Monday, September 12, 2011

One of those days

Frustrated. Envious. Unhappy. Go ahead, stick all those things to my name. They're true.

I stand in the middle of the salt flats of the writer's world. I can see the beauty of the mountains in the distance, the majesty of the sunlight. But I don't appreciate any of it. Because someone has told me about the place where they are - green and full of life. Where every word comes with ease and the very nature of being a writer is a constant joy. Unrealistic? Maybe. But I don't seem to care. All I feel is the vast emptiness of the white plains, as empty and desolate as the notebook before me. No, that's not completely true. My notebook is filled with words but most of the look like this. None of them are inspiring. None of them have that sense that the author was on to something profound. None of them match the epic saga I see play out in my mind daily. My story. It's all there in my mind. Under lock and key.
 They say anyone can come up with a good story. But what separates the author from the dreamer is that the author is the one with the determination and the talent to write it down.

  I've never been that determined. Stubborn, yes. Determined, not as much. Procrastinator is a word that would better describe me. That's why I'm here, on my mother's brand new MacBook writing to you chums, instead of working on my algebra lesson and reading my science textbook for the test on Friday. It's also why I have three more parts for Bristé in the making, but part II still unpublished.
 You have to wonder what is stopping up my fountain pen. It wrote so wonderfully for the first three days TLOS was part of my schedule, but this week the words that come out feel childlike and awkward. And on top of that, I just don't feel like writing.
 But I feel the pressure of getting somewhere anyway, because, let's face it; if I sat around and only wrote when I felt like it, I know I would never finish.
 So how do I move on? How do I convince myself that every word I write isn't rubbish -- it may not be great, but I needn't go into an inner tantrum and strike out the last paragraph?

I don't know really what I'm looking for in writing all this {answers? encouragement? a wristband to the insane asylum?} and giving you all a rather bitter post to partake of with your eyes, if you've read it this far. {I wouldn't blame you if you didn't, I'm depressing my self.}
 But if you do have something helpful to say {keep it together, man!} it would be rather..... helpful. Perhaps you're going through the same phase as a writer I am. Perhaps I'm just bonkers. Either way.



  1. I love the little nod to "Monsters, Inc."

    When you are a writer, when you are an author, there is always someone above you. If you are a good writer, you're always looking up at that other someone, always straining to achieve that next level...and that sort of straining leaves the heart wide open to despair. There is always someone else above you, no matter how high you climb.

    It strikes as depressing.

    I know that feeling. I've just gone a long time without writing anything I considered "important" because I've been so busy getting the second draft of Adamantine edited. I was cross, I was grumpy, I was moody, I was at a loose end. My husband told me just to write - just write. I am always happier when I am writing something. And that's true. But it had been so long since I had written anything that a kind of metal plaque had built up that I had to break through. And it's hard. I'm lazy. Unless I'm really fired up, I don't do well. Sometimes I have to slog through the depression so I can slog through the laziness, so I can finally reach the keyboard and start writing.

    But I do it because, despite all the laziness and plotlessness and childishness that I fight, I love it. I'm learning to ignore the childishness, the thought of "How will anything I write ever be good?" So maybe what is spilling off my fingers is silly; I'll edit it later. In the meantime, I'm enjoying myself. I'm creating something. The touch-up work can come later. Maybe I'll hate it when I'm all done, but maybe I won't. It's worth a shot. I'm creating something.

    Try writing those ideas that are under lock and key. Write them, and fix it, and tweak it again, and add a touch of salt. Gwyn, believe me, it is so, so hard to say what you really mean the first time, the second time, sometimes even the third time through. But that story in your head matters, and you never know but it might matter to others too. And one of these passes as you're trying to get it out the way you really mean it, you'll find that you have - and that is a beautiful feeling.

    You're not bonkers. I think every honest author will own up to this slough of despond. But there is always Hope to lend a hand to pull you out, if you mean to press on, and I trust I have been a little bit of that for you. You're not bonkers. I'm right there with you.

  2. Heh. I'm in the exact same place. Writing personal narrative stuff for school is helping, but other than that, I just don't feel like writing.

    I don't feel TOO bad about it, but I don't want to lose my love for writing....

    Don't worry, Gwyn - writing rants like the above post will probably help temporarily if nothing else. And my dad's favorite author, L.M. Bujold, took a break from writing for SEVEN YEARS when she became a mom, and then went back to it just fine.

    Good luck! <3

  3. You're not alone. I feel the same way you do. The only problem is - I haven't found any way out of it yet. If you do, let us know. ;)And keep writing anyway.


  4. Oh, I know exactly how this feels. EXACTLY. And unfortunately, I don't have any words of encouragement because that's EXACTLY where I am. :( Sorry.

  5. I could say something like "keep persevering, don't give up, just keep writing and you'll get through it", but if I were to tell you that I would feel like a hypocrite. Because right now I'm in almost the same position as you. When everything I write is so hopelessly flawed that it makes me want to scream. But I don't, I just stare at the screen and try to ignore the fact that the word count hasn't changed in days.
    I guess we both need the encouragement. Sorry if this turned out to be a rather discouraging comment, I hope you can squeeze what ever meager comfort there is in knowing that someone else is going through the same thing you are.
    Praying we both find our way out of those white planes.
    Morgan J