Journal

I know nothing

A long way to descend
A long way to descend by Rickz (CC)

Sometimes the I feel like I’m growing backwards. The older I get, the younger I feel, because I realize just how much I don’t know, and how much I can’t predict. Life takes you unexpected places.

I have no idea what will happen with this fledgling writing career. Some days it’s hard to see beyond the frustrating words on the page. Other days I look up and I swear this path looks like the way to Mordor instead of paradise.

When I sit down to write these days, I balk and panic. The blank page feels more daunting than ever. The more experience I get, the more I realize I still have to improve. I can think back to stories I’ve written in the past and think of ways to make them better. It’s harder for me to let go and not revise endlessly.

At this rate, I’ll be learning forever, but that’s some kind of wonderful too – to think that it’ll never stop being a challenge. What kind of fun is easy? Pft! I know there will be tough parts on this path, but good parts too. Isn’t that what all adventures are about? Though, I sure do hope that isn’t Mt. Doom up ahead, and just a lovely picnic spot instead.

Writing Updates:

Things are going slowly right now, but they’re still going. I’ve slammed right into the troublesome middles of the latest WIP. I’m almost 40k in, and it feels like I’m trudging through one stale idea to the next. This usually happens when I hit the middle mark, so I’m not entirely worried. My rational mind tells me I have to push through this part and fix it later, while my creative mind is telling me its all derivative. I’ll get through it though. I know my demons. They never go away, but I’m better at ignoring them now.

Despite being sidetracked by the demands of the day job for a couple of months, it still looks like I’ll finish the first draft of this WIP by the end of August, as long as there aren’t any major emergencies around here. (I’m knocking furiously on wood right now.)

What do you hope is waiting for you at the end of your writing (mis)adventures? To meet the wise man of the mountain and be granted with incredible wisdom, to stumble across a dragon treasure and be wealthy forever, to find your friends all waiting and ready for a party, to walk up to the front door of a 5 star hotel…

14 Comments

  1. I find the same thing is true of me: the more I write, the more I learn about writing and the more I realize that I’m still so so far from where I want to be.

    But right now… I’d just be happy to have any kind of “writing update”, even if it were a poor one.

    No, that’s not true. I wouldn’t be happy with a poor one. I want to crow about a great writing week.

  2. I feel like you and I are in the exact same place right now. The more I learn, the farther I feel from my goal. The encouraging part is that I can turn around and see how far I’ve come, but that end goal seems unreachable most days.

    Taking a break to write something fun with no pressure has renewed my joy in writing and I’m hoping that’s the boost I need to finish my WIP that has been sitting since December. *sigh*

    As far as what I hope to find at the end, I’ve dreamed about it, but in reality I just want to make it to the end.

    1. T. S. Bazelli Author

      It’s good to know you’re not alone either. I wish it was possible to know just how far there is left to go, but this is one tricky, windy path, and you can’t ever see around the corner *sighs*

      1. So, I posted a giant comment last night and either it got eaten or I somehow deleted it. But I want to chime in here and take another crack.

        Both of you may be experiencing degrees of what Mary Robinette Kowal calls “Impostor Syndrome.” She didn’t invent it, but she sticks in my head because she’s an author we ought to aspire to be. She writes quickly, she sells well, she’s public about her struggles while striving for a high quality of art, and she’s nominated for and wins awards every year. But she still sees herself in a similar spot to all of us.

        I imagine I will always think this way. I will always think my work isn’t good enough, complete enough, serving enough people, selling enough or whatever, and ultimately, that I’m not working hard enough. Both of you know that I routinely work myself to the point of shaking or utter incapacitation. And I have less on my plate than either of you, who are juggling so much that we don’t have to blog about, but reasonably, we do have to consider demand our time.

        So, none of this sounds anything like what I wrote last night. But I’m going to leave it this way. If I can ever help either of you, Theresa or Danni, please ask. I believe in both of you as people, and I know both of you are talented.

      2. I think I’ll always feel this way, but there’s also relief in knowing that it’s just a feeling. The trick is knowing when to ignore it, and when to give in to it – easier said than done.

        Thanks John. Same goes for you! No more working yourself into ill health, please. I hope you will stay healthy enough to keep writing for a very long time.

  3. I don’t think I have a goal, other than writing and writing as well as I can. Which is a pretty huge goal, so all the more reason not to complicate it with other things.

    I don’t really think of writing as a journey, at least not a journey that’s separate from the overall journey of living. I’m not trying to get anywhere other than where I am, I guess.

  4. My publisher might go under. This will be the second time in a row this has happened to me.

    Maybe it’s a sign I need to open my own publishing house!

    We’ll see.

  5. Something that really helped me this time was blocking out everything except the writing – the querying, the publishing hopes, all of it. I let myself go back to when writing was nothing but joy, love, and passion, and that ended up giving me the best drafting experience I’ve ever had. It can be so tough sometimes to push on through, but I think that drive is at the heart of every writer. Like you said, we keep on going … 🙂

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