writing for the new gay black male writer

Her Name Was Wendy

Image by vasta via Flickr

yesterday it just felt like this thing was missing from out of my body. i just wanted to sleep. i couldn’t.

i started writing a book, the taste of scars, four years ago. did i think it would take this long? no. four years is a long time. i graduated college in four years. i was in ann arbor working at the downtown public library circled by published authors, how-to books and hadn’t heard from a guy i was talking to. books became my significant other (i hate that term) after he stopped calling me. i was walking to another library, on campus at umich. it was late evening. i saw a guy, probably a college student, walking my way. his face was shadowed. a cigarette twitched on the side of his mouth. he pulled out a lighter and lit his cigarette. seeing that inspired me to write my first sentence. virginia wolfe started writing her books waiting to get a first sentence.

i started writing. i knew the book would be auto-fiction. based off actual experiences but fictionalized.

how does someone who has never written a book write a book?

how does someone who has never taken a fiction-writing class write a book?

i didn’t ask those questions before i started writing. i should have. all writers should.

i didn’t know what i was doing. my sentences read like the romantic poets and writers my senior year high school teacher loved reading to us. jargon connected to jargon. reading it now, the first draft, i had no idea what i was saying. i wasn’t writing for my generation (my editor told me that). writing for your generation is important as a writer. your audience will get bored if they can’t follow your ideas.

over a hundred drafts later i’m done.


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