Not unlike a devout Catholic heading into confession, today I returned to the place where I find my way. To the place where my writing sins can be wiped clean. My holy book.
Ray Bradbury’s Zen in the Art of Writing.
Strangely, I’ve never been particularly drawn to his particular writing style or his stories. I enjoy more in the fantasy vein than science fiction and this has always led me away from his compilations, however, I do have a compilation from Barnes & Noble, bound in leather.
The above book though, Zen in the Art of Writing, is a sort of pallet cleanser. Whenever I am feeling as though writing is too hard, perhaps I should give in, there he is in all of his zest and gusto. Each page is soaked in his passion and as I flip through it for the tenth time, it affects me all the same. A kindred spirit. Someone bound to writing and writing bound back to him. I read of how he wrote, day in and day out. A thousand words minimum. A short story on a Monday, revised each day before being sent away to a literary magazine on a Saturday. Each of these things I want to do, but ironically as things appear easier than ever to accomplish these things… the information seems watered down and less consistent.
I read of how he wrote, day in and day out. A thousand words minimum. A short story on a Monday, revised each day before being sent away to a literary magazine on a Saturday. Each of these things I want to do, but despite it appearing easier than ever to accomplish these things… the information seems watered down and less consistent. More contests require a submission payment while others require you to have a subscription.
Today, I set a challenge.
I have searched up a few free magazines to submit to and have chosen one to attempt to get published in. My choice? Fantasy & Science Fiction. They appear to have a need for Science Fiction and Humor, perhaps I’ll try my hand at both! My plan will be to have a completed 25000 word (or less) short story by the end of the month and then sent away for July. By that goal, I should have my first draft pumped out by Friday (16th of June) and then revised at least three times, in full.
Tuesday just passed, my fiancee and I completed the lighting plan for our new home. As we walked around the perfect floor plan for the top level, I stopped in my writing room for a moment and considered how it would be organised. The thought of a room explicitly for writing is beyond exciting for me as even now I am writing nearest all of my distractions on a comfortable lounge. Not the ideal place for work to get done, but it will do for now. I’ve been trying to nail down a perfect time for my routine and as of now between eleven and twelve at night will be the most consistent. Mornings will not work, as somehow I do not run on coffee.
So, in summary: Forgive me, Bradbury, for I have sinned. I have not written with zest, nor gusto. I have not written consistently. I have only dreamed the dream. Now, I hunt that which is dear to me, with renewed vigor and passion! I lust after publication not just for my back pocket, but because I need to know if I’m there yet; If I’m ready to pursue a career in writing. I want people to join me in my imaginary universe, filled with my imaginary friends!
I want to be an author.
After all, I am already a writer.