Even though a pretty lot of people read my blog, it still feels super personal to me: I feel like I’m writing directly to the seven or eight people whom I know read it—those who tend to comment a lot, and so on.
So in that personal, intimate, basically-a-letter-to-my-friends mode, I’d like to share that the novel I’m currently writing is so awesomely rewarding to write, and is so much fun, and is so liberating that … that, well, that for one, it makes my entire professional life of writing for other people completely worth it.
Writing’s a weird way to make a living, right? Because you have to write what other people will pay you to write. And even though I’ve always been exceptionally lucky, in that I pretty much always got to choose what to write about, and how, you still always end up naturally tailor-making whatever you’re doing to … well, if nothing else, fit the sensibilities of the audience you’re addressing.
Plus, it’s always non-fiction. Which I dig. And which, actually, I’ve mostly written in a style informed by the aesthetics of fiction. But still.
Verily, have I been waiting for literally my entire stupid life to write this book.
I spent the first thirty-five years of my life desperately trying to figure out/capture/master the art of writing, and largely failed (or succeeded, depending on how you look at it). Then, fifteen years ago, I decided to simply make a living writing, and basically did so well so quickly that I haven’t really had a chance yet to sort of stop and collect myself. (Plus, I loved editing and writing for magazines, which for years on end wholly held my attention, until I finally realized that A. It’s just too temporal, and B: I don’t want to spend my whole life making magazine publishers rich.)
Now I have just enough money to spend 2010 writing whatever I want (except, you know, for the two or three books I still have to this year write for others).
And somehow the art part of writing, plus the fact that I now so definitely know my own voice, plus this whole universe of personal stuff I’ve been carrying around with me all my life, has combined with the unbelievably perfect form—by which I mean the structure of the novel itself—to create a writing experience for me that is the very, most concentrated essence of creative joy. About two months ago, I just sort of … got it all, at once. The tone. The characters. The structure. The style. Everything, right there, was rather suddenly just waiting for me to basically step on in, and revel in it.
It’s like I’ve been … freed, or something.
Anyway, I’m sure having fun, and just wanted to share that. Thanks for listening.