It’s been a long time since I posted this. I keep running into people who tell me it was, for them, a lifechanger or a lifesaver, so I thought I’d put it up again. Everything I know about a life in the arts, in about 20 minutes.
Photo credit: Ulf Andersen/Getty
“Speaking of Harry Potter, you’ve become friendly with J.K. Rowling, right?
Yeah. We did a charity event at Radio City Music Hall a few years back. She was working on the last of the Harry Potter books. Her publicist and her editor called her over, and they talked for about 10 minutes. And when she came back to me, she was steaming. Fucking furious. And she said, “They don’t understand what we do, do they? They don’t fucking understand what we do.“ And I said, "No, they don’t. None of them do.” And that’s what my life is like right now.
What do you mean?
When someone says, “What are you working on?” I’ll say, “I’ve got this wonderful story about these two families on two sides of a lake that end up having this arms race with fireworks,” but I’m doing this event, and then I’ve got the political ad and all this other crap. So you have to be stern about it and say, “I’m not going to do this other stuff, because you’ve got to make room for me to write.” Nobody really understands what the job is. They want the books, but they don’t, in a way, take it seriously.”
I screamed “YES! YES!” when I read this, and then I had to bite my lip and fight back a few tears. (That boldfacing of the last two sentences is my emphasis.)
Being a writer is awesome – I can’t believe I get to do this. The best parts are: a) making up stuff and writing it down, and b) interacting with fans. But there is always this terrible tension between the amount of time a writer has to write (i.e. there is never enough) and the time it takes to go to conferences, on book tours, etc.
This is probably why writers have taken so rapturously to social media. It allows for super-fun interactions with readers, but in a way that doesn’t drag us away from writing for months on end.
I adore the work of both of these writers and it is oddly comforting to know that they have the same time and energy struggles.
Anyway… I’m not bitching. I just thought you’d like to read the article.
Back to work on my book now…
There is so much awesome… this post… I just… what… can’t…
If you use magic in fiction, the first thing you have to do is put barriers up. There must be limits to magic. If you can snap your fingers and make anything happen, where’s the fun in that? … The story really starts when you put limits on magic. Where fantasy gets a bad name is when anything can happen because a wizard snaps his fingers. Magic has to come with a cost, probably a much bigger cost than when things are done by what is usually called ‘the hard way.’