Monday, December 1, 2008

Clever and Interesting Things

I feel first entries in a blog are always awkward (Hi! I’m a really charming person you don’t know, but I’m on the internet, don’t you want to read about me? Let me tell you about how interesting and clever I am, in a clever and interesting way!). I was tempted to skip over this one, because really, I am a prolific churner-out of words intended to make myself sound charming, interesting and clever. I expect few people will ever click ‘Previous Page’ enough times to view this but the time I have a hefty readership.

But I am writing a first entry anyway. What can I say? I need a clearly delineated beginning and end when I write. This is why I am probably doomed to write popular, rather than literary, fiction.

So this is the reason for this blog: I am going to become a professional writer. Although this is, as you may have noticed from my blog title, not my day job, I am going to turn it into a day job. And I plan to do this within the next five years.

All I have to do is write an amazing novel, be the one author in a hundred with an amazing novel to be noticed, and maybe go on Oprah.

Now, I know I am not the only person out there who dreams of doing this. And this writing business is always presented as such a game of chance. You could be the next J.K. Rowling, or you could write eighteen amazing novels and never even receive a nice handwritten comment on the side of a rejection letter. But I wonder if this perception is really even accurate. What would happen if you made a truly dedicated effort, as a writer:
• To produce – not just to write when you feel like it, but to write consistently, as if it were, in fact your second job, even if not your day job;
• To hone your craft in a dedicated and disciplined fashion – reading, researching, re-writing.
• To market yourself and your writing. To network. To send out your query letters and outlines. Maybe even to start a self-serving writing blog to help enhance your visibility. ;)

If you really put forth a concerted effort, will the literary world - as happens in most human endeavors - eventually succumb to the pure force of will?

So this blog is a gamble. I’m betting that I can make it in five years. And I am going to chronicle the process – the writing, the editing, the rejection letters, the break-throughs.

I may crash and burn, and seek out a career and lifesyle where I never write anything longer than “Happy birthday” for the rest of my life. I may make it into Oprah’s Book Club or write the next Twilight book. And there’s a whole spectrum between those two extremes. However it works out, you may learn something from reading, and I promise, I’ll do my best to make the ride entertaining.

1 comment:

Valerie said...

Hi Guin,
I found your blog by googling the First Line quote, and there you were. I'm also planning on slowly inverting the day-job/writing relationship, though I'm definitely not as far along as you are, having written a few short stories, but nothing novel-length - though that's the aim. Anyway, I just wanted to say good luck!