4 comments on “‘The Successful Novelist’ by David Morrell and audible.com

  1. I have a long rant about the fallacy of inspiration and the idea that writers *need* to write, but I will spare you the long version and give you the Cliff Notes version.

    It’s a very adolescent, Lucy Maud Montgomery kind of attitude, if you ask me.

    “Oh, I can’t IMAGINE a life without writing! It’s my life’s blood! I would DIE if I couldn’t write!”

    No, really, what are you, twelve?

    I love to write. I really do. But if I was told I could never write again? I would find a way to cope, I promise you.

    • I don’t know. I have no issues with anyone saying they need to write.

      To me that translates as “I feel a need to write” (for whatever reason). I feel a need to write. If I don’t write, I feel a little off. If I couldn’t write, life goes on. Let’s face it, it did for over a decade and it’s only recently that I’m pushing myself.

      Since I’ve started this site and decided to step up my writing and try, I’ve come to notice something on the days I don’t write, no, let me be more explicit: On the days I don’t WANT to write. On those days, there’s something wrong. If I sit and think about it, I can feel there’s something wrong. It’s not a big something. Just something.

      If you could not write, I believe you when you say you’d find a way to cope. I bet you that way to cope would be something creative though right?

      I’m beginning to think the creative urge is universal, it just varies in intensity from person to person. My wife insists she isn’t creative at all, yet all I have to do is look at her knitting, her baking and the various arts and crafts she’s always doing and I have my argument. I can imagine a creative urge strong enough to rise to the level of, how did you say it? “Lucy Maud Montgomery”?

      Of course, that could be the symptom of mania and would be quite rare. I’ll safely scoff at most people having that attitude. If the need is that strong in someone, they won’t be going around telling people about it, they’ll be chained to their word processor to the exclusion of all else.

  2. I am in agreement over the creative urge. I just find it highly annoying to have it portrayed as a driving force that’s entirely outside of a person’s control.

    I am much happier when I’m being creative, no argument. It’s just taking that reasoning to its extreme that pisses me off, because invariably there seems to be an underlying judgement that people who don’t feel psychotically compelled to write/draw/whatever are somehow inferior. That these non-creative people are somehow to be pitied because they don’t understand the truly magical world of the artist.

    It just makes my teeth itch.

    • In total agreement there.

      It’s supremely disappointing when an experienced and seasoned writer buys into the whole “tortured/driven” writer meme. I’m hoping the discussion here, and my posts will eventually put a lie to that and show that while you need ambition, passion and some dedication, you don’t have to be psychotic to be successful.

      You just need to work hard! Like basically everything else.

      My teeth were irritated as well, but then I got a mental picture that set me giggling. Imagine if you will:

      Batman writing the great american novel. In costume.

      I swear now if I sell a manuscript I’m going to have to go and get a batman costume and take a picture hunched over the keyboard. I’ll caption it: “I’ve just been published. I’m the goddamn batman!”

      That picture is making me guffaw 🙂

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