Joe Haldeman on writing longhand

Can you tell by my headline which writer I’ve become obsessed with lately? Besides reading his novel The Forever War, I became interested in the fact he writes his science fiction novels, generally set in the far future, in longhand.

In this podcast below, he talks about his process and about writing in longhand:


I Should Be Writing

I’m probably late to send writers to this blog by writer Mur Lafferty:

I Should Be Writing

Her podcasts on writing are informative. I’m listening to one as I’m writing this post and she’s talking about blogging and about what to write on blogs.

That’s been something I’ve wondered about for this blog. Should it be personal? Should it be much more objective, focusing on careers or advice?

Go check it out.

Writing and living on the edge of Darkness Visible

I used to romanticize Henry Miller or rather the character of Henry Miller in Tropic of Cancer and the film Henry & June or even the man biographers portrayed. I imagined myself living on the cheap, writing a masterpiece on a typewriter borrowed from a sultry lover. Then wandering the streets and drinking and dancing and talking til dawn.

I believed I could live on the edge like that and a life like that would inspire great works. Masterful writers who put you in their worlds do that. They make you feel you can do the same.

Except . . . I’m close to the edge now. Very close. No borrowed typewriter. Only an aging computer.

Instead of Paris, I’m in Fort Worth, Texas.  I have no liasions set up with a banker’s wife. And I’m finding little inspiring me to write as I sit in my sister’s spare bedroom wondering if I can write more than a blog post, worrying if I’ll find gainful employment, and longing for any sign my wife might want to reconcile our marriage.

Since early November I’ve been stuck in the middle of yet another attempt at a novel, attempting to write in an genre — science fiction, a first love —that’s both foreign and familiar. As all my current chaos closed in, my writing shut down.

Perhaps, too, I feel crippled by a storm darkening my mind, ripping away the drive to write, the same crippling storm that raged through William Styron’s beautiful essay Darkness Visible. In fact, the storm in the mind is Styron’s trope for the melancholy that afflicted him.

I know, at least for me, living on the edge isn’t inspiring, it’s terrifying.

Brief Update

Hello reader/s:

It’s been a chaotic two months with little time to post here. I won’t bore you with the details of the chaos that’s interrupted my posting here.

In the midst of that chaos, however, I have been reading. Often reading is the only solace I have.

What have I read? Recent reads include Ray Bradbury’s Farenheit 451, along with the authorized graphic novel by Tim Hamilton. I had intended to read the graphic novel first and then read the novel itself, but I discovered when reading Hamilton’s book, I had forgotten how to read comics, how to meld graphics and narrative  together as I read.

I had to go back and read the novel to “see” what Hamilton was doing with Bradbury’s narrative. As I read, both books became enhanced. The novel seemed to gain a stronger visual element than it had before, the graphic novel’s narrative flow was better grasped by a mind used to linear narratives.

Anyhow, I’m also in the midst of reading Frank Herbert’s Dune and looking forward to reading Joe Haldeman’s The Forever War.

So, that’s it for now. Hope to write again soon.