Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Sage Advice

I have a great deal of respect and admiration for the writer Walter Mosley. I’ve never met him, of course, but I have listened to him speak in various interviews. Some of his fiction is so powerfully written and so brilliantly conceived that there have been moments when the pain and anguish made me clench my eyes shut and caused me to temporarily close the pages. This is not meant as a criticism, but as a simple fact concerning the sheer strength of his work.

In his interviews, he seems to me to be a man of great dignity. I like that. If anyone ever interviews me, I hope that I can convey such a sense of dignity, leaving great emotion within the pages of my books.

What leads me to mention Mosley today is that in one interview he was asked about the practice of writing as labor. And, like many other writers, he stressed the need to write daily. And even if one were sick, one still needed to write. I took that to heart.

For the past few days I have been laid low by the flu. First time I’ve had it in some years, but it’s my fault for not getting my flu vaccine this year. So I tried to work on my novel having been sucker-punched by this virus. Alas. I was so sick that all I could do was think about my misery to the point that I wasn’t able to transcribe any ideas to my characters and their own actions. Mosley had said something to the effect of if you’re sick, make your characters sick. Mr. Mosley, it’s great advice, I think, but I just couldn’t swing it today.

But I’ve swallowed a handful of Tylenol, and I’m going to give it another shot.

I’ll let you guys know how it turns out.


dogboy443 said...

Well, if not a sick character, at least it will be a trippy read.

HemlockMan said...

I did okay, after swallowing some pain-killer. We'll see how much of it survives the ax when it's all in final draft.