The Book That Wasn’t

Going to share a couple of posts today. This first one is about the book that wasn’t, or isn’t, or won’t be.

There’s a great quote from Philip Roth, “Don’t judge it. Just write it. Don’t judge it. It’s not for you to judge it.” For me this applies completely to writing, but not necessarily to publishing.

I’ve developed my own set of checks and balances over the last several years with regard to publishing my work, some questions I try to remember to ask myself before I let something out the door. Questions like, “Am I going to regret this?” and “Is this what I want to say?” and “Is this correct?”Β  Note here that if something adheres to a principle that is founded in fact, reality, logic, it will be timeless and as “true”, or correct, a decade from now as it is now. If something is rooted in opinion, in a passing trend, in the fashion of the day, or completely in emotion/opinion, it may not hold up over time. Sometimes that matters, sometimes not so much. “Is this the direction I want to go in?” and “Why did I write this?” I question my own motivations. Especially if I read something that I wrote and it no longer rings true to me, chances are my motives for writing whatever it was were likely from a polluted perspective. You can get away with that in fiction, not so much in non-fiction or opinion pieces. Fictional characters can be as screwed up and wrong as the most such people you’ve ever met, and that’s certainly part of the fun of writing fiction. The other thing, if one is being emotional, that I think one should watch out for, is trying to make something fit when it doesn’t, trying to bend a piece around to a particular perspective to suit an agenda when it doesn’t go there. If you work hard enough, you can jam the square peg into the round hole, and then it isn’t round anymore, or something else is off. The other great and powerful truth about writing is, not everything is meant to be published.

I finished writing “All the Bright Young Things at the Last Picture Show” a year ago, then I started to edit it, then I started to include more pieces in it, then I tried to shove it this way and that. The bottom line kept turning out the same, overall, I just don’t like the finished product of this one. Some of the poems will definitely find their way into whatever the next collection is, otherwise, it is a book that is unlikely to ever see the light of day. Now, that said, writing it and spending time on it did serve a very important purpose, or several. In the midst of it, I managed to sort some things out for myself on a personal level, not the least of which is that all my “Tersplaining” isn’t necessarily all that fascinating to the masses. I also got several ideas for other books. That’s really important, to recognize things that seem like they didn’t quite work out as instead being part of a larger picture or the creative process. That was something I’d “forgotten” in some regard, the importance of just writing to clear the cob webs once in a while.

So, I am editing the next book, won’t say more than that about what it is other than it is fiction, I am writing fiction. Got a couple other things (fiction) in the hopper. As previously mentioned, busiest summer ever. During the last eight weeks, we’ve had one weekend where there wasn’t some chore that needed to be tended to, and that looks to be the situation through the next month at least. On one hand, really not thrilled about some of it, there were other things we kind of wanted to be doing right now, on the other hand, a lot of things that have needed to get done are getting done and that’s good. I’m also keeping in mind this idea, this thought, “blessings in disguise.” If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that some things are blessings in disguise. In the course of one household repair recently, one of the cables to our television situation was cut. Whilst finding out how to get that fixed, discovered we could be getting a much better deal on our tv viewing. I’m trying to roll with it all and keep that thought in mind. All that complaining I did about writing about vampires, well, it ultimately led me to an absolute love of writing fiction. Now that’s ( writing fiction) what I’m doing and what I want to do.

Otherwise, I’m tired. I’m coming down with an end of the summer cold. I shall press onward, toward the front!

This brings me to the subject of the next post, CreateSpace has merged with KDP. ( See the next post.)