Be Afraid

This post by Andrew E. Kaufman originally appeared on The Crime Fiction Collective blog on 1/22/14.

Being a writer is like climbing the tallest peak in the world. We barely get to enjoy the victory, when someone straps us down, tears our shirts open, and tells the vultures to bring it on. Let’s face it: to be an artist is to be vulnerable. And perhaps a little unstable. We pour our souls onto the pages. We sweat. We cry. We scream a lot. We drink ridiculous quantities of coffee, but never enough to combat our emotional and physical exhaustion.

Not to mention, the brutal criticism, and really, there is no way to combat that. We read it, we cringe, and we may (possibly) throw some things (at least, I hear). After that, we pick ourselves up and dust ourselves off, taking what we can use, and throwing away the rest…that is, between the hysterical sobs, and guttural groans (also, of course, not a first hand experience). Other sides of our artistry are a bit less brutal and far more enjoyable. If we do it right, we get to create worlds and characters from nothing other than our hungry imaginations, then watch them flourish into amazing stories. Also if we do it right, we relish in the knowledge that our readers are enjoying them, and more importantly, feeling them. Of course, getting to that point is easier said than done.

In reaching that goal, my approach can be at times… a bit unconventional. Possibly insane. For me, writing a novel means feeling my way through the darkness and through my pages, essentially with no idea what the outcome will be. I don’t plan before I launch into my work. I write on instinct. As I do this, one persistent and nagging question pokes at me: Will this work?


Click here to read the full post on The Crime Fiction Collective blog.