Like most young writers, I was inundated with the clichéd image of the laborious writer, pouring over his unfinished manuscript as the pages were spread across the café table among used coffee cups and the gazes of curious admiration from nearby patrons. When I was 13, 16, even 20, there was something romantic and real about this. But now close to thirty, after actually publishing a novel, the image almost embarrasses me.
Because as I learned after writing Seeds of Discent, a good novel is not written while posturing your labor in a cafe, risking infiltration into your writing from the endless distractions of intended social interactions. Or risking the naïve hubris that the first word put down on a page is the definitive mark of your thoughts. A good novel is planned, it’s constructed, and it’s refined many times. Writing is a craft, and the best place I have found to practice this craft is in a workshop where you have the tools to define your work and the time to completely lose yourself in your task.
That’s the kind of space I want to create for the writers at The Head & The Hand. But there is so much beauty in this process that it would be a shame not to share al least part of it with the readers. So consider this section of our site as the window into our workshop, where you can get a glimpse of not only the work in progress, but the process itself. To see how a book is crafted, from when the first word hits the page until the book gets into your hands.