This thing on? · 1564 days ago by Scott McNulty
I bet no one is reading this anymore, which is why I am actually posting something here.
I was talking to Marisa the other day about what she wants to do with her life and it got me thinking about what I want to do with mine (crazy, huh?). When I started this blog on October 26, 2005 things were very different in my life:
- I had a blog crush on Marisa, but I didn’t tell her that (though we’ll be getting married in September, so that worked out well)
- I had never written a book, but I wanted to (now I have written a bestselling book about blogging, though it isn’t a novel)
- I was working in IT, but wishing I could blog for a living (now I’m the Chief Blogger at a giant company)
When you look at that list I really have nothing to complain about, and yet like most creative people (even marginally talented creative people like myself) I am not happy with my work. What I really want to be is a novelist.
I realize that wanting to be a novelist is pretty cliche and that I haven’t actually written any creative fiction in a long, long time but that does not staunch the desire. I realized this all over that fateful dinner this Saturday when I said to Marisa, “Sure, I’ve written a book but I haven’t written a novel yet. I just don’t have the time!” As soon as I said that I didn’t have the time I knew it for the lie that it is. I do have the time, I’m just too lazy or too scared to actually write a damned novel.
Luckily, written my first technical book did two things for me:
- It helped me prove to myself that I am capable of writing long form pieces (up until that point I hadn’t written anything longer than 25 pages, and that was my undergrad thesis about stagecraft in 17th century England).
- It proved, without the shadow of doubt, that outlining is a writer’s best friend.
Peachpit Press, the publisher of my book, wanted an outline of the book before they agreed to pay me to write it. In many ways writing the outline was the hardest part of the whole process. I had to visualize the whole book before I had written a single word. Once I had it all on paper (well, on computer) I was pretty certain that Cliff, my editor, would write back to me and politely decline. Incredibly they liked it (and it seems that lots of other people liked the final product) and we were off to the races.
This all leads me to the true purpose of this post: I want to write my first novel. I’m well aware that it will mostly likely be awful, but I need to get the first novel out of my system before the second novel can be written. And who knows, my first novel might actually end up being pretty good (one can hope).
Therefore, I’m reviving this blog (and enjoying using Textpattern once again!) as I am attempting to write a novel again, for the first time.
Wish me luck!
Another snippet · 2255 days ago by Scott McNulty
Ben was the kind of man that never knew what to with his hands.
I wrote that while sitting on Marisa’s couch (and I texted it to myself so I wouldn’t forget it).
Pithy Response? 
Slowly, I can't write · 2285 days ago by Scott McNulty
As you may or may not know, I am a fairly prolific creative entity. Amongst another things I write/edit/produce the following:
And I am involved in a few other things that I won’t list here and yet I want to write more. What’s up with that? I don’t get it, but I suppose I should be thankful. So what’s the problem with wanting to write more? The fact, as of late, I haven’t been feeling the bloggerly groove.
It comes and goes, it comes and goes. Here’s hoping I’ve turned the corner and the floodgates shall open.
Oh, and writing here makes me remember how kick ass TextPattern is.
Do you know the muffin man? · 2395 days ago by Scott McNulty
The muffins often speak of me, I know they do. I can hear the whispers as I pass by the bakery district of this fine city. I won’t let them stop me though, oh no I won’t. I have an appointment with Destiny! She’s my dentist. Do you know how popular she is? You don’t want to get on her bad side, and not just because she will be up to her elbows in your mouth.
Six word story · 2408 days ago by Scott McNulty
Slowly we descend, never to rise.
The start to this novel ain't half bad · 2417 days ago by Scott McNulty
I think I’m going to finish writing this ‘novel’ thing, and on my own terms. I really do need another creative project since I am not busy enough with the blogger, the podcasting, working, getting in shape, and trying to have a social life.
Snippets 3†, or I'm back, baby! · 2417 days ago by Scott McNulty
- When she unsubsribed to my blog I knew it was over.
†Snippets are lines, or bits of text, that strike me as I am walking around but which I think might be good in the novel
Story written on a train · 2586 days ago by Scott McNulty
The collar suited Bryan Rourke, at least that’s what people said. Ever since he was a toddler Bryan knew that he wanted to be a priest.
While the other kids were off playing doctor, or tag, Bryan was consecrating Triscuits and Pepsi. The body and blood of Christ never tasted so good.
Adolescence brought the normal changed to Bryan’s life. Hair grew where there was no hair before, and he started to notice the most beautiful of all God’s creatures: women.
Soon the walls of Bryan’s room were filled with posters of Mother Teresa, Mary Magdalene (such a tease!) and St. Anne. It was plain to see that Bryan was a special young man.
His parents were slightly worried about his undying love for all thins Roman Catholic; they were Jewish after-all. Couldn’t Bryan just become a Rabbi? That way he could still preach the way of God, and dance the horah. Isn’t that what spirituality was all about?
Bryan would have none of it. God had spoken to him and shown him the Way, there wasn’t a yarmelke to be seen.
Next came college, and the then the seminary. The Church was desperate for new blood and gladly accepted Bryan into the fold. He was the only of his class to receive 3 sacraments in one day (baptism, first communion, and penance), which of course lead to his nickname: Trifecta.
The day of Bryan ordainment was the happiest of his life. His father and mother were proud, and just slightly bewildered by the whole thing. Bryan’s father just sighed and said, ‘Eh, kids today. It could have been worse… at least he isn’t a Buddhist.’
Soon Bryan, or should we say Father Rourke, found himself in the pulpit giving his first sermon, or homily as the Catholics call them. Looking at the crowded church Bryan felt his first pang of uncertainty. If this is truly what God wanted him to do then He could possibly let Bryan get stage-fright, right?
All of the carefully prepared words left Bryan’s mind. All he could think about were the eyes of his parishioners looking at him, waiting for him to explain some section of the New Testament to them.
A cough broke the silence, but it was quickly lost in the cavernous emptiness of the Church’s upper stories.
Bryan spoke. If you asked him later why he said what he said, and many people did just that, he would simply smile and reply, ‘The Lord finds a way.’
At the pulpit Bryan cleared his throat and solemnly intoned, ‘I put the Jew in Jesus.’
An experiment · 2624 days ago by Scott McNulty
I’m taking the train to New York today, and I usually read on the train. This trip I thought it would be fun to write, and complete, a short story on the train (remember I’ll have the trip to NYC and the trip back to work on it).
I won’t write anything while I am not on the train, so the whole thing will be written in motion.
Will it work?
Will it be good?
Can I do it?
Who knows, but life is all about trying, isn’t it?
I am not a great writer · 2644 days ago by Scott McNulty
I am not a great writer. Hell, I’m not even a good writer, but that is the secret to my ‘success’ (in quotes because really, would a successful man be writing a blog entry on a seldom visited blog at 3am on a Sunday morning?) as a writer.
I am one of those rare folks that gets paid for their writing. Now, you look at my various writing endeavors and you think to yourself, ‘How the hell is this chump getting paid to churn out this drivel?’
I’ll let you in on the secret: I don’t second guess myself. My day to day life consists mainly of second guessing myself, but when I sit down to write something I am certain that it will be acceptable, passable at best, and that is good enough. If you embrace your limited talent then it makes things so much easier to do. Don’t end up like Joseph Grand in The Plague (I couldn’t stand that book, but the image of Joseph Grand working on the opening line of his own novel for years is an image that has stayed with me for years, long after all the other details of that book have left my little mind).
Am I seriously recommending mediocrity as the path to writing nirvana? Yes, I am. You can’t perfect your voice if you are too worried about what people will think to write anything, or to share what you have written with people. It is a given that people won’t like what you have written. Heck, some people don’t like Shakespeare and I can guarantee you that you are no Shakespeare.
Writing is the best way to become a writer (that’s like a zen koan, or something).