Discussions around the blogosphere that have really heated up have been about the whole plotting v. pantsing debate, and the whole divide over self-publishing. And I think that begs a question that I have been thinking about for a very long time.
Do you write for yourself or for publication? Is it one and the same to you? I think I write thngs that are difficult to categorize, that deal with a lot of overlap in terms of genre. And I remember a quote that goes something along the lines of write first for yourself, then for a small, select group of your friends; and if you are any good, write for money.
Now I've butchered that quote terribly, but you get the drift. Do you agree? Because no matter what publishing models look like in the future, the market will eventually decide what it will read.
Following that train of thought, here is a snippet of prologue that I wrote a very long time ago that I've recently resurrected. There's about another 200 or so pages following this in the novel, and I'm trying to decide what to do with it.
Would you read this? Would it make you want to read more?
OK. This is weird. Really, really strange. I’m actually having difficulty forming consecutive, coherent thoughts. Forget about getting them expressed. Odd, that, since it’s what I do for a living. Form consecutive, coherent thoughts and express them. I mean, aren’t I supposed to be profound and witty here in my observations?
Not to disappoint or anything, but I’m sitting here staring at a blank screen feeling neither. Kinda like staring a blank piece of paper and feeling writer’s block. But that’s another story. Maybe next time.
Bleary eyed I stared at the monitor. I had been on-line for a couple of hours now, cleaning out inboxes, visiting websites, doing the IM thing for a while, and glaring at the almost empty screen demanding words from me.
The house was dark and quiet, my favorite time of the day. It let me be alone with my thoughts. Scattershot for sure, most had fled long ago, presumably in search of nicer digs. The sad ones that had stayed now centered on settling into the everyday flow of the no longer new school year.
The signs were there and they were crystal. We were coming to the end of the honeymoon. The kids had settled into their classes and their schedules, and were more than comfortable enough with their teachers to start giving attitude.
Headed into the longest stretch of the year, we wouldn’t see a day off until Thanksgiving, which seemed a lifetime away. Wrecked as I’d been at the end of last year, I had been tied up in knots all summer dreading the start of this year.
Burned out, vacation had done nothing to help me. There was no gas in the tank; I wasn’t even running on fumes. And as bad as last year had been, I felt more unable to deal with my new students or anything else this early in the year than I had ever felt at any time in my professional career.
I had nothing to base that assessment on other than gut feeling. That didn’t make me feel any better.
But after all these years, one thing I knew for certain was that I could walk into any first grade classroom and tell you for sure who would not be making it through school successfully. The last time we got a chance to hook these kids into investing in school as an option for success was ninth grade. After that, if we didn’t get them, they were gone.
Dropped out, drugged up, pregnant, in jail, or dead.
And I got them in ninth grade.
God, I was tired. It was time to go to bed. I had to get up in three and a half hours. Giving it up, I hit delete and started to shut down.