clues at the scene

clues at the scene

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Pull the Cart

I received a note from a friend about yesterday's post. I was a little hesitant to open it suspecting the dreaded "hurt feelings." Instead it was an acknowledgement for a needed kick in the ass.

Vince Lombardi - as the story goes - used to ask new players to describe what kind of player they were. Did they need a kick in the ass, an atta boy, or to be left alone?  Writers need all three but in differing amounts.

The hideous picture at left describes our game pretty well.

We are the horse. We produce content and really, that's the most important job: pull the cart. In order of importance for prioritization we :

  1. Pull the cart.
  2. Pull the cart.
  3. Pull the cart.
  4. Do everything else.
The cute one (I'm being generous)  on the right is all the fun stuff. That for many writers becomes "talking about writing" rather than writing. The opposite fellow in the hideous hat is all the business aspects of managing the empire because ultimately, writers are a lovely small business with a workforce of one.

The fellow with the whip isn't your agent or your publisher. It's the embodiment why you got into this gig to begin with when you had the very uncool idea that sitting alone at the desk writing while everyone else is playing games is somehow rewarding and fun.

What to do? Write. The rest will take care of itself if the writing is good enough in the eyes of the readers to create the voracious need for more. Take the readers on the guided adventure to a new emotional land. Scare them. Shock them. Astound them with the sights. Bring them home safely.

They'll want more. You'll do fine. Put on the pith helmet and write.


Hart Johnson said...

I need someone to say "You're never going to be able to do that." I am rebellious enough that by golly, that is EXACTLY what I will do.

jack welling said...

Hilarious. I would deny having this trait though my lose associates would swear we are much alike.

Irreverence and a purposeful truculence I believe defines many great writers. Good job you !