For the 2 or 3 people who have visited this blog that did not come directly from Terribleminds, this is a blog by Chuck Wendig, a particularly foul mouthed and humorous author who writes advice for writers and observations about the writing life. It’s pretty good, you should check it out (Adam!), but easily offended people should keep clear.
The article I am linking to here is about why writers are insane. All of the points were applicable, but a few struck a chord with me, particularly points 9, 15, and 18.
“9. The Love-Me Hate-Me Two Step:” Very true. I don’t want to keep beating this dead horse, but I believe that I’ve had some sort of major breakthrough or epiphany over the last few days, which involved finally partaking in the semi-mystical activity I have always heard of, but seldom seen and never done myself, which is editing.
I think on some level anyone who writes fiction, or maybe anything at all that is not mandatory for a “real job” or a uni course, is extraordinarily vain. I suppose the exceptions are the people like Emily Dickenson who write amazing poetry and then hide it in their sock drawer or whatever, but I think that everyone who sits down and writes a poem or a story secretly believes that they are divinely inspired, gifted above the ranks of ordinary mortals, and destined to be the next Stephen King or J.K. Rowling. No matter how self effacing and humble you act, you really do believe, somewhere inside your head, that you words are the aural equivalent of ambrosia or a liquid gold smoothie.
You write, pouring your words and your soul forth into a work of art so brilliant and pristine it puts the Sistine Chapel to shame, only to find out that it’s too long and you need aggressively amputate at least a third of it. How can you do it? This isn’t just a story, this is divine, sublime. Every word shines from the screen, a ray of light and hope and beauty in a desolate landscape. You have accomplished the mission of the Romantics, you have truly, once and for all, entirely embodied the sublime and the picturesque in prose. Isn’t it some sort of crime against humanity, nay, the universe, to deface it?
But you must. The publisher or magazine (or ungraded blog competition) that you are writing for wants a story that is only half the length of the one you have written.
(I hope that I have properly given credit to the author of the original blog article. I don’t have much experience with this sort of thing, and every new page that I post is an experiment)