Cards on the table: I’ve decided to make my default mode writing-for-publication as a means of discovery.
(Or maybe I should label that “Fair Warning!” for those of you who decide to follow me. ;)
Here’s a thing I’ve discovered about myself as a writer: Setting aside some private correspondence with friends, family, and clients, everything I write needs to be composed with an eye toward eventual publication. Even morning pages, journal entries, and the like can be reshaped into something that helps others along the way.
What I’ve been doing up until now includes lots of introspective scribbling—what I call “noodling”—that doesn’t help much. I mean, it can be useful in its way, but I find that I tend to circle around topics rather than working all the way through them. It’s an unproductive sort of navel-gazing. That’s not fruitful for me or for others. From where I sit, we need a lot of fruitful thinking captured in prose (and poetry, and scripts, and every other artistic form) that frees us from the traps of division we’ve caught ourselves in.
Writing for an audience also includes a solid dose of introspection for me, but framed in a way to connect it with others’ concerns. It takes me out of solipsism into something much more fruitful. It performs work.
The practical implications of this? More minutes per day spent writing (that number of minutes should be in the hundreds for me, every single day, yet often it’s in the tens), and more pieces published here, in other venues, and ultimately in the form of books. You should expect to see more essays, more stories, more poems, more tweets, and my first books in 2017.
Lots of people write; many people want to write; some people were meant to write. This is me staking out my turf as a member of that last category.
A mercenary appeal: If there’s something you want me to write for you, please don’t hesitate to let me know.
An artistic/political appeal: If there’s some topic you want me to pursue in my work because you think I’d do a good job with it, please let me know that, too.
Now, over to you:
- What has your default mode been?
- What should it be?