Time has been so short, and yet, somehow, has been so long. I’ve been wrestling with my WiP and myself for over a week now. If only I could figure out what’s been eating at me, seeming to make all motivation and inspiration evaporate into nothingness.
Bit by bit the pieces that have been floating around me are coming together. The picture, as it materializes, is something different from what I thought it would be. I guess I got too tangled in the notions of others I don’t even know. Although I feel quite comfortable with most of the websites I go to and have been going to for a while, would I be “listening” so intently to the owners/writers of those sites if I knew them in person? Honestly, as much as I regard them as friends, I don’t think my attention would be quite as great if they were on the platform giving a lecture. Out here in cyberspace, there isn’t such a thing as body language or tone of voice, unless, of course you’re hooked up to a webcam. Even at that, all parties involved in the “chat” must have a webcam. It’s just not the same as physical face to face.
It isn’t that I’ve decided anyone in cyberspace isn’t worth trusting. It isn’t anything like that at all. I’ve just come to realize I’ve gotten caught in the bog of following the pack, not bothering to discriminate what information is good for me and what I can discard. For instance, do I really need to dive into information about publishing when I’m still on my first draft (for the second time)? Even though the knowledge is good to have, I need to focus on my draft. The publishing is still too far in the future.
I don’t know how many posts I’ve read giving me advice about voice, POV, emotion, descriptive passages, narrative styles, dialogue, and so much more. Yet, once I’ve finished reading whatever article, I’m thinking I know this. So why do I keep on reading it again and again in different blogs? The reason is I’m afraid I’ve missed something in all those years of taking classes in English and Creative Writing. Though, I seem to have retained a lot of what I learned and the information is good, what really is the chance that I need this material in my face once again?
The picture that’s emerging as the fragments find their places is telling me to stop feeding the self-doubt. I should, instead, be enjoying the blog posts of my friends more as a pastime, those needed breaks from my writing.
I know and have read all about getting more words down. Why do I need to do this? My only time limit is the length of my life. I’m not terminally ill so this limit is unknown. Yes, I’d like to write more than one book, but it isn’t a “do or die” goal of mine. Any second book is just a dream on one of my many clouds right now. I’ll feel much better going at this project at my own speed, not someone else’s.
I guess this illusion I’ve been carrying around with me started in August, maybe July. It slowly ate away at the passion I feel for this craft. Now that the misconception is gone, I need to figure out how to prevent it from happening again. I could stop reading all of those posts, at least for a while. What I’d rather do though, is go ahead and read them but from a different perspective. This may mean either more or less comments from me depending on the post.
I’m going to start posting in my own blog just once a week. Stress and I don’t get along well these days, so I’m going to cut a lot of it out of my life. It used to be a certain amount of stress was good for me. It helped me get things done. I think I’ve changed though and need to rely more on organization instead.
“Long patience and application saturated with your heart’s blood—you will either write or you will not—and the only way to find out whether you will or not is to try.”
—Jim Tully, WD