Monday, November 16, 2009

Portrait of the Artist as a Middle-aged Woman.

I just love the picture of Donis below. Portrait of the Artist as a Middle-aged Woman.

Somehow most of us seem to be in editing mode this month. Charles edited out a full three-quarters of his new book, and does that boggle my mind; Donis is throwing out whole scenes and moving them around as she goes; our guest Eric Stone is trying to put people and places in the correct place before someone points out the error of his ways; and I am still slogging through the dreaded publisher’s edits for Negative Image.

Why, oh, why do we bother?

I do it for the money of course.

And for the fame.

Sorry, was I dreaming out loud?

I guess I do it because I like it. I was on a panel recently and the subject was why writers write. The others spoke about their compulsion to write, that they are driven.

I said, I write because I like it.

Nope, no compulsion here. If someone handed me a million bucks (okay, I come cheap – a thousand?) and said don’t ever write another word, I'd take it.

I would miss writing for sure. I love seeing worlds come to shape under my fingers. I love hearing words come out of characters mouths just because I put them there. I love having an idea for a great story and seeing it all unfold. It takes a lot of time out of my life, but what else would I be doing – watching reruns of E.R. or catching up with the latest trends on Oprah? (Remember that I am at the stage in my life where I don’t have children and husbands and dogs demanding my attention).

But there is more than just liking it. Otherwise, I would write the first draft, fix it up, correct the grammar and punctuation (yes, that’s my idea of fun) and leave it. If my critique group doesn’t like it, or my editor says change this or that, I could say, “Nope. This suits me.” My editor would then say, “Bye.”

So I guess at the end of the day a certain compulsion does come into it. Not only do I enjoy writing, but I like to create the best work I can. I’ll rework it and rework it and change parts where people suggest I should and then rework it again.

All to sit back with a satisfied sigh at the end of the day at a job well done.
Whereupon some reviewer at some non-descript rag can shred my beloved to pieces.

Ah, the writing life.

The Winter of Secrets booktour now swings back into Southern and Eastern Ontario. Please check for details. Mention Type M and you will get a FREE bookmark, designed by our own Rick Blechta.

1 comment:

Dana King said...

It sounds like your compulsion is more oriented toward doing something as well as you can, whatever it is, and not just a compulsion to write.

Seems to me that's a much healthier outlook.