Back in 2004, when I determined that my life had been deprived of a creative outlet for too long, I had to pick one. I stuck with things I knew, which meant choosing between theater, playing music, sketching, and writing.
Theater will always be one of my loves, but to do it proper requires lots of free time, and the ability to match my schedule with that of others for rehearsals and eventually performances. Being interdependent with that many outside factors didn’t seem to be something I could reasonably expect to maintain – since our personal lives seem to be ruled over by that Chinese curse (may you live in interesting times…), so theater was out.
Music was a little better – I didn’t HAVE to be in a band (although it would be nice), but I still needed somewhere that I could play an instrument, and in most cases, people within earshot were not eager to listen to me practicing trumpet or trombone, and other instruments (and karaoke) were only marginally better, but still likely to involve police knocking at our door, or my journeying somewhere far, far away, so music held too many difficulties.
Sketching was something that I could do just about anywhere, and all by myself. But it just didn’t call to me – just didn’t fill my needs like writing, so writing it was.
I’ve heard people talk about writing groups they’ve been involved in, and I even participated in one myself for a while, but ultimately, writing is a solitary activity. Even when writers collaborate, I don’t think they sit down and pick each word together.
There may be no “I” in team, but there are two of them in “writing” (maybe that’s why we writers feel so…schizoid? Always talking to our…selves?)
My experience with a writing group was… frustrating. I volunteered to read other people’s stuff – LOTS of writing. I expected a reasonable level of reciprocation – I would submit my work for comments, hoping for volunteers to read and critique, but I received nary a nibble. It may be that it was too early in my efforts, and perhaps my attempts weren’t worthy of readers. But how would I know that if no one would even comment? After a couple of years, I decided that the time I was putting into helping others was no longer helping me with my work, and so I devoted my time to ACTUALLY writing.
If you’re lucky enough to have first readers to critique your work, they almost get to partner with you, but ultimately it’s your work – your story – and you have to rely on yourself to be the final arbiter. You can’t rely on others to tell you what’s in your own head.
The only real sharing that happens in this process is when someone picks up your piece and actually READS it. Reading is a shared experience. Writing – not so much.
This week’s Smashwords coupon is for “The Sheila Wulf Chitinoid Sessions”:
The things you run into in space…
Fresh from the University, Sheila Wulf thinks she’s made her mark when she discovers an alien species, but her fifteen minutes of xenopological fame seems to be wasted on a tribe of uncooperative crabs. Could anything be worse? Try working for her.
So just what are chitinoids? Read it and find out. Use coupon code PE24P to get 67% off the cover price at Smashwords (that’s only 99-cents – such a deal!) – it’s good until April 30th. Here’s the link:
“The Sheila Wulf Chitinoid Sessions” is also available in my third collection, surprisingly titled (if you haven’t been paying attention): Even More Things I Could Get OUT OF MY MIND.
The preorder campaign continues for “Solid People”:
The afterlife is what you make of it. A run-in with Mr. Topp’s flatbed strands Sarah and her mother in Newbury. Despite her mother’s warnings about becoming attached to things, Sarah decides to spend her time with some Solid People.
Release date is May 6th, but you can preorder now at a REDUCED PROMOTIONAL PRICE at all the usual places, including (but not limited to):
William Mangieri’s writing, including his latest ePub “Burial Details”, can be found in many places, including:
• His Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B008O8CBDY
• Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/william-mangieri?store=book&keyword=william+mangieri
• Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/NoTimeToThink
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books): https://www.createspace.com/pub/simplesitesearch.search.do?sitesearch_query=william+mangieri&sitesearch_type=STORE
To CONNECT WITH HIM (and LIKE and FOLLOW), go to
• His site on WordPress: https://williammangieri.wordpress.com
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at: http://www.facebook.com/NoTimeToThink
• His Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6893616.William_Mangieri
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri