Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Look, Do You Want This, or Not?

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 11.05.12 PM
Dear jeschas,

When I was something that lived in the 80s, I used to listen to Everybody Wants to Rule the World and daydream about one day being grown up and famous. I’m only vaguely grown up now, but I’m only vaguely famous, too, so that’s all right.

One will never get famous surfing Pinterest or Tumblr.

This is how I get myself to my writing place: I take myself there and I do the work. Sometimes I picture it as a movie. Sometimes I narrate it to myself. Sometimes I play music. Sometimes I write it longhand; sometimes I do it standing on my desk; sometimes I recite it out loud to myself while driving in the car. Sometimes I scratch it into my hand whether or not I have a pen. I do whatever trick I think I have to take this abstract thing and turn it into a concrete thing.

 Here’s the thing about being a writer, or a musician, or an artist, or any sort of creative person. The ones who make it are the ones who make themselves do it. They’re the ones who practice even when it seems like they aren’t getting any better. They’re the ones who open up their work-in-progress when their friends are going out hey-are-you-coming-with-us — even if they know that thisnovel is not the one that will be good enough to get published, because they know that practice is the only way to get to the one that will be good enough to be published. They’re the ones who send out query letters and hear no and they send out more query letters and they hear no again and they send out query letters and they hear no again. They’re the ones that hear no as not yetand nothing is ever a failure, it’s only a complicating plot point in the arc of their life. They’re the ones who realize that there’s no point tricking your way into publication, because the point is to write something other people fall in love with; that’s what being a successful storyteller is. They’re the ones who are hungry for it. No, they’re the ones who are starving for it.

They’re a little unhinged.

Everyone else is everyone else.



urs,

Stiefvater
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