Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What limitations don't I have???

Writer's Log - Star Date 5:31:11.10:11

When sitting down to write this entry I was forced to confront truths I have long suppressed:

1 - I am made up primarily of flaws and limitations.
2 - For most of my life I have been blissfully ignorant of these flaws and limitations.
3 - I watch way to much Star Trek - if there is such a thing as too much Star Trek

Let's start with Flaws and Limitations - since we have limited time I will concentrate on the flaws and limitations specifically related to writing - otherwise this will become a really long post.

Right at the top my inability to spell, use proper grammar or even know what proper grammar is and recognize homonyms is a definite limitation. Oh, I also don't really know where you are supposed to put the commas in. My agent is convinced that I must know exactly how to use them otherwise I couldn't possibly use them as perfectly wrongly as I do.

On the other hand - thanks to spell check, a few patient readers, my agent and the copy editors, this limitation has not seemed to hold me back at all. I am free to tell the story, work on the dialogue where grammar is irrelevant because no one uses it when they speak anyway, and others can do the rest.

In fact - I feel like a actually performing a service. If we all wrote perfect prose we wouldn't need copy editors and the unemployment rate would go up a few more notches tipping us back into recession and the possible collapse of Western Civilization as we know it. So really - my inability to spell or use proper grammar may be all that stands between us and Anarchy - fortunately it isn't going anywhere.

And that leads to my second major limitation - ignorance.

You see I got into this writing thing - thinking I could dash off a book in "about a year" and then, once it hit number one on the bestseller lists, start living it up on the French Riviera, gambling at Monaco Casinos, drinking medium dry vodka martini's, shaken not stirred. And then...

Five years passed before I finished my first draft of my first book.
Another five years of learning passed before I had a book good enough to get an agent.
Another two years passed before it was published.

Fortunately, like my inability to spell, my blissful ignorance is also permanent. If you had asked me at any time during those years how far I was from Monaco and my Vodka Martini's I'd have told you "about a year." When it finally happened, it actually felt like it had only been about a year. Ahhh - blissful ignorance.

(PS - still haven't made it to Monaco and I'm more of a Budweiser guy than a Vodka Martini man - honestly there is little more disgusting to me than olives.)

Now - don't let all of this make you think I believe in not evolving as a writer, because one of my other flaws is that every time I get good at something - I want to try something new. And maybe that's the flaw that helps you overcome all the others. Never being satisfied - so yes I'll never be able to spell well and yes, my brain will continue to struggle with the difference between "their", "there" and "they're" but as long as I keep striving for new ways to screw up - no one will have a chance to get bored with the old ways.

Live Long and Prosper

4 comments:

Kelli Stanley said...

Is there really such a thing as too much Star Trek? Reboot be damned ... there's only one Captain Kirk!

Gabi said...

Graham,
It's not ignorance. It's a mere re-editing of the fiction of our lives. And you're totally right about that olive thing.

Shane Gericke said...

Think of your spelling adventures as a way to keep our nation's copy editors employed, and thus a good thing! Nice post, mein friend.

Shane Gericke said...

Oh, and olives are the gonads of Satan.