Writing Pains

Today I found the latest local Mensa newsletter in my email box. While there were a lot of items of interest the one thing that caught my attention was mention of one of the area Mensans' first novel. Though the novel itself is not the subject of this post it is written by Fletcher King and titled "The Advent of the King" ISBN 1-4259-1493-4. Read about it at www.AdventOfTheKing.com.

The thing that captured my focus was how much work is involved in writing a book particularly a novel. As the article states she sacrificied a considerable amount of her free time on it like holidays and other days off. I particularly admire that because I've worked on a couple of novels. I didn't tire of it; it's invigorating; but there just isn't enough time in the day.

A writer may spend several hours on a chapter only to rip it out of the typewriter (figuratively of course) shoot it into the nearest trashcan and start it over. It looks good for a minute then something makes you feel sick or you get a better idea an inspiration and all the work you've put into it seems lost. It only seems lost; it's a part of the process like any act of creation but a creation that stares at you every day beckoning you. I know I'll have to rewrite half of what I've written just to be satisfied that it will "work". Just this petty blog entry has gone through some torture of its own.

Yes writers probably get better at it each time they write something new and I suppose there are some that can write as freely as they can carry on a conversation. But I admire people that go through the pain of writing revising and rewriting. For this book there was a lot of additional work researching the culture and times in which this book was set. It's no picayune undertaking but anything that has value has costs and demands sacrifice.

Note: Mensa is an organization for the very intelligent. To get in you have to score in the top 2% on an approved IQ test and of course pay membership dues. I'm not a Mensa member. I've scored between 133 and 154 on a variety of unproctored tests but on the one proctored test I took I was unable to make the score (c. 132) to get in Mensa. That's not unusual as each test also has its own personality. The Mensa test is about $30-$40; many others are in the hundreds. It's just not that important to me right now. The Mensa newsletter is always interesting and there are other topics in it that have already made it into my pile for blog consideration.

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