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Because ...

Surprisingly, yesterday turned out all right.

I was paranoid all day, convinced that what I wrote (and what I write) is crap, but I had a good day at work and a good night at home. What I've realized is that I'm a writer.

Will something good come from yesterday? Don't know -- and it doesn't matter. Sure, I write because I want to publish, but I also write because it's a part of my identity. Reading is fine, and I receive a great deal of enjoyment from that aspect, but there's a part of my brain that wants to tell stories. Now, it also tells me I've got a long ways to go before I can string together words like some of the people I read; that's the paranoid side of the equation.

Here's the secret, though. You're never good enough. I think that's why Wolfe's comment about learning to write novels rings true for me. We're gods when we write. Flawed gods, creating worlds where nouns and verbs carry the weight of action, and things don't always turn out the way we want. There's always room for improvement in your work, and you either see that as a burden or as a challenge.

Do I still need to work on yesterday's submission? Sure as hell I do. I want to please my own sense of accomplishment and I want to please the person who requested it. I'm a good boy that way. Everything I learn writing one book or one story goes into the next book or next story.

Because I'm a writer.

Comments

pgmcc
Oct. 3rd, 2007 09:24 pm (UTC)
I had the pleasure some years ago of attending a reading by David Gemmell . After his reading he opened the session to questions.

A member of the audience asked, "If you write something and people don't like it, do you not feel bad?"

David answered, "Mr. & Mrs. Gemmell brought their son up to be very arrogant. If I write something and 10,000 people don't like it, then I know there are 10,000 very stupid people in the world."

Enjoy your writing. Of course we can improve things. If we looked at some of our old work and didn't think it could be improved, then we would have stopped growing.


So, when's the launch party?
stevenagy
Oct. 3rd, 2007 10:08 pm (UTC)
Ha!

"Launch party" is definitely cart before horse. I'm treating this the same way I did when I sold my first story. I'll believe it when I see it. I don't have any frame of reference for the time scales involved.
pgmcc
Oct. 3rd, 2007 10:20 pm (UTC)
A few years ago (everything is measured in years these days, except for the things I measure in decades) I went to the Writers' Holiday in Wales. It was great fun.

I attended a talk on Motivation for Writers. The first bit of advice was, "First thing every morning, position yourself infront of a mirror, look yourself straight in the eye and, in a loud, confident voice, shout, 'I AM A GREAT WRITER'."

Try it. It works.
stevenagy
Oct. 4th, 2007 12:08 am (UTC)
That's a nice approach.

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