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Martinus de Beer

@ Sunday Times Books LIVE

The Kama Sutra and the Art of Writing Books

Martinus de BeerGreetings; welcome to my blog. Someone once said: “The moment you know you are a great writer, you cease to be one” – or something like that. Few truer words have been spoken.

Although Hemelhel has been on the shelves a few months now, it still feels like something that happened to someone else, as if the memories I have of the months slaving in front of my laptop, attending the launch, reading reviews and having various book discussions belongs to some greater being than lil’ ol’ me.

The process of writing is again leaving me feeling inept and mediocre, which means I must be working on something great – I hope. I will not really know until it is finished, approved, edited and the reviews and sales data are in.

S.A. Partridge and Derick Muller are due to appear at the Suidoosterfees in a sixty minute discussion with the topic what is it like to publish your first book. I am guessing someone will ask them how do you write a book – at least, that is what I would like to ask them.

Since finishing editing, I’ve spent a lot of time on the internet researching this very question, which is strange, being a published writer and a good way into my next book – or rather my next book a good way into me (books have a way of finding their own course, turning the writer into a simple copywriter for his own creation).

There is no real consensus on the matter and I have found a lot of advice that makes no sense and/or utterly contradicts itself. Yet, a lot of it seems to work in its own weird little way. I have decided to regard it all as I regard politics: it is mostly devoid of logic and frequently makes no real sense, but we need it anyway.

I guess the block I am feeling has to do with feeling mediocre and inept, caused by my writing, which I aim to achieve by getting rid of my block, which makes me feel mediocre and inept. And so the vicious circle continues…

Or it is just simple Second Book Syndrome. Who knows?

On advice from PG du Plessis, I’ve gone out and bought some super glue and attached myself to my desk chair – well, not really, but you get the idea.

So, this is me, poking you through countless wires and aerial transmissions right into the eclectic comforts of your home.

Enjoy the blog and Happy New Year to all!

P.S. I am accepting applications for a muse, seeing as my last one fled to the other side of the country – was it something I did? Enquire within.


Recent comments:

  • Ben - Editor
    Ben - Editor
    January 11th, 2008 @15:08 #

    Martinus, meet Bridget, who has something to say about the Second Book Syndrome, or Sophomore's Curse:

  • <a href="" rel="nofollow">Marion</a>
    January 13th, 2008 @18:42 #

    Hey Martinus. Welcome. I'm very sure you're not the first one who has ever felt like this. My problem is that my second book just flowed man. Loved the plot. Loved the idea and now I'm not sure whether it's still what I want. Good luck and we're all looking forward to your 2nd baby.

  • Sven
    January 13th, 2008 @20:40 #

    Hi Martinus,
    See my first post - I haven't written more than two consecutive sentences towards my next novel since May. Part of my problem is that I accidentally read Robertson Davies' 'Deptford Trilogy' last year and it turned out to be one of those books that makes you feel that anything else written since is totally redundant and unaccomplished - I urge you to avoid it all costs.


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