There are a few people I admire because of their tremendous talent and their dedication to work. In ye realm of weird fiction, none inspire me more than Caitlin R. Kiernan, because she is so devoted to the strenuous labor of writing, which has resulted in the creation of book after marvelous book. I see her as a vital example of how one must be utterly dedicated to one's creativity, and that talent is nothing if not accompanied by the discipline required to sit down and do the actual work. This discipline I sorely lack.
Another artist I greatly admire is Sir Elton John. I first discovered him with the GOODBYE YELLOW BRICK ROAD album, and his music has been an important part of my life ever since. Having him come out as gay at around the same time I was struggling with accepting my own queer nature helped me enormously, encouraged me to be myself no matter the "cost". His flamboyant style also helped me to accept my own exhibitionist nature, seeing it as a natural and innocent aspect of my persona. I have spent this morning watching the dvd to his Elton 60 concert, a very lengthy concert in which he performed 40 years of original music. This reminded me that I have been writing weird Lovecraftian fiction for roughly that same amount of time. Devotion to craft is a beautiful thing, for nothing is more consoling to this artistic soul than the work, the sitting down and writing, the experience of the Muse as she inspires new work and artistic growth.
I've been thinking about this because I am about to try and write a year's worth of new fiction. I thought I could get away with being lazy and have my forthcoming second collection for Centipede Press be almost entirely reprints. This morning I got an email from my publisher saying that he prefers new original work. It's been such a long time, or so it seems, since I have had to concentrate on writing a bunch of new stories and create a new book that the prospect of it now feels rather daunting. Can I do it? Do I have the imagination, the vision, the ideas? Sitting around and worrying about it is a dead-end. I gotta just get started and begin to write and see what I come up with. I need to find my groove, baby.
Like Elton, and Caitlin, and so many others whom I so admire, I want to produce work that is excellent. Writing is still something that I am learning, and I make an awful lot of mistakes. I am encouraged, however, by my beloved fans. I've got a core group of readers who really dig my work and encourage me to continue. Wanting to please them is a great impetus when the going is uncertain and seems difficult.
Hopefully in a few months I can begin a blog that tells of progress, of stories penned and progress accomplished.
|at Copp's Hill Burying Ground in Boston|