I was watching late-night talk shows tonight, taking a break from the Movies, Grit, or Escape channels I normally view as I work into the night. An author was on the Seth Meyers show. Paul something or other. Interesting interview, since I'm an aspiring writer. Or an accomplished writer, depending on how you look at it. Paul had some interesting opinions about writing, so I figured I'd analyze his words a bit.
The part that grabbed my attention to start was that the book was humorous, but the author wanted to avoid the label of satire. With a lot of my writing, I have embraced the title, but I can understand why that might be somewhat self-important of me. The best satire I've written was gruelling, so I want to deserve the title, but I can see where some of it might be just humorous. Or just nasty. So I get it.
Seth then asked Paul why he told his students while teaching that he hated writing. Paul said the writing process is difficult. And it is. I hate it at times, too, but I also love it. I think I'd hate it if I was spending five years on one book, like he had done. I do kind of hate my novel, especially since it's all stuck in my head, and it's been festering there for nearly a decade now. I guess I can love writing because I don't work on the longer pieces very often, and I can write an article like this in less than an hour. No, it's not my best writing, but it's practice. Maybe useless toiling, but the kind I love.
Paul then described a friend of his who can write a good book every two years. The guy calls himself a completionist, not a perfectionist. If there's anything I hate about writing, it's those who can do this. He probably has a great formula, not just for writing, but also for the stories he writes. I've often told my wife that I want to figure out how to write teen romance novels, since it was these books I'd always see popping out of backpacks instead of listening to me when I was teaching. A dedicated fan base. Find the formula, and then write a series. But then I'd probably hate myself and my writing.
The point of writing, however, is to be read, so that's what I still need to consider. More people read my articles that have to do with money or that are unique perspectives. It's much more difficult to get people to find my poems or short stories, let alone buy them. Even with the prevalence of horrible films made each year, my two screenplays and musical play have received little fanfare. I'm sure Paul figured out how to get it done the right way and find a publisher, but with so many aspiring writers, it's not as easy as it might seem. I assume most publishers would want to have me if they ever saw my work, but they don't allow me to submit it, so I just keep on writing articles that can make me a small income while I wait for something amazing to happen. I guess when it comes to content writing, I'm a completionist. When it comes to my real writing, I'm still a perfectionist. I love aspects of both, but I hate having to choose each day.