The Process of Writing: Pure Fiction

My first word processor, which I bought on sale in the winter of 1993, was a Brother WP1400d. Prior to that, I wrote everything in longhand.
My first word processor, which I bought on sale in the winter of 1993, was a Brother WP1400d. Prior to that, I wrote everything in longhand.

Why do we write?

Different writers speak of different methods, moods, techniques, inspirations.

I am one of those writers who can make himself write any time. I’ve never had writer’s block, at least not as an adult. I claimed to have writer’s block as a teenager, but it was just an excuse for sleeping late.

Almost all of my writing is autobiographical. In some ways, that makes me narcissistic and in some ways it makes me introspective. I’m probably both.

Much of my fiction follows the same narrative: girlfriend and/or ex-girlfriend + naive affection + morose postmortem = fabulously self-absorbed fiction that no one really wants to read.

Too bad, readers. As long as I can craft a decently descriptive sentence, I’ll keep writing, although one significant source of material, lost love, is now a dry well, since I have found love and intend to keep it.

Of course, there was my first attempt at a “book.” I got so much encouragement about my journal that the idea was that I was going to make my 11th grade entries into a book. Yes, of course it was lame, but I kept hearing the words, “you ought to write a book,” so I tried.

Then there were the writing groups; 1980, Michael and me; 1992, Melissa, Frank, Pam and me; 2000, JoEllen, Audry, Merida, Paul, Shana and me. I didn’t write more when I was in writing groups, but I did write different stuff. It was oddly competitive for me, and I sensed I wasn’t the only one. Maybe writers are naturally competitive.

My poetry stinks. Every poem I ever wrote might as well have been written by a tenth grade girl.

Then, there are the journals. If I couldn’t pen decent fiction or poetry, at least I could document my life. And that, my friends, I did, and do, quite well. The trick to it being good, I think, is blunt honesty combined with a willingness to be vulnerable. My journals are an exercise in exposing how ridiculous I am, and they are great. By extension, this blog, the Giant Muh, is concretely, demonstrably great. As evidence, I cite its colossal lack of popularity, since popularity usually equals mediocrity.

I recently photographed a meeting at Ada Writers, a club in town that meets twice monthly and publishes local anthologies like Creations 2014, and I asked them how I could get published in it. The conversation led to what kinds of things I write, which brought me back to my only answer, “autobiographical.” I might as well have just said, “masturbation.”

I say all of this because I recently scanned, edited and began publishing a large cadre of short fiction and poetry to the “Et Cetera” section of this blog. To view this work in progress, hover over the “Et Cetera” tab at the top of the page and select from the drop-down menu. I can’t say that I recommend anything in it, but it’s there, so come and get it. You are welcome to comment, but if you are going to tell me to shut the hell up, I’m already there.

Here's how to access the "Et Cetera" section.
Here’s how to access the “Et Cetera” section.
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3 Comments

  1. That Brother word processor …. I had one very similar. Did it have a pull-down keyboard, with the monitor built into the machine (printer included)?

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  2. I too had a Brother word processor, but it was several models later, bought in late 1996, I think. I had almost given up writing because of how slowly I write. Typing is what saved me; I can type significantly faster than I can write manually.

    “…writer’s block…”

    I think it was Isaac Asimov who joked that he had writer’s block once and it was the worst 10 minutes of his life.

    Writing has never been a problem for me. I don’t claim anything I’ve written is amazing, but a writer having “writer’s block” is kind of like a photographer who just won’t pick up his camera and take a picture.

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