Thursday, December 18, 2008
Another Little Piece of My Heart
I read this comment from a writer on an agent's blog this morning, and found it disturbing. 'In the end a book's just words on paper. It isn't me, or even a part of me. It's a product, a piece of work.'
I ask the question why this person is even writing if he feels this way? If there is no emotional attachment, such as the burning desire in the heart to write, what is the point of spending all those hours, days, months, and sometimes years, writing a novel? If it is only a product, then I would think there would be a lack of passion in the writing.
I feel the complete opposite. When I finish a manuscript it isn't just 100,000 words on paper. It is the completion of a journey to bring into fruition a story. It's hours of brain power, creativity, imagination, and a deep love for storytelling. A writer is what I am. My stories are a part of me...they came from me. To say they are not separates me from my work.
Could we ever separate Margaret Mitchell from 'Gone with the Wind', or Harper Lee from 'To Kill a Mockingbird', or F. Scott Fitzgerald from 'The Great Gatsby'? Could we erase Jane Austen's name from Pride & Prejudice? And are these novels just words on paper...a product? Or are they something deeper than that?
If we can say novels are not a part of the writer who wrote them, then why even put their names on the covers? If a manuscript is just a bunch of words on paper, not part of you, then try to imagine someone tossing it in the fireplace. Quickly the pages ignite and begin to curl. A moment and your work is gray ash. What kind of emotional reaction would you have?
What if someone took the only copy of your manuscript and shredded it before your very eyes? How would that make you feel? What if you had failed to back up your file, and your computer died, and you lost all you had written? Would you feel crushed, sad, outraged? Or would you shrug your shoulders and say the following? 'Ah, well. It was just words on paper, not a part of me, unimportant to my life's journey.'
What is your view? Is your writing a part of you?
Surrender the Wind ~ A novel borne out of blood, sweat, and tears...All 100,000 plus words a part of the writer who wrote it.
To be released, August 2009
Posted by Rita Gerlach at 8:36 AM