Hey friends. It’s been a while…
This message is a simple one, but one that cannot be ignored: Your writing must be bold.
It’s common for aspiring writers to fall into one of these two traps:
1. Their ideas are radically intriguing, but they have no understanding of the structure of writing (which you need to know, even if you want to break it).
2. Their work is technically sound, but boring and/or extremely derivative.
This is not an either/or dichotomy. You need to know how to write well. All the stuff you can learn from this blog, or from a creative writing workshop, or a famous author’s guide, or from a BA or MFA program in Creative Writing is essential, but it’s not enough to establish yourself as a writer. That’s like thinking that because you bought a paintbrush you’re suddenly in the same league as Picasso.
Publishers are starving for original material. If you throw the same old recycled literary tropes their way, you’re not likely to get your work noticed. It doesn’t matter how much mastery you demonstrate over language and structure, if your writing is boring and derivative, you’re wasting your time.
Break new ground. Experiment. Yes, it can go horribly wrong, but writing is art, and like any other form of art it’s always evolving. If you don’t evolve, if you don’t challenge yourself, no one will take your writing seriously.
On that note, I’m privileged to have my poem “Big Boys” in Jeremiah Walton’s literary zine Fuck Art, Let’s Dance. Jeremiah is one of the most talented young poets I’ve come across, and even better than that is this man has a truly revolutionary spirit. Watch out for him. If you don’t know his name yet, you’ll know it soon enough.