Ernest Hemingway, ghost and writer, here:
Have you ever watched some comedian stumble around a joke you knew,
telling it with heart but not quite hitting the mark?
In my mortal life, I was many things, good, bad, and profane.
But through it all, I was a writer.
I see many of Roland's friends work so hard to hit the mark but not quite making it.
In my travels, I had to apply for my passport.
There were stated, mandatory things I had to do.
Just wanting to travel was not enough.
You want to write?
Good for you. But know that there is a passport to travel as a writer.
And mandatory requirements to obtain it.
No excuses, no urgency of desire, no amount of wasted effort will replace them.
1.) COMPETE AGAINST YOURSELF
Talent is over-rated. It is practice that will make or break you.
Have talent with the piano? Stop practicing and watch those with far less talent over-take you.
Same with writing.
In your electronic community, it is tempting to turn on your devises and see what your acquaintances are doing with their dreams.
Someone, somewhere, is publishing something new and wonderful.
The writers achieving success are hard working.
Being the most talented writer doesn’t necessarily translate into publishing success,
which really comes from methodical and consistent work rather than raw talent.
If you are a writer, there is an incessant drive to get your novel published and out there for the reader to read.
In this new age of Do-It-Yourself Publishing, you can whip up your inept first draft and hurl it out there.
Polish your work until you cannot possibly conceive of doing it better.
HAVE A TOUGHER SKIN THAN ME.
I turned my back on Fitzgerald because of his attempts at helping me to write a better draft to A Farewell to Arms.
3.) PLUG OUT OF THAT DAMN PHONE!
As I wander among those who are still men,
I see nothing but furrowed brows bent over those silly phones of yours.
And when I peek in to see how Roland's writer friends are progressing with their work,
they are looking at nothing but one funny kitten video after another
or prattling about nothing on their electronic party line called Facebook!
4.) BE YOUR OWN MOMMY
Stop waiting for someone to tell you when to write.
There comes a point in your life where no one is going to tell you
what you should read,
what you should write,
and moreover, no one is going to point this out for you.
Carve out your own time to write and cling to it like a hungry leech.
5.) TAKE RESPONSIBILITY
For your mistakes ...
If someone points out something they feel is wrong in your manuscript, look hard at it.
If there is merit to the criticism, do something about it.
DO NOT do as I did Fitzgerald with his helpful attempts and tell them to "Kiss my Ass!"
For your novel ...
It does not write itself.
You write it word by word crafted with effort from the stem of your brain to the numb ends of your fingertips.
Your novel is the product of the effort and imagination and originality you put into it.
Make it the best of which you are capable.
By living ...
Your writing will only be as true and your perceptions of life are valid.
They become more valid with each bruise, each wound, each loss you endure.
Go on out there and live ...
OBSERVE THE WORLD AROUND YOU.
By looking in the right places ...
You people are so blessed.
This electronic world you live in allows you to find facts, images, and sounds of the entire world.
Your setting is flat only because you have not done the proper searching.
You literally have a new Library of Alexandria at your fingertips.
WHAT ARE YOU DOING STILL SITTING THERE?