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Writing about writing

I am considering starting to write a book. I just don’t know who’d be crazy to read it, but considering that some artists (and even scientists) weren’t recognized during their lifetime, I have some faint chance of succeed as a writer. Not that I aim for being famous, anyway, my idea of success is hearing God say “well done, good and faithful servant.” Oh, and I don’t mean to write theory books, theological books, I want to write stories that will stir people’s imagination. We’ll see how it goes.

Not that I have been reading a lot recently as well. I have many books lined up to read, and I end up starting two or three at the same time which is a bad mistake since my brain doesn’t soak up what they say individually, never mind all at once. So I end up giving up reading them because by the time I get to chapter four I forgot what chapter one had said. But I’m a fool and keep doing this, that’s why my Kindle account has many books for months or even years now.

What’s different now is that I am reading with different eyes. My mind is focused on the creative process. As I think about writing a book myself, or short stories, or whatever those ideas in my mind turn into in the end, I am reading thinking about how on earth did those writers get to those specific word choices, and characters, and lands, and plots. And I’m doing the same with the movies and TV shows that I watch (particularly with Doctor Who, which is my addiction for the moment.)

So, thinking about my own blog posts, that are not necessarily very creative, I can imagine how the books also work. The first book that is written is mostly a brainstorm, like words vomited on the page. A clean type of vomit, I’d say, not like what my daughter has been doing for the past couple of days. We write down the ideas all mixed up on the computer (or on a notepad, if you love handwriting like me), to get them out of your head and keep them from being forgotten. It sounds very romantic, but sometimes those good ideas come when you’re very tired, needing sleep, then you hit the pillow but can’t drift off because those nasty little buggers keep plaguing you. And if you think (like I did) “Oh, I can write them down in the morning when I’m rested” forget it! It never works. You’ll miss hours of sleep thinking about them then wake up with a blank mind. Write.them.down! And that’s exactly what I am doing now.

Then the second book is when you sit down with time, read again what you wrote and think “what did I have in mind?” Well those vomited words were exactly what I had in mind, duh! It might take more than one read through to actually get something satisfactory out of that puke. But that’s when I can organize them, swap paragraphs to clarify the idea, or give more suspense in the story, or even erase entire phrases that didn’t fit with the rest of the text. So it’s the gross clean up, but it’s not perfect yet.

The third book is the one I believe will be published. After that first decluttering, I do a little brushing up, check spelling again, and that’s when I’ll have to convince some editor to publish me. Don’t get me wrong, I know it’s much more complex than writing/rewriting/proofreading. I know that the book may go back and forth many times between writer and editor before this third book is actually published. But the idea is that first book that was dumped on the page is completely different now.

Honestly, that happens in any writing process. It was true for my college essays, and it is the same for my blog posts, with the difference that for these I am both writer and editor, so I only have to convince myself that my text was good enough to hand in to the teacher (and sometimes they weren’t really) or to press the “Publish” button here.

I’m sure it won’t be that easy when someone else is editing my book. :)

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