“Either you want to tell a story or you don’t. Do you want to draw attention to yourself and your own writing and your beautiful style or do you want to be invisible and let the story and the characters take over for the reader. That’s what it comes down to for me. What comes into it with crime is just conflicts. I like conflict in any kind of popular art. There is no greater conflict than life versus death, so there it is. I’m not that interested in the crime aspect of my books. I am interested in the characters.” — George Pelecanos
Writing is hard work, at least I find it to be tough. If I’m tired (which is a lot of the time), distracted (which happens more than I’d like), or bogged down with work (which happens WAY more than it should), I find settling down in front of my computer screen and tap, tap, tapping away to be a daunting prospect. And so I find other things to do. I avoid the very thing that nourishes me and gives me life.
George Pelecano’s opening statement above, convicts me. If I really want to tell a story, what’s stopping me? Why, for heaven’s sake, am I letting all the STUFF of life get in the way? Why do I settle and sign and fail to put words to page, even as the story snippets wind through my brain and heart? I’ve decided that it’s not so much a fear of failure (I’m far too old for that to matter) as it is fatigue and the busyness of life.
Frankly, however, that is no excuse. I own it, and I’m going to do something about it (in all my spare time). More to come on this subject…
For now, I want to share with you a video series that has been inspiring me to move forward. If you’re dealing with a bad case of writer’s block, a general malaise resulting from current world events, or whatever else ails you, check out Pixar’s “The Art of Storytelling”. I think you’ll be glad you did.