Sunday, June 11, 2017

Can you become addicted to writing?

I go through withdrawal if I go a couple of days without writing something. Life starts to feel a little empty. Time's a'wasting. Maybe it's my age--I've got a lot of catching up to do.

I don't want to go off half-cocked, or do I? I started writing a spin-off sequel to "Deadfall Ridge" that I had no idea I was going to write. My only instruction to myself was to make it fast paced and have fun. I'm really not sure if the story is going anywhere.

And I don't know that I care. The writing itself is the medicine I need.

As I become more and more aware that I need to put more work into writing if I'm going to get anywhere, I'm also feeling a sense of rebellion. That's no fun.

All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

Screech...stop that. :)

So the acknowledgment that I need to do more planning, more outlining, more research. My brain understands that. But I don't really want to. (Said in a peeved voice.)

I understood 30 years ago in my previous career that I'm facile enough to write story after story after story--to no effect.

I've allowed myself to do that in my current phase, and I'm not sure it's wrong. Every time I write something, I learn. Every time I write something there is the chance that this one will be a great book. I do what I think is necessary to improve my chances, or do I just do what I want?

Admittedly, this is pure laziness, but--ironically--boy have I been productive giving into my instincts. For now, I'm just going with the flow. And the flow is being blocked on all sides by the publishing part of it.

So I scoot off to the side and just do my thing while I'm waiting. I have to write something, and it may as well be fun.


Dave Cline said...

When I get disgusted with the idea, no, the knowledge, that no one will be reading what I write (fictionally speaking), I end up over on my political voice blog writing essays on anything and everything under the sun.

Through that I can at least get my voice shouting into the void. And there I know that I have a much better chance at, if nothing else, hearing an echo, or maybe, a squeak from the canyon rim, "Hey, cool-strange idea!"

For I too find myself compelled to write. It's just that as Anonymole, there's no pressure to create something of moment, of import that, in my mind at least, must be done well and to the 9's, in a word publishable.

I remain convinced that were I to invest myself fully into some new substantial fiction writing endeavor, that when it fails and lands on the shelf, dust covered and skoffable, I know I'll think to myself -- why did I bother?

What comes to mind then, and maybe this already does or could apply to you, is what if you, what if I, treated the publishing world as an opaque box with an agent standing in front of it. This agent would take your stuff and 'always' say, "Good job! Needs to be changed like this, this and that. More conflict, more active voice, more fallibility in this character here. Now get back to it! And again GOOD JOB! I'll handle all the outside stuff. You just write!"

I could do that I think. Work on perfecting the craft, focusing on what the agent said. And ignoring what was selling or what wasn't. Maybe as a successful writer that's what you get to do. But as an unknown writer (me), all I can do is think "why bother."

Duncan McGeary said...

I feel the same way.

Duncan McGeary said...

I will say this, Dave. You're a very smart guy and very creative. There is no reason you shouldn't be writing books. Let yourself be less than perfect at first. You've got everything you need except getting those initial efforts out of the way, which we all have to do. Just saying, not in any patronizing way, you SHOULD be writing books.

Dave Cline said...