Mad Dogs, Lunatics, and Writers

For a long time I’ve been wondering how crazy stupid a person has to be to ever become a writer.the-writer2

Think about it. It’s a very solitary existence. You do most everything by yourself. Writing is very internal. You sit and watch people so you can learn about them. . You do a lot of people watching because at the end of the day you always write about people.

Even if your book is about robots and dragons you are still writing about people and their emotions and how they act.

But the real craziness comes when you realize there is no guarantee an editor or publisher will ever accept your work. You write send your stuff out and you do this over and over again.

That’s crazy.

That’s insane.

And the really inexplicable part is how we keep doing it despite the setbacks and obstacles, and no guarantee we will be published, or make money, or be recognized.

Because if fame is your goal….then you might as well give up because the likelihood is you are going to be disappointed.

But if all you want to do is write….well, that’s sustainable. That’s something to shoot for and be proud of. That’s accepting writing for what it is, and not what you want it to be.

Writing is crazy. It drives us crazy. It’s a damn crazy business.

Sometimes it takes everything I have to focus on this and try and understand what has me gripped in its power.

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Reflection on Story Present

I’ve been struggling with my new story “Remember Me in the Halls of Valhalla” for several weeks now.

To put things in perspective I haven’t been writing a lot lately. Personal stuff has roared in and stolen much of my time. It happens. But I have kept this story on the front burner in my mind.

Several nights ago I had a breakthrough on the plot. I usually have a vague idea where I want to go and what direction a story should take. I knew where I wanted to go with this one, but the direction was shaky.

I always believed writing is an organic process. I knew a solution would come. I slept on it and the idea continues to hold up. I need to be careful, though, because the “reveal” which is part of the story could overwhelm everything else.

So I’m going ahead with this idea and see where the remainder of the story lands.

For future projects I’d like to get one or two more short stories written and then move ahead with a summer project I’ve been planning for months now. More on that later. Maybe. Not trying to be a tease, I’m not 100% certain I will tackle it, or that I will have the opportunity.

But I think I will, and the idea excites me enough to see where that story might go. For me, that’s the fun part.

 

Water Reflection

Wake Up Call to Failure

Had my confidence badly shaken this weekend as regards my writing. It worked out in the end, at least I hope so. But it was a wake up call.When a witer doubts his own ability it is the death-watch beetle in the soul.

Dealing with loss of confidence has always been a problem with writing. I tend to skate high above these sorts of things, but when faced with my artistic and technical limitation in such a blatant and shocking way, it takes me aback and I start to doubt my own ability.

I think writers often wrestle with this kind of personal failure. It’s one thing to deal with rejections, missed opportunities, and what not. That’s baked into this profession and if you don’t learn to deal with those setbacks early on you never will find success.

But when the limiting factor is yourself, and when you had no one but yourself to depend on in the first place….it’s shocking.

No one holds myself to a higher standard than myself, especially when it comes to my writing. No one.

My feet still feel as if they are on shifting sand. It was one hell of a wake up call. I think it will be okay at least to the point the problem will be corrected.

But I cannot help but feel I failed myself in some fundamental way.

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