"There is nothing to writing, everything you do
is to sit before a typewriter and bleed. "
What am I doing? Nothing , I suppose. Alone, wasting my time, doing nothing. My gaze fixed on the computer screen, hands on the keyboard, doing absolutely nothing. Constantly looking at this blank page. Almost an hour has already passed and everything remains the same.
I should do something. My butt already hurts from sitting. If I want to be one of the greats I should start working today. Not tomorrow, now. True writers do not form sitting waiting for inspiration strikes them. They are not like me. They do work hard, every day writing again and again until they finish their books. They do not leave their stories half finished and they start another one out of nowhere. They should not force themselves to do their work, unlike you . They do not intend to finish their stories in record time from nothing . They do not go around telling everyone that they have three times as ready as they really are. They do not go around bragging about how well they write in any conversation. They, without any doubt, are like you ...
... and without doubt they are not distracted by anything and rambling.
Ok... Do not get distracted. Half an hour ago you have that file open and nothing at all. Not a single word. But yes , you find all the time in the world to watch videos on the internet, to play video games and watch TV, but not to do your damn job. You have to take more initiative. Come on, close the internet, turn off the music and concentrate . It can not be that difficult . There is no turning back now. Hands ready and in position on the keyboard. You already know the story, you just have to materialize it. Put it in words. ready? Do you already know what to write? Well, what do you expect?
"It was a cold Friday afternoon, Steve calmly looked at the landscape through his window"
It's trite, do not you think? It is quite common to start the story with that of 'was a ...' And the way it is written only makes it look worse. Who cares if Steve is seeing the landscape? That does not contribute anything to the story. It's just a false start. It is as if a character awakens with amnesia. It is one of the most used ideas in the world of literature . It seems taken from a children's book. I know you can write something better. Could you do it better. Like when you wrote that story ... ah, how was it called ... "blood night", right? Sure you remember how it started: "the night was dark, like his blood." Let me tell you that, my friend, is how you should start a book. Catch the reader and leave him wanting more. But it is not too obvious with your message either. It was probably the most artistic thing you've ever managed to write. Is it ambitious? Yes. Is it pretentious? It can be. But at least it is something. Before the saga of 'the traveler', before all that fame, before money and alcohol. When you still had some respect, not only for your art, but for you. Before you became a bitch sold for money.
Maybethis time we can do better. Maybe ... if you try hard, at least. You should start again. Delete that phrase and return from scratch. Since clean, a new opportunity. I mean, you can still rescue this story. You just have to give a new twist to things. Subverting expectations. Show that you can write like a 'serious' novelist. No more jokes. Start working.
I should write something more ...
A different thing.
But, what can I write that is different? That is a question that I have been asking myself for almost ten years. So many years and even without a simple answer. Not a stupid answer. It's always the same , Diego . You always say that you are going to write something different, something revolutionary, the "great American novel", your "magnum opus". You open the new file, you are ready to start and at the beginning everything is fine. You write like for three days excited until one day, without saying a word, you stop. You leave the file, the whole process, all the work, blood, sweat and drops that were in that half-finished story and you give it up. Like a father who does not want his son. You go around saying you're a famous writer for winning a couple of book prizes here and there. That you can do what you want and nobody will say anything. We do not go for a second. You have to prevent your quotes from fame from getting in your head.
Did not you want to be one of the greats? What were you on the list of the best of this century? That your work was remembered long after your existence? As all those who inspired you to take writing as a passion and job:
Orwell, Kafka , Dostoievski, García Márquez ...
They all started like you. one day they sat to write and from that moment came such masterpieces . In a chair writing without stopping. They are recognized as part of the best. And you're only recognized as the winner of the best novel prize for teenagers between the ages of 14 and 17 of 2017. But do you really want to know the difference between them and you? Not that they were smarter. Or who were more gifted in speaking to the public through their work or were simply better writers.
What, then ? What I'm I missing of?
That you are a damned conformist. No, erase that, is that you're a mediocre bastard. While they with voracious effort changed the show for contemporary novels, you only vomited the words that your "fanatics" ask you. You are nothing more than a machine. Without feelings, without passion, without anything. Following orders from people you do not even know. As if the real you Hubie ses died and had left in its place a dead and soulless shadow of what you used to be a.
Do you remember when you wrote your first book? Surely yes. It was almost a decade ago when you started it. It was at the end of 2008, around September or October. You had just left the university, with great dreams of eating the whole world. You had a little idea for what could be your great premiere. That history of the time traveler, remember? You worked and worked as you never had before in your life. You did not take too long, it was only about seven months of work until you finished the almost 38 thousand words that culminated that work. It was a weekend when in a folder you sent the manuscript to a small independent publisher in your hometown. You did not have much hope that it was actually published. But I could not have surprised you the answer more.
God seems so long ago ...
The critics and the audience quite liked your short novel. Although it did not become any sales success, or anything like that, it became a cult classic over the years. A critic , for example, said it was a good first attempt and although there was enough ground to improve, it was an enjoyable book.
At the beginning it was a simple story about a teenager who was stuck in the future. Nothing complicated. It was after a sexy alien girl and a cyborg that protected him from the " police of the time". It was pretty stupid, but it worked. And it's probably the only book you enjoyed writing.
It's been 10 years and friend, how you fucked it up ...
The years passed and you decided to write a sequel. If my memory does not fail me you were going through a hard time, spending all your money on alcohol and other shit to intoxicate you. You needed more and you did the first thing that came to mind. You wrote that book with your head through the clouds, without really knowing what you were doing. That if you wrote it in record time . 10 days of just typing living on coffee and drunkenness. When you had it ready it was when you sent it and it was released a month later.
It was basically the same as the first part. But apparently you did not care. Contrary to what would make a real author, did the same. You did not take into consideration anything that was said neither by the audience nor by the critic, by contrast. You took them as a personal insult. Do you remember that interview you did ? In which you clearly said "that those who did not like my book, can go to hell"? Honestly I would not be surprised if you were drunk when you said that.
When the part two was published, was successful without precedents. For some other reason beyond our knowledge you decided to add space travel. Not bad, a bit strange for a story of time travel, but remained faithful to the original idea. Critics said had become something more formulaic. But, even so, they let it go. But unlike the first book, this became a resounding success. You earned a lot of money with every check that came to your mailbox. And that's also when your 'fan club' started, you stopped being a cult hit to be in the spotlight. Everyone knew you , you were the great writer of the moment.
But that fame did not last forever. In the end your fame passed with the days , escaping through your fingers. You went intoxicated every day , walking from one bar to the next. And the publisher was more than eager to capitalize on the success of your novels. They pressed you again and again until you decided to write the end of the trilogy. You did not wanted to. You wanted to move ahead of that time . You said you were going to write serious fiction, no more of those dull science fiction adventures. Something unique , something important . But they had a weapon, a weapon of mass destruction, that made you change your mind. They threatened you with canceling your contract. Leave you without a job. Send you to bankruptcy while you were looking for someone who decides to publish what you wanted.
And as you would expect from a coward like you, you reluctantly agreed. The power of money is what makes the world go, no doubt. Let's be honest, you only wrote it for money. To be able to continue buying beers. Have the balls to say once that it was true. "What am I going to write to finish with that great story that I have in my mind"? Pure shit. You never wanted to do the second part, but nothing stopped you from doing it. Although it was not as fun to do as the first one. You did it by trade, not for pleasure. Where was all that of the integrity of art and do what you want.
That passion you had, that unimaginable desire to tell stories in the best way you could, to express yourself with fantastic stories full of endearing characters, was lost. That's what made you want to be a professional writer, am I right? It did not exist anymore. She had been murdered and the only true culprit of her demise was you. With all those unwanted sequels, the excesses of the famous life, work without stopping. That's why she left you. That's why your friends left you. That's why your relatives left. Even all those people who had supported you at the beginning as one of the best new writers had left about three years ago.
In the "last " part of the saga (because you did not know if it would really end there ) you decided to end with the protagonist discovering that everything had been a "premonition" he had had before entering the time machine , consequently , doing everything you took to write for 500 and some pages for almost six years, in a fantasy . A complete idiocy, if you ask me. So everything was a dream? Was that your big twist? That undermined all the credibility, not only of history, but yours as a narrator. It was a terrible ending that showed that you did not care about your story. You had spent five years of your life, so many sheets of paper writing something you did not like.
But the reaction when it was released to the public could not have been less expected. The 'fans' adored him and bought each of the 2000 copies they had ordered. But in addition to them there were not too many people who really would have enjoyed the new addition to the saga. They called it hackneyed and lacked creativity . It was more than obvious the displeasure he caused among the public . But in less than a week it became a best seller, so there was nothing else to do.
The first part was a fun exercise in creativity that, by chance, ended up becoming a sales success that did not need a million sequels.
The second one was more boring to do. You started to get tired and feel tedious because of the misadventures of the trio of characters. But it was the novel that had given you the most money until then.
The third - and luckily last - was merely torture, both physically and psychologically. And that every time you slowed down writing. It was like the final nail in your coffin as a professional writer.
You had created a monster. You did not want to continue writing the series, but that did not stop you. You followed and followed. Until all your mistakes, everything in which you were wrong, came to collect the account. You were a writer who had only had one stroke of luck. The criticism had gone from calling you an author with an infinite sea in front of you full of possibilities to another mediocre writer. But apparently the audience did not care about any of that.
You were more famous than ever. Every time you appeared on the bestseller list, your ego grew more and more. You thought you were really a good writer and that those people who said otherwise were only envious of your success. Hiding all your suffering behind a false and arrogant smile. You lived behind the lie that people adored you, asking you autographs every time they saw you go down the street. You had reached the peak of your career; it had only cost you your happiness, integrity and self-respect.