Saturday, November 20, 2010

I don't know

Do musicians make better lovers?  Do soccer players make better spaghetti?  Do writers paint better paintings?  I don't know.  Who the heck really cares?

What I want to know is if a musician plays more music will he be better?  Not necessarily at lovemaking, but better at let's say...music!  It would make sense, wouldn't it?  If a lover practices his/her trade will they be better at it down the road?  Couldn't hurt.  Sometimes I practice a lot with myself.  If I wrote about a soccer player who paints pictures of spaghetti, would the musician love more?  Once again who cares?

Most professionals know that if they want to become better at their respective talents, they must practice, practice, practice.  If a writer wants to be better, he must plagiarize, plagiarize, plagiarize...no...wait...practice, practice, practice.  Please don't get the wrong idea, I'm trying to be cute.  Anyway, the only real way to become prolific at what you do is to keep doing what you do.  Over and over again.  Simple enough.

What I failed to understand was I needed to write NEW stuff, not the same thing over and over again.  The point I'm trying to make is now that I'm in the self-editing process of my manuscript, I feel like I'm writing the same things over and over again.  Going over the same paragraphs again and again, changing a word here, deleting a paragraph there, dropping that awesome sex scene because it just doesn't propel the story forward (it was fun to write though).  How many times do I need to change things? 

Some folks who have been doing this a hell of a lot longer than I say you should never start a new project until the old one is finished.  What if the musician played the same song over and over and over again?  Yes, his technique and knowledge of the notes would probably be almost perfect, but over time everything would get stale.  The music would sound wooden, bereft of emotion or feeling.  Plus this person would almost certainly want to kill themselves, probably by tying a rope to a cinder block and jumping off of a pier while thoughts of cheeseburgers danced in their head.  How many times could you stand playing 'The girl from Ipanema' on your kazoo?

So, I'll probably move on.  Oh I'm not done with the first novel.  It still needs a lot of work, but if I'm going to get any better at this, I need to write, write, write.

I'm feeling a little anxious now, so maybe the lover in me better go practice, practice, practice.  Probably alone.

2 comments:

kbjaxx said...

My roommate in college fundamentally changed the way I wrote my essays...it was a technique called "creative bullshitting"!! Thanks to my Apple IIc, I was able to type free thoughts and go back that arrange later. Imagine writing going uphill in 3 three feet of snow...

Richard C Hale said...

Kbjaxx
That actually sounds kind of cool. I might just have to try it.

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