by Paul D. Marks
The song goes on to tell the story of someone who wants to be a ‘paperback’ writer. He’s written a story of a dirty man, who has a wife who doesn’t understand. He has a steady job, but he wants to be a paperback writer. He’s even amenable to the editing process, willing to change the length. And he tempts the editor he’s writing to with the thought that his book could make a million for them overnight. Who doesn’t want that, right? Though we’re told not to do things like that in a query letter. And on top of everything else, the song has a great guitar riff.
But it’s not the only song that comes to mind. At various stages of my life all of these song titles (below) could have described my writing career and writing angst. And, as Cathy said earlier in the week, it’s really just the titles or a line or two that applies. That said, here goes, my writing life in a succession of song titles (in no particular order, that would take too much concentration):
Hooray for Hollywood
I’ve Seen That Movie Too
Too Tough To Die
Long and Winding Road
Trouble is a Friend
Let it Bleed
Rip This Joint
You Can’t Always Get What You Want
Living on a Thin Line
Stop Your Sobbing
No More Looking Back
Dazed and Confused
Don’t Let It Bring You Down
The Loneliest Place on the Map
My Enemies Have Sweet Voices
For No One (when a story gets rejected)
Break on Through
Only the Lonely
The Long and Winding Road
Well, you get the idea. There’s been ups and downs, good times, bad times and I’ve often been dazed and confused. Times I wanted to throw in the towel and times when I felt on top of the world. So, despite all the turbulence, you just have to stick with it, believe in yourself and do it because you must, not because it will “make a million for you overnight”.
And when you’re done with your story, and to bring it full circle with Paperback Writer:
“If you must return it, you can send it here, But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer.”
Paul McCartney performing Paperback Writer
*“Paperback Writer” written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
And now for the usual BSP:
Episode 2 of Writer Types from Eric Beetner and Steve W. Lauden is here, with a bunch of great stuff. Interviews and reviews with Reed Farrell Coleman, Joe Lansdale Jess Lourey, agent Amy Moore-Benson, Kris E Calvin, Danny Gardner, Kate Hackbarth Malmon, Dan Malmon, Erik Arneson, Dana Kaye and……….me. Be there or be y'know.
Also, I’m over at the ITW Big Thrill—Thriller Roundtable this week talking about “How long does it take you to write a book? Why do some stories flow so much faster than others?” along with Karen Harper, Jean Harrington, David Alexander, Heidi Renee Mason, Winter Austin, Adrian Magson, Susan Fleet, A.J. Kerns and Ronnie Allen. – Please come and join in the discussion.