Alan Moore on taking writing seriously

Alan Moore is a great writer, and it's a lot of fun to watch him talking about the craft of writing.  The reason I think it's fun is because he takes it very seriously, and I'm generally pretty sure he's right.  Not about the metaphysics, because he thinks writing is literally magic, but about all the stuff that his metaphysics implies. [pullquote align="right" textalign="left" width="55%"]"You have to give up the stuff that you get really good at.  I don't know if that holds true for other kinds of work, but I was really surprised, I had not anticipated that I would have to stop doing things once I got okay at doing them."

-- Kelly Link[/pullquote]In the video I've linked,  Moore talks about real writers, versus career novelists.  He talks about one piece of writing advice that I turn over in my head all the time -- I first heard it from Kelly Link, at her Google talk with Karen Joy Fowler:  Basically, you have to stop doing anything you get too good at, or you'll get stale.  You'll stop surprising your audience, you'll stop growing as a writer, and you won't accomplish all the things you might otherwise hope.

In the interview, Moore said:  "In my -- probably somewhat extreme -- opinion, to stop is death.  The death of creativity.  To decide that you're satisfied with what you are doing, that is when you are probably finished as a writer."

I can't think of a time, ever, when I've heard a successful writer say anything resembling "Don't worry, eventually you'll get used to it and it will be easy from then on."  The most consistent advice that comes out seems to be that if you work as hard as you can, your reward is that the work gets a little harder.

So, I'm looking forward to that.