My drug of choice is writing––writing, art, reading, inspiration, books, creativity, process, craft, blogging, grammar, linguistics, and did I mention writing?

Friday, January 8, 2016

December's Best

Looks more like you fell face first in the NUTELLA, brah.
It's now January, and time to tally up the best articles from December to go on to fame and fortune in our Best of WAW menu. Plus we have to get the monthly best articles squared away so we can do the year's ten best (which always means going back and recalibrating the new month's three best).

Anyway, that's behind-the-scenes crap that will all magically appear to have sorted itself out by Monday. In the meantime, here are December's best:

Some Bad News
I put it off as long as I could, but the blog needs a temporary slowdown.

Fridging: Who's Dying for Whom?
Killing a character just for the emotional blow it will deliver to your main character is already cheap writing, but you can make it even worse if you ignore the usual tropes of this time honored tactic.

The Year of Fail in Review
I did not hit a single goal I set out to hit in 2015. Not...ONE.

Clearly y'all love seeing me fall face first into the mud.

And you know what, that's okay. That's good even.

You should see me fall face first. You should see me swan dive into that shit with a barbaric yawp.

Because first of all, you should know that it happens. Writers aren't some mythical creatures who transcend their physical lives and never go through some serious shit or it doesn't affect them or they can just write on despite grief or incredible stress or 16 hour day job work days. They aren't work horses who never take a break. They aren't magical machines churning out a set word count no matter what. When I say I write every day, I don't mean that I blog every day or even that I have the intestinal fortitude TO blog every day. I sometimes mean my angry emo journal where I gripe about not having groupie threesomes –a journal that will never see the light of day.

You should also know how writing works. It's work. In the same way sometimes health problems make someone have to miss a lot of work, they might make someone miss a lot of writing. Some fucking leprechaun doesn't squat over your head and shit out a rainbow nugget turd of inspiration that causes books to spring fully formed from writers fingers with no more effort than it takes to type. You have to know writers (even the writers that we all have on posters over our beds [or is that just me?]) have times when their brains are just not as much in the game.

Writing About Writing is a real time exercise in meta writing as much as it is anything else. In three years, you've watched me build an audience, write every day, go through some incredible periods of productivity, refine my approach, start and abandon projects, and now fall absolutely flat on my face. If GRR Martin has a bad year, you just hear that it's going to be a little longer for his next book. If Stephen King has a bad year, you just wonder when he's going to hit the bestseller list again. These authors all have bad months, but you don't get to see it affecting their productivity in real time.

There is some tiny particle of good news on the horizon. Now that the holidays are all in the rear view mirror, The Hall of Rectitude is looking for a new morning sitter for the Contrarian, so I can get my old writing hours back. I'll still be probably doing fifty hours a week or more of househusbandry until the immediate health crisis is over, but at least some time will be carved out.

Edit: Within moments of writing this, medical circumstances revealed themselves that made things much worse rather than better. I'll put as many details as I can up on Monday, but this may at least go on for another week or two.

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