Last year, while having parts of my medieval WIP critiqued by a CP, I received an unexpected bit of feedback.
It had to do with the physical description of a certain character. Specifically, the fact that, in her mind, I hadn’t provided a physical description at all.
Back in February (on the 12th, the 10th, who even really knows?), I had my 10th writing birthday.
A writing birthday is something I commemorate to mark the day I decided to take a professional attitude toward my writing, in pursuit of eventual publication.
To my knowledge, the writing birthday is something I invented. I’m not 100% clear on the actual date, but most years observe it on February 12.
It can feel a bit like fiddling while Rome burns.
The world at large has always been a tumultuous place, particularly with the advent of new online media entities, social media, and the 24-hour news cycle of network news making us more aware than at any other time in history of the shit going down across the globe.
Lately, however, it seems it’s not just greater access to the news that’s making the world seem so untenable, but rather the quality of the news as well.
To be honest, it initially struck me as absurd, the thought of creating a soundtrack for a novel, let alone my own novel-in-progress.
After all, a book is, well, a book. It is static and non-visual beyond the fact of seeing a print or e-book’s typewritten words.
To me, it made little sense trying to apply techniques used in visual arts (most notably motion pictures) to a format that most definitely isn’t a picture (this despite the fact that very good books can indeed succeed in creating vivid pictures in the reader’s mind).
No, this isn’t a post about negative self-talk.
That would be the subject of an entirely different, and if I chose to get all self-psychoanalytical about it, lengthy post.
Rather, it’s about what goes on in my mind whenever it’s not otherwise occupied, and, to me, is the furthest thing from negative.
When it comes to books and words and the creation and consumption of both, although I write nearly every day, I’ve always considered myself a reader first while only second am I a writer.
Of course, there is factual truth to this statement: I literally learned and continued to read stories before I started writing them (although the timing for both is close; I clearly recall writing my first “novel” in grade two).
Even now as an adult, my almost-daily reading occurs earlier in the day (dinner time) than does my almost-daily writing (after dinner, the last thing before I go to sleep).