Day off of writing the novel CALLING DEAD: A Cold Poker Gang Novel.
Again today, I had no desire to take a day away from the writing, but alas, I spent my day working on other things that seemed to just take longer to do.
But I actually did go sit down there with the novel open, then got called away and that was that.
As far the day, a standard Monday. Off to run errands, order some lumber for a project up at WMG publishing, then to the WMG store (Pop Culture Collectables), then to the mail, then back to WMG.
Worked there for a time, talked with some friends, then headed home around 7 p.m. to do e-mail. (No lunch… no time, so I had a handful of chips instead.)
Nap with the white cat, dinner, a start into the Voice, and then dishes and in here to do the assignments in the online workshops around 9 p.m.
Got that done around 11 p.m. and went to reading. (I’ve been doing a ton of that lately, just not talking about it here.)
Downstairs around midnight to watch the rest of The Voice, then back up here to do more reading and then write this.
Topic of the Night: Explore your craft.
Pharrell, on The Voice tonight, said something to one artist who had not gotten through. No one turned. Pharrell basically told the kid to not just stay in an area he felt comfortable with (which is what the kid had done and it had not served him well), but Pharrell said to explore, open up his range, try areas in his art that he’s not comfortable with.
Spot on the money for writing in more ways than one.
I hear from so many writers say they just “can’t” write that without ever trying. And I hear from so many writers in the short story workshop where I force them to write out of their comfort zone and suddenly they like it and find it interesting.
As humans, as writers, we have this desire to stay safe. It’s as if writing a bad story will make animals come out of the night and eat us. Silly, of course, but for many writers that fear is very real.
And that fear cripples writers as artists. They write the same story over and over, even though they think it is different. But they never take any chances. And to be really “safe” the story is always rewritten to death out of fear. Thus the story sounds like just about everything else. And I meant “sounds” because I can spot a story a mile away that has been “polished” to death.
So trying new things with your writing is critical to growing as an artist. The poor kid went out there with a narrow range song that had been polished and the four superstars saw right through it. And didn’t turn.
And even though Pharrell tried to tell the kid what he did wrong, just as I am trying to tell some of you here, the fear will control. I doubt seriously if that kid heard Pharrell.
And not one of the stars asked him to come back. They could see it as well.
I just have never figured out what the hell writers are afraid of. We don’t have to stand in front of millions of people and fail. We just put a story out and if it fails, no one reads it. Shrug.
Watch The Voice if you want to see real courage for art.
And the wonderful moment on the show tonight was when Pharrell, at Christina’s urging, got up and sang with a young girl who hadn’t made it through, and clearly gave her not only a real moment to remember, but some motivation to come back. Wonderful moment of stars giving to young artists because they really care.
And wow, I thought the talent last year was stunning, but this year is even higher, more than likely from real music professionals with careers seeing how Boyd last year jumped the success on the show into a major career after being so broke, he was about to lose his house. Tonight there was one woman who had had a top five Billboard charted song with a partner and had toured with Blake. She was up there. Blake didn’t turn. The rest did.
Tomorrow promises to be even more fun. For two hours, it’s an amazingly good and free education.
Totals For Year 2, Month 7, Day 23
— Daily Fiction: 00 original words. Fiction month-to-date: 32,850 words
— Nonfiction: 00 new words. Nonfiction month-to-date total: 3,800 words
— Blog Posts: 900 new words. Blog month-to-date word count: 14,500 words
— E-mail: 34 e-mails. Approx. 1,100 original words. E-mails month-to date: 654 e-mails. Approx. 18,300 words
— Covers Designed and Finished: 0. Covers finished month-to-date: 1 Covers
For projects finished in the first year and links to the posts, click on the Writing in Public tab above.
For projects finished this month and where you can read them, click continue reading below.
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