by varying percentages of raw talent and hard work.

But so many of these people who tell me they've thought about writing a book have one thing in common: they really don't know much about it, and most of the time what they think they do know is a little distance off the truth. 1)An ordinary novel is the same length as many a masters thesis. 2)A lot of them take about as much research :-). 3)Very few authors get shedloads of money for this. In fact most of them work more hours than is remotely legal and for rates a long way below 'minimum wage' 4)It isn't all a moment of artistic genius. In fact art and music usually aren't either. It's -- depending on the writer -- anything from weeks to years of work. 5) Actually, like damn near any other job, there are times when you'd rather play free-cell than do it. A huge part is painstaking and mundane... and pressured. And that's what gets me to my post theme.

Today is just another manic Monday. It even feel like it deserves Abba. I finished my last book at about 9.00 pm - on Saturday having worked on it from 5.30 AM and stopped to walk for milk . I normally also take some swimming excercise time too, and cook supper. I just worked right through. Sunday was spent on catching up on post and spell checking, and working on first draft. And here I am on Monday, tired and battered and editing frantically. And suddenly realising I have a blog due.

You too can write. But don't think it gets you out of manic Monday. (or the rest of the week.) If that's what you saw in the dream of writing don't do it. Stick to dreaming.

But if you want to write because you really want to write... welcome aboard. Can we help you along?

5 comments:

Amanda said...

First off, dang you Dave Freer. One of the two books I'm currently trying to find a home for demanded to be written to ABBA, never one of my favorite groups. It's taken me weeks to get "Dancing Queen"and several others out of my head. Now you've put them all back. ARGH!

And thanks for this post. After getting the record in quickest agent rejections -- less than 45 minutes -- on Friday and then some real life complications, today has most definitely been a Manic Monday and I've been contemplating becoming a professional Tetris player. Guess I need to go back to the current WIP and get to work

Thanks for the post.

Amanda

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

LOL, Dave.

There's an old joke. This guy dies and meets St Peter who takes him to hell where he shows him all these writers sitting over typewriters/word processors working for endless hours on their manuscripts. St Peter tells him this is hell for writers.

Then St Peter takes him to heaven where writers sit over typewriters/word processors for endless hours working on their manuscripts. And the guy asks St Peter, 'if this is writer's heaven, what's the difference?'

St Peter says, 'In heaven the writers get published.'

Only a writer will get this joke!

Cheers, Rowena.

Dave Freer said...

Abba comes under the heading cruel and unsual punishments - I do apologise, Amanda

Dave Freer said...

that's too accurate to be funny, Rowena :-)

Rowena Cory Daniells said...

I know. We must be masochists, Dave.