Control: Writing a novel
I wrote a novel this year, and I might write a second. For the first half of the year I moped over only selling eight copies of The Renaissance and the Homeworlders. I didn’t write much of anything for the first eight months of the year. Occasionally I blogged. I didn’t think that there was a reason for it. I only sold eight copies of the last novella, and that hurt me.
By September I had gotten over it. Circumstances had changed. I had tried a new medication. This new med helped me to think and act more effectively. I paid more attention to the world around me. Life had changed. I no longer lived alone, unable to talk to people for days on end. I no longer took my meds so late that I couldn’t stay awake the following day. I continued to think more effectively.
I started to write a soap opera about teenagers. I wrote 60 pages that I thought were pretty good. I felt like I knew the genre and knew how to create an intelligent story based on those concepts. I thought that I had written something great. I got pretty good reviews from it, but the consensus was that I should write a realistic novel about schizophrenia.
I wanted to write something about the real world. I know that some people would want to hear the fantastic elements of the stories in my head instead of going over the physical, tangible details of my real life. I don’t care. I want to show the big fight to become a person in America today, in the real world. I don’t want to go over the stupid shit that goes through my mind all the time.
I want to participate in the world. I want to be a part of a real world in which I work, write, and have friends. I want to pay attention to my family and spend time with them. I went to Red Lobster with my dad and ate crab legs and he had shrimp alfredo. I enjoyed the hell out of that dinner. Dad talked about the jobs that I might be able to get if I just take some classes.
I think that people will enjoy this book. In it there is a drinking period in which I rarely remember the next day. There’s times when — no matter how crazy someone is — they find the chance to have more sex. There’s times when friends turn on each other. There are friends who die. There are friends who live wonderful lives, and there are friends who barely survive.
I think that nothing will happen with this novel. I will write the living hell out of it to create the greatest novel I can possibly create, and I don’t think that it will sell very many copies. 16 is the most number of copies that I have sold of any one novel, and I regret not rewriting it for another couple of years. I spent fifteen years on it and don’t regret that. I wrote other stories as well during that time, but it was my biggest project. I think that 16 copies is pretty good. I want to do even better. I want to sell 100 copies of something. That would require people to get the word out about the novel that I am writing. It would need reviews to appear about the novel and for the ads to be great. The summary would have to grab the reader and engage him or her from the start. I would have to show a decent cover for a novel about one’s battle with paranoid schizophrenia.
Writing is a means of communicating one’s world view to another. It is vital to me to express the things I cannot say in the real world in the form of fiction. I hope you realize that and listen.
Thanks, and take care, friends.