Believe it or not, I don’t spend all my spare time writing.
I don’t even want to spend all my spare time writing.
The reason for this is because writing is far too solitary a pursuit – the loneliest of all the arts in my opinion, due to it possessing the least impressive and share-worthy interim stages.
The Daintree Rainforest, a tropical rainforest and UNESCO World Heritage Site along the coast of Queensland, Australia.
I didn’t expect to do any writing while here in Australia.
That is, not after I overcame my last-minute fervor to do lots of writing while in Australia – to write during as much of the flight as I remained awake for; to even finish my novel while abroad, if possible, and return home like a conquering hero.
In preparation for this, I scanned and PDF’ed an entire chapter of a reference book (since my WIP is historical fiction and thus research-dependant).
I also downloaded Evernote on both my iPad and phone so that I’d have two methods of inputting my deathless prose that would automatically sync as well as keep a backup in the cloud.
For the record, I don’t like short stories.
I’ve written about 10 of them over the course of my writing “career” thus far, and almost all of them are flops.
Not because the writing is bad per se (although some of them were written while I was still in high school, so neither is the writing deathless prose). Rather, they don’t work because they aren’t really short stories at all.
They’re novel back stories masquerading as short stories.
That just seems to be the way my brain works: my stories come to me novel length.
(If my WIP is any indication, my stories come to me trilogy length.)
Many writers are familiar with the concept of the Hero’s Journey, as elucidated by Joseph Campbell, which forms the backbone and structure of mythic narratives across all cultures, and strongly influences modern storytelling as we know it.
Every writer undertakes his/her own journey as well, beginning as an aspiring writer with an idea and a dream and setting forth in pursuit of becoming a published author. In this journey the writer him-/herself is the hero, facing all a hero’s necessary obstacles along the way. In effect, the writer is authoring his/her own life story while simultaneously writing the story of someone else, which is often the writer’s life story yet again, only this time in camouflage.
Author and activist Mary McCarthy wrote that, “We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour; in other words, we are all the hero of our own story” (“Characters in Fiction”, Partisan Review, March/April 1961). This is the story of me and the view from here: my writer’s journey, thus far.