Time to remind myself that I enjoy writing.
I watched the movie "Genius" the other day, about the relationship between the editor Maxwell Perkins and the author Thomas Wolfe, about how they wrestled the huge manuscripts that Wolfe wrote into readable novels. So...two years of working every day on "Time and the River."
Well, you know, no offense to all involved but...Fuck That.
I tried something new with this latest novel. The only variable I could think to help improve "The Scorching" was time. Time and perspective. I seem to have a baseline talent and insight and depth and intelligence that I can't do much about. But give it time, I figured, and maybe I'll be able to add a few layers.
And yes, it did seem to help. But in very small ways. Incremental ways. A couple of months struggling with the right approach.
But the fundamental book is still there. I'm not sure that 90% of the readers would notice much of a change. Meanwhile, I'm bleeding confidence, I'm losing interest, I'm getting discouraged.
So was it worth it?
I think I learn best to write by writing. Each new manuscript is a chance to get it right. I enjoy the process and apply everything I learned from the last one I wrote. I become more comfortable.
I know there is a school of thought that you should challenge yourself. That you shouldn't settle for comfortable. But I wonder if that is right?
My theory on writing is that doing what I like will improve my writing little by little because I'm learning new things by doing. It may be a slow process, but it's enjoyable. Not everything I write will see that light of day and that would probably drive some writers nuts, but I always figure there's more where that came from.
I'm looking forward to writing something that I enjoy. It's very freeing.
4 days ago