How do you know when you’ve become a writer? I mean a writer writer.
Just about everyone can write.
Just about everyone wants to write a book.
Just about everyone thinks they have a unique, fascinating story to tell.
Perhaps they do.
Although it’s not as simple as all that.
You know you’re a writer when everything you write expresses exactly what you want to say. And you have so much control, the words dance upon the page to your chosen music.
Simplicity is key – unless, of course, you are like Marcel Proust to whom these words to do not apply.
What is it? 10,000 hours? Yes, you will probably get better; but not good enough. Time leads to impatience, and unimaginable suffering. The words you choose to dance upon the page turn to ash instead.
The cruelty, of course, is that you will not know until you have spent the time.
How do you grip the reader? How do you make her or him so entangled in your story that they live it, breathe it, fall hopelessly in love with it: the story fills their lives with wonder and joy, and/or sadness and regret?
Young writers commonly make the same mistake. Over-valuing their puerile experiences in life and love as events anyone cares about or is impressed by. The cruel truth in these circumstances is that the only person who cares or is impressed is they themselves.
Art is bigger than that. It transcends the self. It exists in another dimension, another reality.
Time, past, experience, futures disappear. You fall into Alice’s rabbit hole: you figuratively vanish from the world you know. You don’t know who you are. Your body exists, yet you are invisible to the world.
And who are they? The characters peopling the dimension to which you have ascended?
They are loved, adored, worshipped and you present them to yourself as a wondrous gift. Although, in truth, you are they.
And they exist!
Unless you truly know yourself, the good, the bad, AND the ugly - you cannot possibly even hope to write anything of significance.
Unless and until you recognize even the most hateful and evil amongst your characters are you, your life, your inner demons, and magical spirits - well, there is simply no hope for you to become a writer.
When what you write has the aforementioned effects, only then are you a writer.
apotheosis of the Writer
by Lilith Moon
Black Lotus by Lita Lepie
"Possibly one of the most artful colloquial narratives of the past decade."
- E. Cohen
"My only criticism is that it wasn’t long enough..."
"...film noir in a book..."
"Awareness of race, gender and sexual orientation shades [Black Lotus] with great depth..."