Wednesday, December 21, 2011
Launching a writing career is probably not much different than launching any other type of career. Not that I know anything about anything. I'm careening toward mid-life and still haven't grown up enough to leave the house every day.
Sometimes I even forget to shave. Or shower. My mother would not be pleased.
I'm always waiting to be found out. Exposed. Called to account for the lies I keep telling. "I'm a writer. I'm going to be a writer. People will pay for my work. And like it." Bad I am and slow to remember.
Peg me as a faker. I nod in agreement. Yes. Nailed it.
But yet, I continue.
Hiding down here in this little room. Only the tips of the trees to be seen. Leaves long since taken.
I read about this massive contract and that uber best seller and this author with 10,007 Twitter followers and add another query to my rejection spreadsheet (denial so nicely organized) and I decide that I hate all of it.
They won't stop. The stories. Moments of cerebral cinema. Flickers of rumble, war, love. Wolves named Jasmine. Death.
I don't even know these...things. Relentless though. And always rising in the quiet dark. Replacing sleep. Won't be hushed.
sometimes just tired - I'll get over it. Must - get over it.
Is there anything finer than the tang of a newly sharpened pencil?
Posted by Scott Livingston at 3:36 PM
Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Yes, I'm stealing (shamelessly, proudly, and cheerfully) from Mister Hemingway. Actually, go read him first and then come back. I can wait.
Better than what you'll get here anyway. But thanks for sticking around nevertheless. 'Tis noble of you. And just to make sure I'm playing both sides of the net, I give you Miss Virginia Woolf, she of "A Room of One's Own."
I'm musing on writing spaces here and their importance relative to the craft of writing itself. No doubt there are many scholarly works out there that have said much more about this subject, and said it much better. But here you are.
Much of the work of writing (perhaps ALL of it, even) is done in solitude. Of course there are those that like to write in public spaces (i.e. Starbucks, their local bookstore, etc.) but even there the act of writing happens largely in the mind.
Having a "clean, well-lighted" space is fairly critical to the quality of the work produced. If one is jumbled and not able to sort through the mental dross in search of uncut gems without interruption they're far less likely to craft something substantial. The clean part is relative...some like their space sloppy. But the solitude thing, for me least wise, is non-negotiable.
On occasion (interpretation: too often) I like to daydream about the writing place I'll have one day. Until that ship comes in, I content myself vicariously through enjoying the spaces others have created. Oh the day...
|No idea, but oh my...|
|Michael Pollan's little place|
I couldn't find a very good picture of it, but David McCullough's studio is one my favorites. If you ever watch John Adams there is a documentary at the end of the series about McCullough that includes footage of him in his "clean, well-lighted place."
And here's a great little video about Laurie Halse Anderson's retreat in the woods and how it was all put together.
Posted by Scott Livingston at 8:13 AM
Thursday, December 1, 2011
So here goes...something. A few years back I attempted to create a blog about creativity. It was fun while it lasted. I wrote mostly for myself (good thing, since that's about as big as the audience got.)
Now it's time to concentrate my creative blogging on the craft I've chosen to devote my life to: Writing. Thus Sleye1Stories is born.
I intend it to be primarily a place to report on my writer's arc - my journey toward being a published writer. As such I'll try to provide regular updates on current projects. More importantly, I hope to make it a place for learning and sharing from and with other writer friends and heroes, of which there are many.
Because I am blessed to be able to teach others what I'm learning, I also intend to provide some short tutorials and "lessons" occasionally here, both in written and in video form. Emphasis on short and occasional. I have far more to learn than I have to teach, so take that for what it's worth.
In one of my favorite movies, Citizen Kane, Orson Welles publishes his first edition of a newspaper with a "Declaration of Principles" for his readers. I've no plans to become a tycoon nor to die with a snow globe in my hand, but you never know. I do, however, aspire to do the following here at sleyestories:
- Provide great content, both my own and that created by others.
- Keep things fresh. I'm going to push myself to post here at least 2-3 times a week and hopefully more often than that. I shall build up to that as quickly as I can.
- Be a teacher and a learner. More learner than teacher.
- Share the ups and downs more openly. I'm a private person. But "private" doesn't seem to cut it much in the publishing world. Unless you're Cormac McCarthy. And I'm not. In case you were confused.
- Have fun. Lots. Often.
Thanks for stopping by.