Friday, January 06, 2006

Writers Stonk

Some of this will only make sense if you've read the comments to my previous post. I did attempt to reply there, but I soon realised that it'd take up too much time and space, so I felt here was just as good.

Well I'm cured of my writers block for now. I went back and forth with a few people who's opinions I value above others, Chadwick made some very good suggestions - as he always does - and Norm Breyfogle hit the button right on the head.

The problem was that I'd spent too much time trying to fit the words into a format that it'd never suit. I had so many footnotes that the book was in danger of being titled; "Gentleman Jim Mooney: A Life In Footnotes" That'd not sell many copies at all. Norm took a swing at it, we went back and forth until he suggested that I remove all the footnotes and merge them into the text.

The results? Twenty five pages of pure text in six hours. I've not had a burst of writing like that since I wrote a 20 page U2 article in just under four hours - one of my better efforts too, not tnhat you'll ever read it.

To the comments: William B: I've been writing now, and getting published, since 1993 and I've found that I'm only ever overly critical of something if my heart is in it. Like many others I've sat down and hacked out material that I look back on and think, "Well that was complete shit" Luckily for me the bulk of that stuff is now well out of print and long forgotten (I still have my copies, but if I have my way no-one else will ever see them). So if you're overly critical then it's only because you actually care about the words. When you hack it out then you couldn't care less - your name is on it (or in my case I used another name), you cash the cheque and you pick up the next assignment. There's some people I'm more than happy to work for free for: Roy Thomas, John Morrow, Clifford Meth, Michael Ambrose and Michael Eury are amongst those that I'm happy to write anything for without any form of payment other than a thank you, some magazines and editors I'd write for minimum wage and there's others who couldn't pay me to even look at the tripe they produce, let alone contribute to it. You find that happy medium and you run with it.

And if you think I'm joking then consider this: I've gone well into debt writing the Andru & Esposito book and I've not seen a single cent from it, and I doubt I ever will. Indeed with all the contact I've had with Daniel Herman, the publisher, we've never spoken once about money. It's just never crossed my mind. Same with the Mooney book. So why do it? It's not because I love doing it - that's a cliche that's just so much crap - it's because I want to do it. I have a burning urge to do it, thus I do it. And because, in my own opinion (although there are some who agree), I think I can do it as good as the next idiot, and in some cases, better. So stick with it and fire me down an email some day and let's yap.

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