Live In The Now, Wayne

8 10 2009

a07’s now final. One more chapter to go.

I tweeted about this a bit, figured I’d expand before I hit the sack. I really don’t like going back and re-reading my old work, particularly to do an editing pass. It feels… awkward and weird. Like you’re opening boxes that you shut on purpose. When I finish a story, it’s FINISHED, over, done with. The farther into the past it is, the harder it is to re-open it and try to find the right mindset to make changes. (Hence why the last UE chapters haven’t had an editing pass yet, despite feeling “done” to me.)

I’m very much a person who lives in the present. What is on my plate NOW? What am I supposed to be doing right NOW? Things fall off into the past and then stay in whatever shape they were in as they faded from view. It’s also why if I leave some object in some place in my apartment, it almost never moves. Coefficient of K is very high here.

Editing up the First Age of anachronauts has been a bit torturous and is taking way longer than I want it to because of this. But soon, I’ll be done, and I can start working on the ideas bouncing around in my head for the Second Age. I can get the bonus chapter done for the book version and get that released.

(My family keeps haranguing me to write a damn purely commercial book and dump this free web fiction stuff, that I’m wasting my potential and should be making money. While I’m not OPPOSED to the idea of selling a book… this is my thing, right here, right now. anachronauts. If I let it slip I’ll never pick it up again, see? One thing at a time. Once I close the book on anachronauts I’ll be able to consider something else, but I need to stay focused things will go askew.)

At least I’m almost done this grindy process. The New is coming. The Old will be put to rest. And I can move on.

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11 responses

8 10 2009
jeffreycwells

One of the freedoms that being a full-time government prole actually grants me is the freedom to let any given piece of art be what it wants to be, rather than always having to look for the saleability angle. It’s something of a blessing. When you do something well, outsiders will frequently, and not unkindly, presume you should be rewarded with money for your work; sometimes that’s just not what the art wants.

8 10 2009
shachihoko

You write first and foremost for yourself, right?
If the answer is “yes” (which I currently believe is the case), then screw what your family says. You’ve got a steady income from “da gummint,” you can afford to write for love of the art, and if what you write just happens to turn a profit, then all the better. Write for fun. Write because you can. Give your muse the chance to run wild, dragging you behind while you hang on for dear life, and come back to tell us your new stories no matter how awesome or crappy they may be – and as a moderately long-time reader of yours (Ministry of Confusion was your first work that I read), I will say that your “awesome” to “crappy” ratio tilts heavily towards the former.
Editing will probably never be as fun as the original writing, but bear with it when you have to.

8 10 2009
Stefan "Twoflower" Gagne

Well, their thinking is that if I start writing for profit, I won’t NEED my gummint job because I’ll be a famous writer. (Although every tale I’ve read about writers, notably from Stephen King’s memoirs, talks of decades of living hand to mouth and barely getting by…)
Mostly I’m interested in commercial writing because it’s an acknowledgment of my skill and talent, that I CAN do it and do at least decently at it. But I’m not insane enough to quit my day job.

8 10 2009
lirazel

Also, you would purely hate the editing process for mainstream publishing. In that world, the story’s not told until the book tour is complete.
I have a related problem — once I’ve finished a story in my own head, I don’t need to write it. I’ve told it to me, and now it’s boring.

8 10 2009
jengagne

Yeah, mainly we’re hoping 2f can somehow achieve a Life of Authorly Leisure. ;) Or drop to part-time, or retire early! I mean, that’d be nice, right?
It might not be realistic but it’s got to be more flexible than (say) working in the gaming industry. and even more flexible than a 9 to 5.
He makes money off of some of his other efforts (SL) and he was going to do _that_ whether it became a profitable thing or not, too. So in a sense this seems analogous in a “why not?” way.
Of course he’s going to write because he can, write for fun, etc. But if the end result happens to be sellable, that would be some really nice gravy.

8 10 2009
shachihoko

There’s a wide gap between “writing for profit” and “being a famous writer”. This is why my parents have been staying on my back about having a job that pays the bills and I write in the evenings or something …
(which hasn’t worked all that well for me)

9 10 2009
lirazel

Yeah, I write for profit — that is to say, my job is mostly creating and managing text. But no one has ever gotten a jot of pleasure out of anything I’ve written for pay.
Which is very much like Twoflower and his day job. The man must really love coding to do so much of it for his own amusement. Nice that it’s paying off a bit, though.

9 10 2009
jengagne

I’ve always had the impression that for 2F, the off-hours coding is just a means to an end: game design.
Which is it, 2f? Do you _enjoy_ coding in and of itself? Or just the “nice hack” factor?

10 10 2009
tangsm

Your family seems to hold a lot of sway in your career decisions. That’s a completely foreign concept to me. My family doesn’t really give a damn what I do so long as I’m able to take care of myself. Or is it that they don’t understand what I do… meh, whatever.

11 10 2009
Anonymous

There’s no reason you can’t have a day job and write in the off-hours. I think the idea that beginning writers need to be poor, starving and unemployed is bunk.
I say you start writing a book, attempt to get it published (this is really hard) and wait and see what happens. If you make enough money, quit that day job. But that may not happen until you write several books.

12 10 2009
jengagne

Now now, if we held actual sway, he’d be getting his rejection notices by now from clueless deadtree publishers who don’t know a good thing when they see one. ;)

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