SANDYNATHAN.COM WEBSITE REDO––and a little gift for writers.

Sandy Nathan
Sandy Nathan

We’re redoing my author website, sandynathan.com, in preparation for the release of my new book, Numenon. Expect a new look soon, if it’s not already there.

I rewrote a bunch of new text for the website, wanting to make it reflect how I currently feel about things. I came up with a little piece that was really about writing and the writing life. Which, of course, is different for everyone. “The writing life” doesn’t exist.

It was a neat little piece, which I wrote over by mistake when doing the actual homepage that you’ll see on my site. Argghh! I hate that. So now I have to type it with my wonderful 44% accuracy. (Measured by the cool voice recognition software, Dragon.) Here goes:

Ever wonder what it’s like being an author? This site (sandynathan.com) is my best shot at showing you how it feels. I’m a writer. I’ve always been a writer, mastering the obvious techniques before I was ten. I knew I was going to write a book one day while I was in the primary grades.

If you are a writer, you’ll know that writing is not optional. You’ll be scribbling observations on napkins at the old folks’ home long after anyone can decipher them.

If you move up to being an author––which means that your drive, ambition, and obsessive compulsive tendencies flame hot enough for your work to find itself in print––that’s another realm.

People have asked me, “How do you finish a book?” This is very simple: Start it and keep writing until it’s done. That’s the smart Alec answer.

The true answer is: Something has to goad you so hard inside that you can’t stop writing until you’ve articulated the deepest kernel of meaning in the story the universe put in your brain. You can’t stop rewriting until the thing is crystal clear and your dog weeps when he reads it.

Yes, there’s technique; yes, there’s education, but you can’t beat personal disaster as a motivator and writing tool. Go deep, writers; find out why it hurts so bad. Tell us about it.

I write because it’s the only way I know to clear the recesses of my soul. To shed light on what troubles me. To find out what the hell it is that grinds me late ant night. I write constantly, often until I can’t move my shoulders.

But that’s where the openings occur. When I’ve poured myself into a story so far that I can’t back out or stop or put it aside, the universe opens and shows me itself. The bliss comes, the inspiration, the knowledge that what they tried to tell me in Sunday school was true and that something cares after all.

That’s what I want to tell you about writing. It’s about finding the light.

Sandy Nathan

PS. After retyping this, I can tell you that my typing accuracy really is 44%.

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