By David Myles Robinson
I finished my first novel, UNPLAYABLE LIE, while I was still living in Honolulu. Naturally I put the word out to my friends and acquaintances in the legal community in which I had worked for thirty-eight years and to fellow members at my golf club. I breathed a huge sigh of relief once I began to receive in-person and on-line reviews. Except for those people who either hated or didn’t know anything about golf, the reception was very good, and even among most of those people, the consensus seemed to be that although they tended to skim through the golf parts, they still enjoyed the book. Until then, I’d only had the novel read by a handful of people and, of course, my editor and publisher. The fact that a publisher had accepted the book and was willing to invest in its publication was important, but ultimately it is the acclamation from readers which is most comforting and rewarding, for it is only then that you can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you aren’t a complete laughingstock.
One day, a couple of months after UNPLAYABLE LIE was published, a fellow attorney (not a close friend) came up to me at our golf club to say how much he enjoyed the book, but also to confide that he’d always wanted to write a novel. The main thing holding him back, he said, was fear of embarrassment. I knew exactly what he meant. Established novelists can write without fear (or at least with less fear) than those of us just starting out. They can give the finger to a bad review, knowing their readers will cut them a lot of slack (at least for a while). But all novelists, whether rookie or journeyman, must allow their readers a glimpse into their souls. As Ernest Hemingway said, “There is nothing to writing. All you have to do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.”
I harbor no illusions that I am a great writer. For now I am content in the knowledge that I write well and can tell a pretty good story. With each completed novel I can see and feel myself getting better. I told my attorney acquaintance that to some extent writing was like being a trial attorney or an actor, or, for that matter, a golfer. Ultimately, you have to be willing to put yourself out there and risk humiliation.
David Myles Robinson
As will become readily apparent, my blogs will not just be about my books or even writing in general. They will be about whatever suits my fancy--and yes, I'm sorry, but that may include politics from time to time. We live in an interestingly tempestuous time and as a writer I find it impossible to ignore the worldwide psycho-drama (and, at times, psycho-comedy) being played out before us on a virtual daily basis.