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10:00 am: Wright's Writing Corner: Guest Post From Dolly Garland

Guest post today. Writer Friend Dolly Garland with this charming essay on why we write.


What Keeps You Going?

 

It’s funny being a part-time writer. It’s a dream. A step above hobby. A future career. But currently, it’s something that doesn’t pay the bills, only takes the time and effort. Lots and lots of effort.

 

If you are a paid writer, it’s your job. You know you have to write, or you may not have food on the table next month. But when you are not a paid writer, and the dream seems quite a long way away, weeks and months pass by, and the sense of urgency sometimes flails.

 

So what do you do to keep going?

 

 

It is the question I asked myself last week. I don’t believe in writer’s block. At least it’s never been the case for me. I don’t run out of ideas. Yet, recently I did have few weeks when I did barely any work on my editing. It could be for a number of reasons – reasons for not doing it are not important. What’s important is to remember why we do it. A few weeks away reminded me that the story did not get out of my head; my characters remained as close to me as ever, and as I found joy reading books written by others, it reminded me that it was what I wanted to achieve with my own book.

 

Writing is not about hobby, or about a career. It is something that brings out my wildest imagination and my most rational thoughts; it brings out my dreams and my nightmares; it brings out who I wish I was and who I never want to be. It is a tool that can create and destroy worlds….and when one wants to do a job as powerful and as amazing as this, hardships and trials are to be expected, because the end result would be all the more sweeter for all the hard work.

 

So I keep going because I am a writer. It is not what I do. It is what I am.

 

What about you?

 

Come and say hello at my writing blog (http://www.writerrevealed.blogspot.com) or follow me on Twitter @DollyGarland.

 




Comments

[User Picture]
From:kokorognosis
Date:July 14th, 2010 02:40 pm (UTC)
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I've always wanted to be a writer. Well, not always; my childhood career phases went: Police, firefighter, astronaut, writer. So I guess there were a few before the writer bit.

What keeps me going, though, is that there's a shortage of nifty stories, and I feel the need to help make that up. I think I wrote a post about this a few years ago... Yup:

So why do I write?

Well....

It's because of Atkins, the literal one man army (Navy, Spacy, Air Force, etc.) of John C. Wright's Golden Age novels.

It's because of Xenogears, and the whole post Tower of Babel portion of the game-- the almost sickening sense of riding on the coat tails of history-- that greater, bigger, and above all, scarier things have gone before, and are coming back. It's because of Merkava, and your first glimpse of Deus' corpse-- the knowledge that this is -bad- and you are in trouble.

It's because of Chrono Trigger, and the Kingdom of Zeal-- a breath of fresh air in a game full of ruined, scarred lands, but hiding the root of all the suffering in there.

It's because of Ambassador Kosh-- the first one-- and how, underneath that weird looking suit, and through all the strange non-sequiter answers, is someone-- or something-- that you want on your side.

It's because of those spots just off the edges of the maps in LotR-- the mentioned in passing places of mystery and legend.

It's because, to put it simply, there is a shortage of the kind of works I like. There are a shortage of stories that scare me, that make me sit back in awe. There's a shortage of sense of wonder, of dizzying epics, of heroism in the dark places.

There's not enough neat stories out there, not enough heroes standing up to defy the darkness, to look the demons of the past/present/future/whatever in the eye and say, "You shall not pass, and ya know what? I'll go into those dark places, I'll journey off the edges of the map, tackle ancient godlings constructed by technology like magic, and I will do it -all- to stop you and protect what I love."

There's just not enough neat stories.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:July 14th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
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Boy...if I didn't want to be a writer already, you're post would make me want to be one!

Well done! It makes me remember the magic of reading Tolkien and Lewis as a child.
[User Picture]
From:kokorognosis
Date:July 14th, 2010 04:16 pm (UTC)
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Why thank ya. That magic is exactly why I write.
From:xander25
Date:July 14th, 2010 04:37 pm (UTC)

A work in progress

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Good read :)

Tonight, all of the dreams of men would come true, but so would the nightmares. Paradises untold, and hells unimagined.

For this night, something thought lost since the dawn of time, would be found. A thing talked about only in myth. They looked for wonder, but what they found was sorrow.

All that came before, and all that came after, lost, perhaps forever. This was the night the world would come to an end.


That is all. I really need to keep my trap shut about this. I simply couldn't resist.
[User Picture]
From:arhyalon
Date:July 14th, 2010 04:46 pm (UTC)

Re: A work in progress

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Cool.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 14th, 2010 07:21 pm (UTC)
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Thanks all of you for taking the time to read - and leaving a comment.

- Dolly. :-) It's always wonderful to reflect on why we write.
[User Picture]
From:cdenmier
Date:July 14th, 2010 09:19 pm (UTC)

Why?

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I suppose I write in part because I'm the only one that knows the story in my head...and if I don't tell it, no one will.

And because writing is fun. Playing with words in fun. Imagining worlds-that-aren't colliding with worlds-that-are is fun.

And because all of us have the need to DO something, to sub-create. It's bred into us. We are driven by it. We writers imagine a thing and feel a NEED to bring it out from the misty realm of thought and onto paper.

And lastly (for now), I write because I think I have something worth sharing. And not just the story, but how the story is told, the moral assumptions it makes, the way the world is ordered in it. Personally, I love science and religion because both cast a light onto deep realities. Particularly in religion (I'm Roman Catholic) I see a beauty and wonder that is overlooked in the rush of the modern age to argue about hot-button ethical problems and gripe about incompetent bishops. There is something more wonderful woven through all of it...and while I don't ever want to write "advocacy" fiction about Catholicism, I want to tell my science fiction story through the lens of a Catholic worldview that hopefully enriches and beautifies it.

So maybe it's all really about beauty. Beauty is meant to be shared. Writers see beauty and wonder--they pull it from out of nothing--and take up the pen that others may see too.
[User Picture]
From:moirayoung
Date:July 14th, 2010 09:48 pm (UTC)
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That's it exactly. It's what I am.

I don't believe in writer's block either. Honestly, I believe that if I'm not making progress on a piece, it's because it needs time to process in my subconscious. But even when I'm not consciously working on it, it's in there stewing, until it feels ready to come out.
[User Picture]
From:marycatelli
Date:July 15th, 2010 02:35 am (UTC)
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I write because it lets me get my hands about the scrawny necks of the ideas proliferating in my mind and hurl them down onto the paper until they stick there.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 15th, 2010 04:52 am (UTC)

Term papers

(Link)

I have the same questions and would like any info any of you can supply.
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 15th, 2010 04:54 am (UTC)

Term papers

(Link)
I have the same questions and would like any info any of you can supply.

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[User Picture]
From:juliet_winters
Date:July 15th, 2010 01:20 pm (UTC)
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When I can make time...when I am not too tired or distracted...working words into stories (fiction or not)can be a way to pursue that gleam of which Tennyson wrote. On those occasions it's going very, very well, I know it's not just my hand creating it though I take all blame for its flaws.

...
"Not of the sunlight,
Not of the moonlight,
Not of the starlight!
O young Mariner,
Down to the haven,
Call your companions,
Launch your vessel,
And crowd your canvas,
And, ere it vanishes
Over the margin,
After it, follow it,
Follow The Gleam."
From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 29th, 2010 10:34 am (UTC)

review

(Link)

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From:(Anonymous)
Date:July 29th, 2010 10:34 am (UTC)

review

(Link)

Nice information, many thanks to the author. It is incomprehensible to me now, but in general, the usefulness and significance is overwhelming. Thanks again and good luck!

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