Here’s some writing advice I took to heart (but have executed inconsistently). It’s a quote from comics writer Matt Fraction.
He did a session two years ago on Warren Ellis’ Whitechapel message board in which he took questions from the audience over the course of a week. Around 170 posts into a wide-ranging 600-post exchange, this:
Fraction’s Casanova, with brilliant Brazilian artists Gabriel Ba and Fabio Moon, is an explosive delight, like a chocolate creme easter egg filled with napalm. Artistic napalm. But in a good way. I’m enjoying his Iron Man run, too, though I’ve seen mixed reactions to it. I think even the best writer is going to have a hard time pleasing everyone when doing legacy superheroes, whether because of fractured and occasionally stunted audience expectations or because Big Hero Comics’ editorial departments seem to be … broken. But however you slice it, I respect Fraction’s work and the persona he has presented in connection with it.
This advice is hard to follow. It’s also pretty common, but Fraction puts it eloquently. “Just let yourself suck” has pith. And it’s an important thought, because preciousness is the budding writer’s deadly enemy. That and sloth. So combining the commitment to produce something with the freedom to not be in love with the result is liberating.
I started this year with a goal of writing at least 500 words a day, every day. Had a hell of a run in January and February, too. Ran out of momentum after that, despite having tons of free time as a not-overburdened freelancer. But my laziness is like water: It fills the container you give it. Having just finished the San Diego Misadventure (thoughts and reviews from the Con will trickle out here in time) and started a fairly demanding new full-time job, I’m trying to get back up to speed — despite a crushing freelance load on top of the full-time, and this new blog to develop with Adam. But strangely, I feel more energized about getting stuff done than I often did during the lazy idyll of my slowest freelance months.
Let’s hope I can turn it into something. Stay tuned.
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