This post by Janet Reid could not have come at a better time. I’m really struggling with the writing thing lately. I have been writing for… I don’t know about two (or is it three?) years straight. If I live in the bubble where I only read my writing, it seems good. Solid. And then I read someone else, or an actual published author and I realize how good I am NOT. It’s depressing.
Janet’s post, which links to a post by Ira Glass, completely describes my feeling right now:
“What nobody tells people who are beginners — and I really wish someone had told this to me . . . is that all of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste.
But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, and it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not.
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you.
A lot of people never get past this phase. They quit.
Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this.
And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know it’s normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work.
At least I know I have taste? I don’t know. I’m just tired, you know? It’s been a long hard journey of half a million words to just get to “crappy”. Imagine how many words I have to put in to get to “okay”.
I am tired of feeling like a talentless hack. I am tired of opening up this blog and whining about feeling like a talentless hack. I am tired of reading comments from people who only mean the very best, telling me that a lot of writers feel this way and also I am not a talentless hack. I’m just tired.
I don’t feel it, right now. I need a break. So I’m taking it. I’ll be back in June, I hope.
So, I had a bad night last night. Very, very bad. Like, sitting in bed staring at the laptop, sniffling and sobbing, teary twitter updates bad night. And it was all my project’s fault.
See, here is the thing. I’m a writer. I have finally admitted to myself that I do this thing called writing. And now that I am well aware that I am a writer, I am looking past just “writing”. Now what I want is to AUTHOR.
I want to write a book. Not a book that I finish and smile at and put away. Not a book that is so amateur that I have to self publish because YE GODZ, lady, no one is going to publish that drivel. I want to author a book and then edit the crap out of it and rewrite it and edit the crap out of THAT and send it to 184 agents and have ONE say “yeah I think we can make this work” and have that agent send it to 45 publishing companies and have one of THEM say, “Yeah, we definitely want to publish this” and have my book be available at frikken Barnes & Noble where my mother– who lives on the other side of the country– can go visit a bookstore with her best girlfriend and stand there and stare at it and cry in the middle of the store and be all proud and stuff.
I want that.
But the thing is? I’m not really sure I have that kind of talent. READ MORE »
Today at DIYMFA, we are discussing our writing rituals, or those habits we subconciously fall into in order to get in the mood for writing. Rituals remind me of when a dog goes to lay down. They primp and pace, sniff around, then turn three times and flop down in their favorite spot… every time.
It’s not unlike the ritual of a writer, except I don’t do any sniffing around. The reason our rituals or habits are important is because it tells our minds and our muses that it’s time to get down to business. So, let’s chat about our habits and rituals.
What are yours? Share in the comments!
READ MORE »
Today, a piece of poetry that I wrote, entitled Goodnight, Sweet Prince, Goodnight is featured at Wellness & Writing Connections blog. This month, they have been featuring poetry on dealing with loss of a loved one. The moment I saw this call for submissions, I knew I had to submit this piece.
I was 15. It was summer in Spokane, Washington.Temperatures often climbed to the high 90′s and over 100 degrees so it was a blazing hot, no respite from the heat kind of summer but I loved it. I want to say that it was July.
We– my family- were members of a small black church. In black churches we have two Sunday services– Sunday School and morning service, and then Bible Study and evening service. The break between the two services was just long enough to gather at a restaurant or a congregation member’s home, eat and rest, and rev yourself back up for another round.
We were enjoying our break by having dinner at some friends of my parents and getting into the car to head to evening service. It was me, my friends Taya and Tori, and my brothers, all heading to our cars to wait for our parents to come out.
The phone rang.
In an instant, the world changed. READ MORE »
Welcome to another Six Sentence Sunday, a project that even YOU- yes YOU, unpublished, fledgling, wannabe, aspiring writer can participate in! Got a blog and at least six sentences? Sign up HERE and share them each Sunday!
I skipped last week because I didn’t want to join in again until I had something to share from the new project. I hesitate to call it a novel because if I do, then I get all overwhelmed and stop working on it. That said, I have some sentences from said new project.
In this scene, Maxine, a buxom, attractive, but terribly vain and overly self confident woman is stewing over a man she wants, but seems to be hopelessly attracted to her less attractive, more homely, girl-next-door friend. I love this scene because I can almost see her pouting and stomping her feet in a childish fit:
Maxine plunked her debit card onto the counter and slid it toward Ruby, not even listening to what the old lady was mumbling about.
Her mind was consumed with Malcolm. How had Renee managed to get an invite to dinner? And why had he seemed so happy to be sitting with her? And why hadn’t he shown the least bit of interest towards Maxine? She was irresistible—many, many men told her so.
That’s it for this Sunday! Please check out the other entries at or via the hashtag #sundaysix or #sixsunday on twitter.