What did M J Wright say about writing, that it was five percent inspiration and ninety-five percent brute force? I cannot account for inspiration in my writing, but by God I can attest to brute force. It is never easy to write, never. Most of us ensnared in that manic-depressive art have day jobs, rich relatives, or are kept men and women. I, for one, did not take my final vows as author until I had gone through three separate careers, gotten two children through school, and thoroughly pissed off my BW with drink, smoke, and a charming stubbornness. The brute force part of the equation came as I determined that, yes, I was going to write. Yes, it would be fiction, adventure, action, romance, and all those other good elements not found in engineering reports, technical essays, new project descriptions, and grant writing. (Well, maybe one can say that grant writing does involve many elements of fiction, and maybe that is what finally gave me the urge to publish my own stuff.)
How do I apply this brute force to writing? All of us writers know the answer to that. No whining, no daydreaming, no breaks. Just do it. The inventor extraordinaire Thomas Edison said about his craft, "To invent, you need a good imagination and a pile of junk." What, dear iPhone owner asks? No genius, no mystique, no frigging inspiration? It kind of works that way in writing, too—fiction anyway (i.e., grant writing.)
M J Wright, Thomas Alva Edison, and I are on the same page with the one constant. Imagination. In other words, we don't do processes very well, and we don't write, invent, or make love by the numbers. But, by golly, give us a pile of junk and some brute force and we will knock the socks off of whatever it is we're up to.
This imagination perception is special to others beside Wright and Edison. Perhaps that is what draws me to writing, and excites me as I slog through it. Imagination. I've got a good one, and it has gotten me through many a rough time over the years, I tell you. The idea of putting it out there for a lot of people to see and to remark about, well, that's pretty cool.
Hutton presently lives on Tybee Island, Georgia, with his wife, two cats, and a Boston Whaler.
2009 Georgia Author of the Year Awards (GAYA) Finalist