I’m kind of hoping he never sees this post… but the possibility that he could pick it up somewhere via the internet means I shouldn’t say things like ‘I never paid attention to him before’. Alas… Dave Holmes has been out of my memory for as long as MTV hasn’t played videos and he wasn’t hosting my favorite bands on MTV Live and TRL. Out of sight, out of mind.
Last Monday, one of my occaisional guilty pleasures, The Baub Show, hosted Dave to talk about his new project. It seems Dave is writing a book. And I had no clue the man was a writer. I listened, with rapt attention to Dave’s idea and process. Read 12 of those ‘I did this for a year’ kinds of books and then…write a book about it. Genius, eh? I’d buy it, Dave. I swear. I mean, I bought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies (didn’t read it, but…), so it’s safe to say, I’d buy that. And I might even read it.
Dave runs a blog, a Tumblr, I guess, which is pretty neat because it doesn’t allow for comments, so there’s no hecklement and harassification (I made those words up, because I am a writer. Language is alive, or so I hear), just you and your material. Today’s post reinforces something he said on The Baub Show last week and totally, totally defines my writing experience right now:
1) “I am not a woman who enjoys process. I am a writer who does not enjoy writing.”
I feel you Adrienne Martini. I love writing, but I love avoiding writing even more. You know, obviously. But I promise to do better going forward.
3) “That’s what I like about [the] Mary Tudor [pattern]. The pattern is for just one size. That’s it.”
“But is that going to look good?”
“Probably not. But it’s about finishing it, not wearing it,” I say.
Word. The possibility that this project might someday turn into a book, while exciting, is making me evaluate it as it goes, making me less enthusiastic about plowing forward with it when I’m not sure how the end result will read. Some things are just about doing, about finishing. Like the Marathon: I knew I wasn’t going to win, or even look good in the dri-tec t-shirt. I just did it, and I used to just do this, and I need to get back to it.
To be continued, really.
It always strikes me as kind of funny, in an ‘wow, that’s amazing’ way, to hear writers talk about how they aren’t just rushing toward the keyboard everyday and ideas just aren’t pouring out of them all the time and they aren’t deep fountains of pontifications. I wonder if Stephen King wastes time watching Reality TV while his latest novel sits somewhere in his study? Does Nora Roberts accidentally-on-purpose leave her outline at home in some purse and so, oops, she can’t pound out that new chapter? I guess probably not, but us “regular” people, us writers toiling down here near the soil, it’s not an everyday, turned on thing. I might be inspired about 4 days a month. TRULY. The amount of times that I’ve re-written 2500 words of a chapter would blow your MIND.
Like Dave, I don’t so much hate writing. I don’t hate thinking and plotting and planning and mulling over conversations and actions and settings in my mind. Actually what I hate is not writing. When I don’t have ideas, or I don’t feel like it, or I read the first 2500 words and go, ‘woof’, and close the page and watch another episode of Criminal Minds. Readers of this blog know that I regularly question whether I should call myself a writer. Anyone can put words on a page. At least that’s my opinion.
His second point hits me so strongly. Earlier today I was shaming myself. I keep thinking about that book I was going to write this year that I haven’t managed to get past Chapter 1, on. For some reason, calling it a book was so intimidating and daunting. It was like every word was sealing its fate and every sentence or paragraph or chapter was going to cement my chances of getting published. Even if I decided to publish myself, it’s still so much pressure to open up and tell people, “uhhh, so I wrote this book and uh…. you could, you know, buy it. Or whatever.” OH My. God. Would never happen. I’d be the worst self promoter ever!
As well, I’m so lately struggling with motivation and ideas. When am I NOT struggling with motivation and ideas? Seriously. Anyway, I said all that, not to say that I always feel better to see another writer struggling to actually write. I actually don’t feel alone and I feel a bit of a kinship and I don’t feel like a freak. The blogs and twitter are just full of people #writing. So much writing! 800 words! Woo! Rewrote chapter 7, alright! Got my book sold! Yay!
Me? I’m avoiding Chapters 51 and 17.
By the way, Same Time Next Week came calling last weekend. I rewrote several chapters, lopped off the diseased end and am starting forward from a new spot, without resolving all of my conflict. I think. Errr. I’m actually waiting on a friend to read the latest revisions and give me some notes back before I start up again. In the meantime, I have more to add to the saga that is All I Wanna Do.
Looks at Chapter 51. Again. I swear I am not going to close it.