Snarky Muse: Your opening needs revision. There’s no way to be ‘very first’. It’s not a matter of degree. First is first. Maybe you’d better reconsider this blog thing.
I will very much not. And now for a joke:
Three guys are sitting at a bar.
#1: “…Yeah, I make $150,000 a year after taxes.”
#2: “What do you do for a living?”
#1: “I’m a broker. How much do you make?”
#2: “I should clear $100,000 this year.”
#1: “What do you do?”
#2: “I’m an architect.”
The third guy has been sitting there quietly, staring into his beer, when the others turn to him.
#2: “Hey, how much do you make per year?”
#3: “I guess about $13,000.”
#1: “Oh, yeah? What kind of stories do you write?”
The joke, poignantly apropos, tells it like it is for us indie writers. Do we sweat it? Of course not! We envy it. Most of us aspire to make $13,000 a year solely from our writing. We would then be able to call ourselves ‘writers’ without the ears turning red. I’ll take that any day.
Snarky Muse: You wish!
I started writing late in life, in my fifties. I wasn’t ready when younger, wandering half-baked for the longest time, unable to express myself through prose in any real way.
I write now because I can’t not write. Just ask my family: If I’m not plugging away at something I’m not much fun to be around. When not teaching, I give myself the time to write, usually in the morning.
I would be remiss not to mention the spiritual component of having the opportunity to do something as wondrous as writing.
Snarky Muse: Oh, please. Next, you’ll be asking for Sunday alms.
Hey, I’m just saying it’s a fortune I am grateful for.
I write for myself, not for the market. I have no idea what will sell, but as long as I’m happy with a story, I will show it. I don’t know if I’m going to make any money doing this, but I don’t write to get rich. I do it for another, deeper satisfaction. I also write for the person I know best: myself.
NOW IT’S TIME TO MEET THE TEAM!
… Well, that’s ME. I am the team. There’s a cat here, too. I’ve never taken a writing class. I wouldn’t know a support group from an A.A. meeting. I don’t know what a writing retreat is (though it sounds restful).
I write alone.
I have friends who will read stuff for me (I often repay with tacos, or mezcal, or something similar). I have an editor who lends me his professional eyes when he can. I Fiverr for book covers and for formatting.
No self-publishing workshops for me (even though the half-day sessions are only 79$—and what a great way to get yourself out there. What’s wrong with me?)
Snarky Muse: You’re just lazy, or cheap. Other writers are more dedicated to their craft than you. They actually pay money and leave their house to go these workshops. It’s all a part of establishing your platform.
I resent that, verily… Ok, I’m no gadabout. I just work alone because I like it, and I do what Gene Fowler once said: “Writing is easy. All you have to do is sit staring at a blank piece of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”
Leaving home is overrated. Very much.
A WORD ON GENRE
“I forgot my mantra.” … Does everyone know this 1976 Jeff Goldblum confession in Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall”? For the longest time I felt like that guy, standing alone in a middle of a party, fretting that he didn’t belong anywhere. I had no genre I could call my own. I was in the cracks, absent any discernable category. But after my third novel, “Plum Rains on Happy House,” I saw patterns. All shared elements of absurdist fiction and black comedy. But when I searched the rules for participation in these distinct genres, my writing still didn’t fit.
I’ve settled on comic fantasy. Humor with thoughtful undertones. Visionary. Metaphysical. Childish.
But I’m not for children. I will write about teens, but not for them.
My sub-genre might be: weird fiction. But Amazon has yet to make a category for that.
Husband: The snow is nearly waist high and it’s still falling. My wife has done nothing but look through the kitchen window. If it gets worse, I may have to let her in.
Nasty and funny. In my writing, the characters take a beating; they earn their end goals. But I see myself as the wife. I’m the one standing outside in the rising snowfall. I’m the one looking inside at characters that are tearing up the rooms of the house.
Comic fantasy—weird fiction. I’ve found my mission.
Thank you very much for reading my first blog. I’ll try to write weekly.
Snarky Muse: You have some sick fixation with the word ‘very’.