Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thoughts on Writing: I Should Write A Manuscript

Hi darlings,

I know I haven't written one of my writing/random emotional venting posts in a while. But elsewhere on the internets I have been saying for months... who am I kidding... for years, that I should just go ahead and write a manuscript. For one, every writer says the best way to learn how to write is to just go for it. And actually forcing yourself to complete a novel will teach you more about the writing process than anything else.

It's not that I haven't written anything. I write this blog. I write articles and reviews. I write short stories. But a novel is a commitment. And as we've reviewed, committing to something is scary. Committing to something means you can fail. I don't want to realize that my potential is a "tiny, gray, starveling little cat with diarrhea..."
That would be horrifying. Putting yourself out there to face rejection is horrifying. But even worse is putting in effort before putting yourself out there and then getting rejected. It's much easier to decide to audition for something on a whim than to practice every day until you feel like you've reached the peak of your abilities only to be told that you aren't good enough. It's much easier to focus on the subjects you're good at and commit halfheartedly to those you aren't so that when you don't get an A, you can excuse it as not performing to your full potential. And it's much easier to spend time writing rambling short stories that may not be entirely internally consistent, instead of working on a full-fledged novel that you put time into conceiving and plotting and editing and then send off to publishers. Because when you experience failure after all of that, it can crush your spirit. Maybe not at all once. Nothing as dramatic as all that. But your confidence can leave you bit by bit until you're emotionally paralyzed.

But eventually you have to keep moving. And no one is going to carry you home. No matter what The Drums say. 
So I'm going to force myself to keep marching on. One slow, wobbly step at a time. It may take me some time to work out what I want to write about as I'm full of ideas but writing a novel is about finding something you seriously want to write about for months, not something you think sounds interesting that you'll abandon a quarter of the way through. Maybe I'll talk to you about my ideas. Or maybe I'll just talk to my dog. But regardless, I will keep you updated, darlings.

Thanks for listening,

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