I’ve only been writing for a couple of years and there are times where I’ve just wanted to say, to hell with this, it’s hard, I can’t think of anything, my writing sucks, blah blah blah. I’ve walked away from many a manuscript because I couldn’t seem to find it within myself to push a little harder to get to the other side of the story. Giving up seemed so much more easier.
I’ve been lucky, however, to meet some amazing people who don’t buy into the Maybe It Was Meant To Be bullshit. They’re the ones who will tell you like it is. They’ll beat you over the head with knowledge so simple, you’ll be scratching your head, wondering: Well, hell. Why didn’t I think of that before?
I’m very happy to have Anthony here today to share some of his wisdom.
Enjoy – RT
By Anthony J. Rapino
Writing is work, and don’t let anyone tell you any different. Passion and love for writing is one thing (and yes, I believe a writer should have both), but when you’re coming up on a deadline, or having trouble working out a plot problem, or promoting a novel, it can really feel like work more than before.
This causes problems for writers because a lot of the time, we’re either working with the future promise (or hope!) of payment, or we’re being paid a pittance. That’s one of the reasons passion is so important, by the way: because without it, any sane person would say, “Screw this shit.” And yet, it still can trigger that “so what” moment for a lot of us. That moment we realize, it doesn’t really matter if I don’t write today, or tomorrow, or all month. It’s not like I have a boss somewhere that is going to stop payment on a check. And besides, who the hell is going to notice anyway?
These are dangerous thoughts. These are the little squirming maggots that can slowly infest your brain, leaving behind a loaf of apathetic headcheese.
That’s what I truly believe writer’s block is. It’s not the lack of ideas. It’s the lack of motivation to write the ideas out (because yes, sometimes you have to write ten pages of complete crap to get to that nugget of a fresh idea). But who has time for writing when you’re working a second and third job? Who has time for it when you have to make dinner and do yard work?
That’s headcheese talk, and I’ll have none of it!
So what’s to be done when you realize you’re essentially working a part-time job and not getting paid for it?
No, seriously. If I need to explain to you why you should be writing, just give up. It’ll make more room for writers who know why they write, and don’t complain about the shit pay they get for it. It’ll make room for the writers who actually celebrate that five dollar check they got in the mail.
So really, stop reading, and screw off. Do I look like a motivational speaker to you? Better yet, do you think I’m getting paid for writing this? If you do, the headcheese has officially taken over primary function of your thought process, and I have no desire to discuss the beauty of creation via the written word with walking lunchmeat.
This is not tough love, it is truth. It is not a how-to guide, it is a wake-up call.
If you’re still reading this, it either means you’re a serious writer who has an innate passion and love for your work, or you’re a masochist planning to write a comprehensive hate letter to me. Either way, it’s good you got this far, because if you didn’t, you’d miss this last bit of supreme mind-fuckery.
You should get paid for your writing, but you shouldn’t write for anyone other than yourself.
If those two things seem disparate, you’re right. It makes little sense, because any sane person would assume if you want to sell something, you should gear it towards the buyer. I’m not suggesting you don’t do that. I’m simply suggesting you write for your own enjoyment first and foremost.
If you do this, that five dollar check will seem like a revelation. Those sickening days of figuring out a perplexing plot hole will transform into a day of satisfying puzzle solving. You’ll be doing it because you love it, and even if you do hate it some days, that passion will never leave you.
Now get to work.
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A suicidal nudist strolls into traffic. An eccentric Buddhist claims he can occupy other people’s bodies. All the while, whispers of a new form of entertainment blow through town.
Prompted by these strange occurrences, Marty Raft, a not-so-gentle giant, investigates and discovers underground clubs peddling music that induces an out-of-body experience. Marty and a wannabe comedian, Corey, set out to prove these special frequencies are nothing more than a hoax, or at worst, a mass-drugging. Instead, they uncover a secret with world-ending possibilities.
If you can hear the music, it’s already too late.
About The Author
Anthony J. Rapino resides in Northeastern Pennsylvania, somewhere between the concrete of the city and the trees of the forest. On occasion, you’ll find him moderating the feverish battles between the creatures of these two arenas. Whose side he’s on is anyone’s guess.
His newest fiction can be found in Black Ink Horror, On Spec, Arcane Anthology, Electric Spec, A Capella Zoo, Space Squid, TQR Stories, and carved inside a variety of autumn gourds.
His short story collection, Welcome to Moon Hill, is currently available, as is his first novel Soundtrack to the End of the World. Proof of his psychosis can be found on his website: http://www.anthonyjrapino.com