I've been going through my office the last couple days scanning in old papers and handwritten notes. I noticed one thing, I used to write a lot more than I do now. It is frustrating that I have all these notebooks filled with stories, and yet now when I sit down to write, I am lucky to get a couple words out before my mind just blanks. Where did that creative kid go?
Ebooks killed my imagination.
Not really. That is a little hyperbolic, but there is still more truth in it that I am comfortable admitting.
I used to write because I loved it. It was my favorite form of entertainment. That is all that it used to be, and that it all that it should be.
In 2005, my book Liquid Sky came out... and this went from something that I loved to do to something I did for money... Now, there was pressure on every story to be something that would "resonate with an audience." Writing became a job, and jobs aren't fun.
Writing is not work!
Bah! Over the last 10 years I read all this blogs and memoirs of other writers who describe writing as a job. You just show up, punch the keys, and mill out words. There is something horribly wrong with that. Maybe it works for them, but it doesn't for me.
Writing is an adventure
When I was a kid, I wrote to create my own TV shows, movies, and comics in my own head. I wrote to entertain myself. I brought a little bit of that spirit back when I wrote The Chain. That was a book for me. But that spirit of fun applied to that book and not to me or to my process, and that it wrong.
I need to let go, and just write for the sheer joy of writing. Tell the stories that I want, that entain me. Stop being such a control freak.
It is time to let go, and let be.
Tell stories for the fun of it.
That is it. Nothing more. Nothing less. Yes, I need to call on the discipline I have developed over the last few years, but I really need to just have fun with it. Stop caring about the money. The work is its own reward.
If you try this for yourself, let me know how it works out for you. I would love to hear your experiences. Do you think this is the right decision?