Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Creative Writing Is Like a Scribble

Some day, I hope to read this post while sitting on the back porch of my house that sits along the Oregon Coast. Or in Ireland. I'm really not picky.

I'm in the midst of one of those writer woes where I question every word I write and bang my head several times against a keyboard. Then, during the moments that I genuinely enjoy what I've written, I proceed to question if this is really what I should be spending my time dong because it doesn't seem like it is a viable option for my future. After all, at twenty four, real jobs and real lives need to assert themselves as opposed to the fantasy of writing a novel about children who are being forced to grow up.

I have jokingly been told that if I was the first child born in my family, there probably would have been no more. That is how I feel about book three. If this was the first book I've tried to write, I wouldn't have written any more of it. It's not that what I'm writing isn't good and its not as if I'm struggling to come up with idea's. It's that this is the book that needs to wrap everything up. The pay off that I've been asking readers to wait for is finally here and I don't want to disappoint. Add that on top of what I know about the publishing world and suddenly I become frustrated. Not only do I need to make a compelling story, but I need to do one in a certain amount of words because the publishing companies know that the general populace has the shortest attention span in decades and can only handle so many pages thrown at them. My word count, almost triples the amount of words usually allotted to a new author.  And that is only the first book. Of course there are exceptions to the rule, especially in the fantasy genera, but I don’t think my ego is big enough to assume that I will fall into that small little category of authors who managed to get around that. So, as I'm writing, I find myself wanting to edit and cut as I go, which then just hinders the creative process, which then makes me decide that I should probably cut out certain storylines, which then makes me upset because I'm the writer, of course I think its important to the story and so on and so on and so on. It's been a frustrating loop of ick that I'm sure plenty of writers have gone through before.  In the words of the great Chukc Shurley "writing is hard".

But that's not all. No. Because that? That I could probably handle. I then start thinking about the fact that it doesn't matter if I somehow drink a magic potion and become the greatest writer to ever live. It doesn't mean a damn thing if you are not in the right place and the right time and even then, that might mean nothing if you don't know how to market yourself.

Head. Meet Wall. Become great friends because you two will collide for the next x amount of years.

The publishing world is a mish mash of frustration and tears and proverbial blood that makes me want to run
screaming through the night while tearing out my hair and crying big sobbing tears that I only like to cry when a favorite character on a television show dies. It also leaves me rambling in run on sentences and for that I am sorry.

Add this overwhelming panic to everyday life like college, work, trying to maintain a social life, a blog, and a genuine desire to consume arts and other literature to keep up with the writing world so I can stay on top of the business, and you have just created a very frazzled me. My usually tidy house is in a disarray that I can't even muster up the energy to clean and every day that I don't manage to get out and do some amount of exercise in order to hopefully counteract the shotty immune system that I was blessed with, I feel guilty. Furthermore, there are about a dozen and a half things that I've committed to over the next six months and I have a dwindling bank account because of situations popping up like sick cats, personal emergencies, or you know, food. I somehow managed to grocery shop today which was a feat all on its own.

Last night, this all came to a head. The storm has been brewing for a while and last night it hit in that jittery too much caffeine and not enough hours in the day kind of way. So, I made myself a deal.

There's not much I can do about all this. Work and college and social lives are always going to happen because they have to and most of the time that I'm doing all these things, I'll be thinking about my story. And its because I'll be thinking about my story, that I'm not going to give up on writing because obviously its important enough for me to spend hours every day obsessing over. But there are things I can do to become more proactive.

  1. Write three pages everyday because eventually, those three pages will turn into a book.
  2. Work on my blog or Whimsy Travels (because yes, while I'm freaking out about all this, I of course started a new project to add to my time spent on the computer) at least an hour a day.
  3. Do your damn schoolwork! Thank God I'm good in class.
  4. See the sunshine because they tell me its good for you.
  5. Do not worry if your house is in a disarray or if you have to turn off your phone and neglect your life for a bit. It's not always going to be this way.

The time has come that I have resolve face. My characters don't deserve to be wandering around the dusty mazes of my mind. They deserve to be out there and heard and read about. In order to do that, I have to go a bit crazy and I have to accept that that's okay. I also have to write blogs like this to vent my frustrations and move on from the fact that I'm falling into a stereotypical emo writing mode that I so very loathe. To anyone that knows me, I have my 'shit needs to get done' face on. Which means I'm probably going to become a hermit. At times like this I'm always reminded of that triangle thing they tell you about when you enter college. At each corner of a triangle is a different aspect of your life; sleep, social life, school. The sides of the triangle only make up two of these aspects or some weird thing like that but basically, what it comes down to, is you sacrifice something. You can't have all three. The PTB dictates that you only can have two. Well, writer me doesn't really have a triangle (so I'm not sure why I'm rambling on about this analogy) but I do have a scribble and somewhere in that scribble, something in my life is gong to get lost or drawn over or violently negated.

I'm not sure where I was going with any of that.

In other news, in order to calm the chaos of my brain a bit, I've decided to re-read Harry Potter. I sometimes forget why I love writing and stories and then I remember nights spent reading by flashlight or days spent eating pumpkin seeds while reading these stories on my bed. It's time to remember why I love creating and who better a reminder that J.K Rowling and the completely memorizing world she created.

Like I said. Hopefully, one day, I will be sitting on a beautiful back porch, cup of perfect coffee in my hands, reading this old entry of mine and laughing at the inner turmoils that were completely unnecessary.

Or I will be in a straight jacket, in a comfortable mental institution, being fed pudding.

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