On Writing

Full confession: I am a serious football fan, and I dork out over fantasy football. I watch games all weekend long. My wife thinks I need help; my daughter loves it. "Ball-ball!" she says, and we eat the Cheetos and cheer for the ball-ball.

But I can't stand it when folks call into the radio shows, seeking the advice of fantasy football "experts." Seriously? Experts? On giving advice about watching football and deciding which players you should play?

If you have a fantasy football team, then you obviously care about the game of fantasy football, and you've gone one large step beyond a large percentage of football fans. You probably watch a lot of football. So why should you call into a show and ask someone else about which players you should play in a given week?

If you play fantasy football, then play it! Don't ask others about how to play it!

In unrelated but sort of barely tangential news, please read this
post by Scalzi on writing.

Listen, you either write or you don't. Just like you either play fantasy football or you call people to solicit advice on how to play fantasy football (nah, it really doesn't work as a clear parallel...).

If you go around making fiction with your mouth, you're not a writer, you're a liar. If you go around telling people about how you'd like to write, but you just don't have the time, then why are you talking to people? Shouldn't you just be writing right about then?

And if you say you can tell a story on paper but you never do it, then you're making fiction with your mouth.

Writers write, and then they also do the other stuff. They exercise, parent their offspring, keep an orderly house, maintain social obligations; if you want to write, then you should actually produce some writing. Amongst those other things.

When I can't sleep, I tell myself a story.

Some dumbass named Dan was typing on a keyboard. He had a blog...

It helps me sleep to create those stories, but if I never put anything together on a page, then I don't think that makes me a writer. Others views, of course, will vary...

But here's a refreshing development from my creative writing class at FSC this term. These kids can write. A few of them will likely publish soon. I'm competing with one, I think, in the upcoming Apex anthology, and I'm likely wormfood. His story has character and panache.

Bully for him!

I write this post because this is sort of becoming frustrating. Pick your own fantasy football players. If you say you want to write, write something down, all the way until you type the words "The End."

Or, if you prefer, just keep telling everyone about how you would like to write. Tell folks about how you've always had the absolute craziest dreams! And wouldn't they just make the best movies! If only you had the time to write them down!

Sheesh, your creativity astounds us (as do your dream recitations over brunch--seriously...stop it)!

I don't tell people that I write anymore (for the most part...occassionally I meet actual writers). It just sucks to have to shake my head every time in mock sorrow about how it's such a damned shame that the world was deprived of these fantastic tales.


Do it when you can, and produce something when you are finished. Tell that danged story. People would like to hear it!

Oh, and start Demaryius Thomas this weekend at home against Oakland. They'll be rolling coverage to Brandon Lloyd and Kyle Orton will need an outlet option...


Milo James Fowler said...

Writers write. True that. I use my blog to hold myself accountable. The status bars for my WiPs, while a little dorky, help me to stay focused. The comments by fellow writers encourage me. Ideas are great -- write them down, and get a story going.

Good luck on your Apex sub!

Daniel W. Powell said...

Good Morning Milo,

Thanks for dropping by; I hope the writing is going well...

It really does help to have a community of like-mided folks when it comes to support for creative works. That's the best thing this darned internet has been able to offer up, and it's a boon.

Keep working toward "The End," Brother...

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