Never write before bed.
I’d finished the first draft of a short story and decided to call it a night. The piece still needed a lot of work but I was tired and it was already getting late.
I opened my eyes at precicely 2 am. My brain was shuffling paragraphs, smoothing out sentences, and formulating alternate endings. I was editing in my sleep! If I wasn’t so tired I’d have gotten out of bed and worked on the damned story. I opted to toss and turn in bed. I tried meditating, but I’ve never been very good at it. The story kept me staring at the ceiling for another hour. You can bet I spent the next day in a caffinated haze.
I learned my lesson.
I think I’ll stick to reading before bed. Dreaming about typing into a Microsoft word document is no fun. It’s more of a nightmare really.
PS Please excuse if the blog looks a little strange the next few days. I’m still playing around with the formatting.
It used to be that I could take any topic, and an hour or two later, like magic, I’d have a little story in my hands. It was that simple.
These days I feel like I’m learning to write all over again. I’m hacking apart the words with a steak knife and fitting them back together with duct tape. It’s a complete mess.
What happened? Suddenly I’m not just writing to entertain my friends or to please myself. I’ve wandered out of my comfort zone and my god there’s a big world outside.
We all suck when we start out.
Myra McEntire tells it like it is. Don’t listen to me. The “Suck It” video by Maureen Johnson is awesome.
But maybe you really don’t suck at all.
Nathan Bransford talks about the Dunning-Kruger effect. There’s also the impostor syndrome. The willpower engine explains this one.
But if you’re just starting out, you probably really do suck. That’s not a bad thing. It just means there’s more to learn.
And to cap off today’s musings, a pocket sized, honest to goodness, true story.
“Put me in the intermediate class.” E said.
“Are you sure?” I replied. “You’ve only skated a couple times. Do you even know how to stop?”
“Yeah. It should be easy.”
“OK, if you say so…”
One class later.
“I was the worst guy out there! I couldn’t even keep up! Can they transfer me to the beginners class? I don’t even know how to stop.”
“I thought you said you did!”
“Yeah but only by grabbing the walls.”