I promised to do something that I have been putting off doing, and I have to be honest, I have never disliked doing something so much in my life. I’ve been asked to convey in a public manner how proud I am of my accomplishments. By whom and for what reason isn’t important. This may seem self-indulgent, but it is more coerced-indulgence.
I tend to fixate on where I want to be, not where I am, and I know that is a terrible way to feel grateful. I have seen other authors talk about how great their work is, or how their latest work is their best work, and I just can’t bring myself to do that. I don’t think I should do that. I find flaws in everything I write.
So I’m hoping I’ll be allowed to take the following approach. I’ve decided to tell you what I feel the most comfortable doing, and what gives me the most professional joy. I am comfortable in stating that I know how to structure a story. This is something I have learned and embraced over time. I’ve written somewhere in the neighborhood of 25 long form narrative projects. Logic dictates that after that many times a bat, I’m going to find my stroke somewhere along the way.
I feel comfortable writing dialogue. With very few exceptions, I am awkward and quiet in social situations, so I spend a great deal of my time listening to people. I’ll spend times alone repeating conversations I’ve heard in public. I’ll use different dialects. I’ll essentially rewrite the dialogue to fit in different situations. I spent ages 10-14 with very few friends, so I learned to create people I could talk to.
In general, I have a high comfort level with the writing process. There are things on which I need to improve, and there are things of which I am privately proud. There are times when I speak in public that I have to give my credentials and my stomach ties in knots each time I do. It just feels wrong. My mother didn’t raise a braggart, and I don’t think she should have.
We live in an age of personal brands, and I think that gets misinterpreted to mean that we have to create public personas that represent who we are. I don’t want a public persona. I just want to be a guy who writes for a living, and I am grateful that’s what I get to do. Do I want to be more successful? Absolutely. But, that doesn’t mean I’m not proud of the books, screenplays and stage play I’ve written thus far. I’m comfortable with saying I am proud of that.