(This post was originally written on 750words.com. It has been edited.)
I’m so tempted to just cheat today, cut and paste some text, and call it a day. Text I wrote, at least, but not anything I wrote today. I definitely didn’t write 750 words elsewhere today. I never do. It’s hard to write big chunks on the iPhone. But it’s not hard to write. I just need a better idea of what I’m writing and how. I have this new idea to just dump every unfinished bit into a big doc and turn it into one big thing. I think I’ll definitely need an outline. A big piece of paper on my wall. Maybe index cards. Maybe index cards on a big piece of paper on my wall. That’s how I’m gonna get this thing written. You know what I really want? A whiteboard. A really big whiteboard. Actually, I’d want one whole wall of an office, but a regular size to start, I suppose.
That’s what the big piece of paper is supposed to represent. It’s supposed to be my whiteboard where I can just throw ideas and move things around and see how it all fits together. I have a lot of random ideas. I have a lot of unfinished projects. I have a lot of unstarted projects, too. But I suspect that they’re all really the same project, the same idea, at the heart, the same characters. I’ve been writing stories about groups of artists since the beginning. My very first written fiction was about a group of insects. They were anthropomorised and very likely artists. I don’t know. We didn’t get that far. We only got as far as the tea party.
Today, I write less genre, more contemporary, but they’re all still creative people. In a Simplenote, I started collecting my projects, and there were some I had kind of forgotten about. Not forgotten in the sense that I didn’t remember I wrote them, but that I hadn’t thought about them in a long time. Probably too long. I still feel guilty every day about not writing. Especially with this new job. Right now, I can’t even imagine a time when we’re not always this busy. But, then, I came in during the busy period. I’m so looking forward to the not busy period. I’m so looking forward to some time to write. I’m so looking forward to a time when I get paid to be a writer. That’s all I’ve ever wanted to do with my life.
Why don’t I know how to do it yet? What’s taking so long? Why am I so scared? I tell myself that my writing doesn’t fit anywhere, and I really do believe that’s true. But that doesn’t mean it’s completely unpublishable, right? There has to be at least one more of me out there. I can’t be the only one. I’m not that weird. I’m only slightly unusual. I’m often asking myself if I should write this or that, just because that’s what sells. That’s what everyone does, after JK Rowling or Dan Brown or Stephanie Meyer become hugely famous. Everyone starts writing like them. When, really, you need to write for yourself. It’s like, well, honestly, I can’t remember what it’s like now. I had an idea, but I think Maxwell’s Silver Hammer banged it out.
I love The Beatles. I always forget how much because there’s so much hype around them, but it’s all deserved. What I love most about them is that they stayed broken up. It’s the same with ABBA. They didn’t let money ruin their legacy. Robbie Robertson says this amazing thing about The Band, that the rest of them didn’t understand that the power of a farewell concert is diminished every time you reunite. The Last Waltz is a little less epic every time Levon Helm gets together with the other guys and plays Robbie’s songs. Robbie understood how powerful it is for a band to stay broken up. It’s only heightens their legacy. Do people understand that The Beatles wouldn’t be The Beatles if they had done a ONE NIGHT ONLY concert before John died. Hell, even after John died. That would have been worse.
That’s what Queen did, and I lose a little respect for them every time. The farewell concert for Freddie, with a huge cast of friends taking over vocals was all-time, or at least it should have been. Then they took it too far. Way too far, with the Broadway show. That was just unnecessary. However, I am looking forward to Sasha Baron Cohen playing Freddie onscreen.