The Four Hundred and Thirty-Ninth Post: The One Where I Raise the Black Flag…

I am working on Nanowrimo this year and I’ve got to say it is pleasantly exhausting this time. I’m managing to average two thousand words a day (in spite of skipping a day) and I’m back to waking up at 4 AM to get a majority of my writing done. I have a good feeling about this one. I really think I could hit the 50,000-word goal by the end of the month. I’m working on the series I am going to put on Royal Road, so I’m not really working very hard on this as it’s really a boiler-plate fantasy setting.

I’ve decided to live by the words of Charles Bukowski: ‘Find what you love and let it kill you. Let it drain you of your all. Let it cling onto your back and weigh you down into eventual nothingness. Let it kill you and let it devour your remains. For all things will kill you, both slowly and fastly, but it’s much better to be killed by a lover’. I love writing. I love the process. I love sitting in front of a computer or sitting at a table with an open notebook and feeling the possibilities rattle in my head like eager dice in a cup. I love giving an idea of a person the breath of life and seeing them do amazing things.

It’s taken me a major milestone to say ‘fuck it’ and go for it. To let everything go as best I can and reach for the sun as my wax wings melt. I know I’ve said this so many times, but there is some sort of energy behind this. Most of the time, I say it all the time, but it sounds hollow in my ears – like I need to sell the idea to myself first before I can sell it to others. Maybe it’s the success I’ve had with Nano so far. Maybe reconnecting with the Nano community has warmed some long cold ashes in me.

Maybe it’s because I didn’t win the Powerball and I need to do something else with my life. Who knows? I just need to get something done and I am definitely not getting any younger sitting here and fiddling around. So, my advice is to go for it – whatever that ‘it’ is. Kiss that girl, write that novel, make that film. Live the life you know you were meant to live.

The Four Hundred and Thirty-Seventh Post: The One Where I Drink Scotch with Bukowski.

Well, I sent the writing sample and a cover letter (I am not good at cover letters. Please, God – let the read the sample before the cover letter) to Level Four Publishing and we’ll see what happens from there. If I get rejected – then nothing changes for me, really. I continue with The Deadly Barrows and try to get that going. If I am accepted, then everything changes for me. I’ll be under contract and making money for a change doing this (even more if they sell!). Might even be enough to get away from working for a living to writing. I figure they want 100,000 words every three months. With a five thousand advance, and if I just break even – that’s $20,000 a year. Enough to cover my expenses if I do nothing else but write.

If Level Four doesn’t drop me after one book.

That’s a possibility. I could be a New York Times bestseller. I could be a flop. At least I didn’t quit.

And that’s the one thing: it has never occurred to me that I should quit this. Sure – I’ll get roundly abused (‘more you sweat in peace, the less you bleed in war’ is how I look at it) by my writing group, but I’ve never thought about chucking everything in the air and saying “fuck it”. I look at the lack of sales, but I’ve never felt deep failure. I just need to find a better way to get my stuff out there. Is it stubbornness when I can’t conceptualize another option?

Why I number my pages…

Look at this blog. I think I only have two steady readers (Hi!) but churn it out as often as I can. I might take a “sabbatical”, but I don’t quit it completely.

So, I say to you all (all two of you, so pay attention) and I know it sounds trite and hackneyed but Do Not Give Up. Follow the advice of poet Charles Bukowski: “Find what you love and let it slowly kill you.”

Die for love, my darlings.