How I Wrote Two Books in Seven Months

At this time, I am wrapping up my second book of a series of three. That’s seven months from when I started the first book. As I’ve mentioned in a previous blog post, I’ve started writing books too many times to count, and each time I would stop, never getting past thirty pages. Those were mostly memoir. In fact, this series began as a memoir and quickly turned into fiction when I found fiction more riveting than real life. After all, I have already lived my past, why not explore something beyond it. How did I do it?

Book photo by Vincent Guth

I do not allow myself to read any writing advice.

Advice has always had a knack for clouding my judgment. I take it to heart too much, especially, and contradictorily, when the advice is not relevant to my situation. I somehow convince myself that it is relevant. Writing is different for everyone, it’s a very individual process, so it was important for me to toss aside writing advice. When I ignore writing advice, I’m able to have a much clearer image of myself as a writer.

Book photo by Matthew Brodeur

I write to entertain and comfort myself.

For me to be able to write extensively, I had to have it in my mind to both entertain and comfort myself. In order to do this, I had to go away from what I knew about the contemporary novel, which leaves me feeling sterile and often isolated. The standard contemporary novel was not the novel I wanted to write. I wanted to write something as alien as I feel, and as entertaining as would correspond with the story, which I was giving free reign to toil itself out onto the pages. When I relinquished the control I thought I could forcefully exert on each portion of the story, I wrote better.

Book photo by Filip Zrnzevic

I just…wrote it.

I believe there’s a magical way to do everything, but the attribution of magic comes down the road when one has forgotten the immanent stresses and pressures of the current moment. To write is just to write. The only goal for my novels was to finish something, to set something down where it ought to be. I knew the writing had to go onto the page because when I’m writing is the only time I feel whole. To have neglected to get the story out would have been to continue to closet it deeply within myself.

Book photo by Annie Spratt

There is nothing heroic in neglecting to acknowledge an art engrained within you. I say this because I believed it myself for many years. Meditated expression and freed expression give way to more unearthing than could be possibly hoped for. To start on a path of expression is to open up the floodgates of creativity. A word leads to another, which leads to sentences, histories both fiction and altered, incredulous discoveries of humanity in its full array of limitations, and the absolutely riveting conformity standards poised from an alternative allegorical place.