oliver

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Broken, But in a Very Writerly Way

I think I'm broken.

Well, broken in an additional way.  (Let us not put the current "Ways I'm Broken" list here in print; print is so . . . evidential.)

Apparently this type of broken is pretty normal for writers, so, yay?

Maybe someone should market the hell out of that idea: "You're not a real writer unless you're *insert behavior that admitting to will earn you a 5150*."  Then we can all have asylum cred, and no type of "cred" is more respected than asylum cred.  "Rehab?  How banal.  I just got back from a stint in the loony bin; TOP THAT."

My current type of broken will not fit with the above marketing plan, however, and that's okay because the kid won't raise himself, the dog won't train herself, and they don't let you have a laptop and internet access in those places (the lack of which would probably end up sending me to the behavioral unit or solitary or wherever in the fuck they send you after they've sunk a needle full of Consciousness-B-Gone into your left butt cheek).


I'm broken because it does not seem to matter that every time I sit down to work on my current story I get work done--good work, mind you, not "work" as in I-unnecessarily-color-coded-all-my-notes-so-that-they-match-the-corresponding-character's-birthstone work.

(Also, please note that "good work" does not mean prolifically producing pounds of purple prose; it means being  productive and furthering the story's progress, even if that is accomplished through stringing words into phrases I'd rather die than let anyone else read.  ROUGH DRAFTS ARE ROUGH IN SO MANY WAYS, Y'ALL.)

Regardless of my excellent track record of productivity, I'm still ball-shrinkingly (regardless of my lack of physical balls) afraid each time I go sit down in my little writing spot--also known as the formal dining room that no one will ever eat in again because it is mine now.  I'm petrified that I'll sit down, take a breath, and . . . nothing.  I will be totally blank and totally empty.  All my inane writing fears will have finally evicted my actual ability and I'll have no choice but to go back to Elance and edit the works of all the "little writers who could."

And honestly, reading/editing some of that stuff was what got me to finally give my own writing a fair shake.  I mean, if people who write like that (no, I'm not going to be more specific) can sack up and actually create a finished work, then why the hell can't I?

I have the ideas and the ability, as you can clearly see; GODDAMMIT STOP LAUGHING.

I'm also willing to work, whenever I get the chance, for as long as it takes.  (And judging by how needy my kid can be, it's gonna take some time.)

So where is the fear coming from?  I've got the ingredients and I've got the recipe (more or less), so why am I still terrified every time I step a fucking foot in the kitchen?  (Those of you who are well aware of my lack of culinary skills can hold your damn peace; it's a metaphor and reality therefore has no place within it.)

Hell if I know, but it's really chapping my ass.

I'm attempting to apply a soothing balm by reading The Courage to Write.  I've never read it before and supposedly this little book will not only reassure me that all my issues are normal, but also show me how I can USE them to my writerly advantage.

Me and my skepticism will let you know how that goes.


Postscript: I worked on TWO stories yesterday . . . and didn't read a page in that book.  It's on my night stand, so courage by osmosisical proximity?

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