Why I do What I do, What I do Best & What I Should Be Doing, Probably.

So, I figure it’s time for one of those general all-encompassing posts.

You know, the kind where I reveal I am, in fact, Darth Vader and that while I may have fathered you, I will not be paying any child alimony and you can go to hell. Or something. It’s obvious by now that I like to write, cos, you know I did a degree in it…and stuff. It’s not a “release” or anything like that, it’s just something I like to do, something that I can’t stop doing and something I’m moderately good at. It also doesn’t involve any real physical effort at all, which is what I’m all about.

I don’t need to be good at it, mind. Just better than the other hobos trying to get published.

Hello, fellow hobos! 🙂

Which leads me to this blog. For a while now I have observed the phenomena that is blogging, specifically to do with writing and publishing and such. I have come to the conclusion that people seem to feed off the networking brought about through the process, they power through chapters and novels and learn from one another’s experiences. Which is why I started this blog, even though I have no experience, no credibility, and no novel (I’m working on two, though) and despite the fact that there a billion other better established, better designed, better researched and more qualified blogs out there. Likewise there are millions of funnier, smarter, cooler blogs too.

Happily, I’m self-obsessed enough not to give a shit about that.

I’m currently writing two novels, both YA fiction. The first, entitled Maharaj the Magician, is literary magic realism, a novel about a boy that meets a sad, homeless magician and the strange friendship they strike up. The other is a rollicking, crazed, murderous urban fantasy adventure that is unashamedly balls-and-all action-packed. It’s called Monster. I don’t know why I’m going so slowly with these stories, I do increasingly feel the need to have a finished manuscript to work but I’ve just never been as obsessed by it as other people I know. I know young writers, 12-18, who have finished novels already and constantly talking about the editing they’re doing, the other novels they want to work on, etc. And I know adults that are the same.

It’s not that they want it more than I. I don’t think that’s possible. I don’t feel the need to rush though and I think that’s because, for reasons that remain unknown to me, I have an absurdly strong, irrational belief – call it self-knowledge – that I’m going to be published some day. I’ve never questioned it. I never will. It definitely will happen, I know that, I just don’t know when and I’m not bothered by that. All I have to do is finish what I’m working on. When I think about it, I imagine it will be some years in the future, in the next say 5 or 10 years. It’s for this reason (I think, else I’m just a lazy motherfucker) that I’m never rushing about trying to finish the next paragraph, or next chapter, or worrying about my future. I could end up teaching English in Korea. Or working in a pub in England for the next two years (currently the plan). It doesn’t matter.

At some stage down the line, I will be published.

So, I happen to write, and write fairly well. But it’s not what I do best. Editing, that’s where my strength is. I love fixing things. To me, there is nothing so frustrating as seeing an otherwise good film or novel or short story go astray because of a particular scene, a string of bad dialogue or bad chapters or scenes. In actual fact, it’s from this desire to do better that my interest in writing began. I find typos and easy errors in published novels to be infuriating. Seriously. I see red. I absolutely abhor it. It means there are people out there getting paid to do what I love and fucking failing at it. Now of course, they’re all human and humans make mistakes and we’re not all obsessed about every minor detail…but that just doesn’t cut it for me.

Maybe in ten years time, with a lifetime of editing experience behind me, I’ll look back on this and think – you douchebag, you knew nothing. But right now, I’m going to hold tight to the righteous indignation of youth before the sedation of middle age dims the fires and the disappointment of age stokes it to a massive fucking inferno.

So, editing. I like it. I can make a bad story good. I can make a good film great. I can make a brilliant novel blow your fucking mind. If I was given full rein, anyway. Which isn’t always the case. I imagine this all sounds incredibly arrogant. Ah, well. Not much I can do about that. Don’t get me wrong, though. I live in a world of uncertainty – I’m uncertain about the way I dress, the way I look, where I go, who I hang out with, hell, I question my own sexuality nine times out of ten, but the one thing, the one bedrock of certainty I have in my life is my writing. My passion for editing and for literature. Take that as you please.

Now, what should I be doing? Getting a job, probably. Or sailing. You know, being on a boat. Or something. Much as the prospect sounds lovely, Titanic has forever turned me off the open seas. Because, you know, icebergs are fucking everywhere – they’re the ninjas of the seas, no doubt about that, they’re so good at hiding they’ll just suddenly rise up before you and totally destroy your ship.

Anyway, that’s me for now.


June 27, 2010
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  1. Bekah Hello, fellow hobo with no credibility beyond a uni degree!

    June 27, 2010 at 5:21 am · Reply

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