I don’t know if it’s the same for other writers, but for many years I’ve been in search of THE THING.
THE THING varies over time, a nebulous concept of interlinked thoughts, wishes, desires and an out of focus future where I’ve nailed everything I want to say, packaged it up tight in a lean, mean, novel, got it in the hands of publishers, and it’s so good that readers will fall on it in ravenous droves.
Every so often, I think I’ve cracked it.
The last time was these past few years with my SIGILS AND TOTEMS mythos works. The idea stuck with me for a long time, which is usually a good sign, I think I wrote some of my best stuff, in BROKEN SIGIL and SONGS OF DREAMING GODS in particular, and in a bevy of related work and stories, and I hoped that, this time, THE THING had been unleashed. I sent SONGS OF DREAMING GODS out with all the positive thinking I could muster.
Hope is, if not lost, at least fading. And I think I know where the problem lies. This particular incarnation of THE THING is my thing, not yours. The central conceit of the SIGILS AND TOTEMS mythos is my thing, not yours. They say writers should write for themselves. I did. And I’m proud of it.
But I can’t force anybody to read it.
Last year I had Joshi telling me I was a writer with nothing to say for myself, and one of his hangers-on calling me a hack. I let that get to me more than I should have, and that’s because THE THING wasn’t going as well as I hoped it would.
But that’s the thing with THE THING. It’s not static, but is a constantly mutating, changing organism.
And now it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is.
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