Friday, February 17, 2012

"The trick is not to become a writer, it is to stay a writer. Day after day, year after year, book after book. And for that, you must keep working, even when it seems beyond you."
Harlan Ellison  (In a career spanning more than 40 years, he has won more awards for the 75 books he has written or edited, the more than 1700 stories, essays, articles, and newspaper columns, the two dozen teleplays and a dozen motion pictures he has created, than any other living fantasist.) 
I wondered why I was not familiar with Harlan Ellison until I looked at his work. I have to say he uses more profanity and vulgarity than I can handle. But his quote is wonderfully right on target. If you really enjoy writing, then you also constantly try to improve your skills. Every book is a challenge. With every book, you raise your standard. And logically, every book is harder to write. It doesn't get easier; it gets harder. In addition to that, you have lost the glow of first love. The honeymoon is over. This is work. (Pardon the cliches. I wouldn't allow those in any book I wrote, but I'm going to trust you can handle two cliches so I can get this posted and get back to work.)
I admit, from time to time, I've fallen into the pit of "beyond you." Didn't Little Christian of Pilgrim's Progress fall into the slough of Despond? I have to give myself a lecture. "This is fun. Quit thinking about the miles of work ahead and stick to the moment. Because, talking dragons are fun. Yes, they are. You betcha!"
This Twilight Zone was written by Harlan Ellison.
I'm going to go have some fun now. You keep at it, too!