My Response to the Guardian Failed Novelist Article
Writers are the only “artists” I have ever met that don’t seem to grasp the idea of practice. I was in bands of different musical skill but even the shitty punk ones believed in practicing to get better. We all believed you had to write songs to learn how to write better ones. If your band fell apart like it usually did, you took what you learned, the best songs, and tried to start another one
I honestly don’t believe in the idea of a failed novel, at least not an unpublished one (getting a huge advance and bombing that could be actually sink you.). Even though there are a lot of how-to-novel books, you can really only learn by doing. It does take a few under your belt to write at least a readable one. You have to write them to get better at writing them. There are so many writers that care only about the result that forget it is about the process. The process is the best part.
I love seeking to get better and learning the craft of storytelling. I didn’t have that with music, I loved playing live but I didn’t want to any of the “boring shit” like learning complicated chords, studying, learning new songs. I just wanted to play and if we played a bad show it all felt worthless. With writing, even with the rejections that come with it, I enjoy just the act of learning and getting better and getting paid when I can. That is enough for me to keep going.