Thursday, December 13, 2007

I Hate Writing

I really do. I don't know why I keep doing this; spending hours staring at my lap-top, doodling in my journal, daydreaming about characters, wondering "what if?" All to create one more novel. Does the world really need one more novel?

While running Medusa, I am also working on my own book; a revision of my memoir about Paul. I am transforming it from fact to fiction, while keeping much of the true events intact. This was supposed to give me more freedom to make the story meaningful to readers and not just be a remembrance of my best friend. Easy, right? WRONG. Although I have a road map of events, I find that the road map is... well... boring. There are moments in the book, entire scenes, when the pacing really flows and the characters bounce off the page and excite me. I see the children chasing waves on the beach, daring the ocean to drown them, until one wave almost does. Then comes the scene when they are seventeen, staring at each other, unsure of what to say, until one of the characters will break from the moment, stare out at me from my lap top and ask, "So what?" Too often, I reply, "I don't know."

My Muse won't let me quit writing. She seems to enjoy watching me suffer. No matter that I've already written two novels, four plays, several short stories, a handful of awful poems, and one song. She wants another one! Perhaps I'd feel better about writing if anyone actually read and liked what I wrote! The last rejection letter I received for a short story said they liked it, but it needed more editing. I stared at that damn story for an hour and couldn't see a single thing to edit. What are they talking about? This is perfect? Then the crippling thought entered my brain which asks, "What if I'm a really bad writer?"

"Bull!" My Muse scoffs when I ask that question. "I wouldn't be here if you were a bad writer. You're just suffering from Author Blindness. No writer can see their own work clearly. That's why you need writing groups and editors. They're like giant spectacles to fight near-sightedness."

So I sent the story to a friend for editing and got back to work on my novel, because I don't know what else to do other than write. Not even running my own publishing company will satisfy my need to put words on paper and tell stories. I've tried quitting, but I actually suffer from withdrawal pains, like the ones I got when I gave up smoking. To quit smoking I started to knit. Knitting doesn't kill the need to write, though.

A Chinese curse says, "May you be born during interesting times." A better curse is, "May you be born a writer."

1 comment:

Ed Dobbins said...

I know the feeling. I write too and often wonder what the point is if hardly anyone's reading. It can be discouraging. Don't fret, though. Someone read this, at least....