Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

On Writing

I have a shabby, dirty, shameful little secret that I need to share with you all.

I can't write.

The topic arose today. I was chatting with The (much-missed and soon returning) Darling G online, and when the subject of the Blog came up she said, "You should write another funny article, you're about due a really funny one." And I thought - I really, honestly thought - how the hell do I write something funny?

And that's what I mean when I say I can't write. I've read Stephen King's 'On Writing'. I've read innumerable books on creative writing, and they may as well have been in bloody cuneiform for all the good they did me. I know I'm supposed to have a beginning, a middle and an end, a structure, a framework and all that. I know it's supposed to be drafted, reviewed and edited down. But I can't. It just doesn't work like that for me.

It's why I haven't really bothered with NaNoWriMo. I'd love to - but though I have perhaps three part-drafted novels, I can't move with them. It just doesn't work.

I can't write. I don't edit. Everything you see here is pretty much unedited, unexpurgated. I start with a couple of sentences, a concept, a salient point - sit down and 15 minutes later there's 500 words being posted. It goes from brain, to keyboard, to Blog with next to no alteration.

Think of it as projectile vomiting, only without carrots. This isn't so much a Blog as a Blooooorgh. . . .

So I'm sorry, but I can't just 'write something funny'. I wish I could, but I can't. If it makes you giggle, then it's a fortuitous accident and I'm glad you enjoy it. But if you're expecting funny-on-demand, then you could find yourself waiting a long time.



Unknown said...

This didn't quite make me laugh, but it did make me smile! And that's not bad. I know what you mean about not being able to be intentionally funny. I can only be funny accidentally, mostly when nobody is looking.

Hedgewytch said...

Surely the skills of a writer is determined by the reader?
A writer should be able to write as you do, an outpouring of often uncontrollable words that you give life to. Gentle editors can correct the grammar and sense but often when you are finally published officially your baby is barely recognisable. Not sure why anyone would want that.
Be yourself whatever that maybe funny or not.

Brennig said...

Writing to any kind of order is the most difficult thing in the world.

Well no, that's absolute rubbish because there are zillions of things that are more difficult.

But it is tough. As is writing a proper synopsis (more difficult than writing the book it is for), writing a feature to a deadline, writing a feature to a pitch that's been accepted for publication, writing a review that doesn't painfully slaughter that which should be just put to sleep.

So I sympathise.