We have a website for this eclectic meeting of imaginations from around the globe. I’m not going to share the web address just yet as we’re still making some tweaks. We’re even posting mug-shots. Looks like I’ll have to find a camera with an unbreakable lens. Failing that I’ll just send in a picture of Daniel Craig and see if I get away with it.
The websites looking good, and should be an excellent marketing tool for the anthology. Below I’ve posted the blog entry which I was asked to write for the site:
We’re going on a short ride together. I’ve been invited to write the first blog entry for 13 – The Anthology. My brief was any subject related to writing.
Tricky, very, very, tricky.
You see, we don’t know each other. At the moment were on a level playing field. I don’t know you, and you don’t know me. That’s going to change, and you’re going to have me at a disadvantage. Being the first of our little group to kick off this shindig there was really only one topic to blog about:
Why write in the first place?
I can’t answer that without bearing my soul and telling you something about myself. Like I said, you’re going to have me at a disadvantage.
Enough pre-amble let’s just get on with it…
Writing is hard. Kick you in the nuts, chew you up, spit you out, and stamp all over you kind of hard. Oh yeah, it hurts.
A genius who was much better at this than me once said:
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
The geniuses name was Hemingway. He also said:
“Forget your personal tragedy. We are all bitched from the start and you especially have to be hurt like hell before you can write seriously. But when you get the damned hurt, use it-don't cheat with it.”
I could have posted any one of a million and one quotes on the art of writing, but those two are the ones that really resonate and strike a chord deep within this writer’s soul.
I’m a free writer, as opposed to a plotter. Plotters map everything out, and mostly know exactly where a story is going before they’ve written that first sentence. Free writers just write. One sentence leads to another, and characters start introducing themselves. It’s a bit like reading a novel in real time. As soon as the writer types the finished line you get to read it instantaneously. That’s one of the reasons why I write. The sheer exhilaration of events unfolding around me, events that I’m dictating with characters I’ve created, and yet I have no idea what’s about to happen.
Free writing is a bit like riding a bicycle, with no brakes, down the steepest most pot hole ridden road you could imagine. The road that I ride down has a lot of bystanders looking on. Those bystanders are hope, loneliness, loss, love, laughter, sadness, failed relationships, departed loved ones, insecurity, the ghosts of my yesterdays is a good way to describe them all.
Each of those bystanders has a voice, and they shout like Hell to be heard. Whoever shouts loudest tends to shape the story that I’m putting together. That’s where the pain of writing really kicks in.
If a character of mine is in distress, if they’re emotionally ripped apart, then I’m re-living sections of my own life when I experienced something similar so I can capture the emotion as honestly as I possibly can. It sounds masochistic, and it probably is. It’s also fantastic self-healing. That’s another reason why I write, I can’t afford the expensive therapists.
A lot of what happens above happens at the re-writing stage. A free writer doesn’t always know exactly what they’ve written until they’ve finished and start reading it back. The pain and the blood come with the re-writes.
My story in this collection is entitled The Thirteenth Camera. It’s an adaptation of a short play I free wrote about four years ago. I’m not going to tell you anything about the story that unfolds. When I started writing the adaptation I was in a philosophical, mischievous, and irreverent mood. That should at least give you a flavour of the story.
I enjoyed the ride that the story and the characters took me on. I can’t guarantee that you will enjoy the ride in the same way, but I sincerely hope you will. I can absolutely guarantee that every word and every sentence, although presented in fine print, has its origins in blood.
There’s nothing more I can say.
(M J Wolfson)
Take care and I’ll be posting more on the 13 Anthology soon.
M J Wolfson - That's me.