Join Prism Book Alliance® as Edmond Manning goes Outside the Margins today.
I’m taking a writing class for the next six weeks, something intended to help make me stronger in my craft. I’m hoping it will help me stop using the word “very” so often in my manuscripts, but since the class focuses on project management, that outcome is very, very doubtful.
One of the first assignments our facilitator gave us was to write our mission–why we write. Then, she asked us for our future vision…what our world looks like when everything works out for us as a writer.
As the focus of the class is on project management, this seemed like a surprising first assignment, but before signing up, I made an agreement to explore whatever ideas and assignments came my way.
Besides, I’d already put out a bunch of books. How hard could it be?
Well, until I started writing it.
I found myself tongue-tied, especially when trying to communicate my deepest deepest need to write–why writing matters to me more than my professional job, why it matters more than any other hobby or interest. Why I cancel plans with friends to stay home and write. I know why I write. Why should I have to articulate it?
The value in articulating it, I discovered, is that a muddy impression of importance is nothing like a dazzling crystal-clear statement honoring the creative process, and the source of inspiration. I suppose that’s why the words, “I love you,” are more emotional and inspirational than saying, “I have a mess of complicated feelings for you.”
Clearer and tighter allows a greater refraction in your heart.
Why I Write
I write because the Sparkling Spirit flows through me and wants me to play my ridiculous, insignificant, and absolutely glorious role in creating joy and transcending sorrow. I write books about men who choose kingship–their higher self–over an ordinary life. I write about all of us–men and women–who want to choose love again and again, but get burned by this disappointing world. Yet we aren’t quite ready to give up. I write because I have joy in me that needs expression.
The next part of the assignment was to write our vivid description of the future. That one would definitely be easy: filthy rich, dictating my next novel to a tuxedo’d butler, and a handsome Italian man giving me a pedicure, interrupting my creative process to say things like, “Your toes are so manly and beautiful…not at all like crooked, malformed Cheetos rejected in the factory.”
As satisfying as that vision of the future seemed to be, I realized that I don’t want a tuxedo’d butler. What did I want? That required some greater pondering. When I finally developed my own vision for the future, the results surprised me.
My Vivid Description of the Future…
- I make enough money as a writer to live in abundance. This does not necessarily mean wealthy…but more about peace of mind. I can afford health insurance, the occasional vacation to an exotic location, and decided to attend a writing conference does not create undo hardship.
Readers get excited about my next release and speculate online as to its contents and direction.
My king series, The Lost and Founds, is taught in GLBT literature classes as an example of gay fiction that does not confirm to typical gay topics. The books are analyzed in terms of craft, message, and symbolism.
Straight readers eagerly read my books because the messages are so universal that they can relate and are willing to explore a different type of fiction for the sheer power of the experience.
Readers write me letters to tell me what they gleaned from the books and how it changed them.
Producers want to turn King Perry into a musical.
I get to hang out with Edward P. Jones (The Known World and other lovely books) to discuss craft and our relationship to words. He cooks me dinner.
This future that I had imagined for myself, had already partially arrived! I do have readers who are straight. I do receive emails from readers who have told me how the books influenced them. This mythical, hopeful future I create for myself is already here!
I signed up for this writing class to bring me new project management skills, to help me use my time more wisely, and make better decisions about creating time for my craft. But what I did not expect was this course would help me remember what I already knew and allowed myself to forget–that I write because I love it, and the future I want for myself already exists (part of it, at least). Right now.
About Edmond ManningEdmond Manning is the author of King Perry, King Mai, The Butterfly King andFilthy Acquisitions. He spends a great deal of time standing in front of the fridge with the door open, wondering why it’s not stocked with more luncheon meats and cheese.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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