Friday, January 6, 2012
I blog a lot.
It is practice.
But my philosophy is this: blogging is not writing.
Blogging is not-writing.
When people use language to communicate (whether written or spoken), there are actually two things going on: The words and the thoughts behind the words.
The words are like clothing; the thought is the nude form beneath.
Sometimes the clothing is so... um... form-fitting, that the thought and the outer layer -- the word -- are indistinguishable.
This is real concrete writing.
It can be bad writing at the wrong times, and it can uppercut you in the guts at others.
You have no idea what I am thinking about when I type these words.
Hint: Among other things, I am thinking about keystrokes. I am a bad typist who grew up using manual typewriters and carbon paper.
When I say carbon paper, I am thinking about sex.
My first typewriter was a Smith-Corona that came in its own black vinyl suitcase. Half of the ribbon was red.
I was thinking (not while typing) about practice and how it works.
To be a good pole-vaulter, you have to practice.
I have never pole-vaulted in my life.
Pole-vaulters do not only pole-vault all day long. If they want to be good, they do other things.
This is why standardization in education is going to destroy humanity and result in a massive economic/social/class catastrophe.
You can never practice at being creative if your path in life is reduced, without possible deviation, to the following:
( ) A.
( ) B.
( ) C.
( ) D.
Creativity solves problems.
The world has a lot of problems.
Like, what to do with all the carbon paper we did not use up in the 1980s.
Two years ago, I wrote a series of blog posts about why I hate YA.
People got mad at me.
They said, If you hate YA, why do you write it?
I do not write YA. That is just the clothing that you see. You need to call it something, so you call it YA.
I have published 4 novels. My 5th, 6th, and 7th are already on the calendar for publication at Macmillan and Simon and Schuster.
I never wrote a single one of those novels as YA.
I don't think I really know what YA is.
But I do know I hate it.
I never even heard of YA until I thought about publishing my first novel, and a good friend said, Oh, that's YA.
And I was, like, Yay?
Yay for me.
Now I know what I write.
I have found the bridge between the clothing and the body.
I can live.
I do not read YA.
Is that an offensive shock? I mean, I read some books that people call YA, but I only read them because they are good. Not because they are YA.
And... um... to be honest, almost nothing that people call YA will get me past page five.
I am practicing.
Look: If you want to be a writer of any category or genre and that's all you read, you will never be a good writer.
Sorry, but that is the truth.
If you want to be a writer and you never read, um... you should quit now.