Monday, February 12, 2007

Done Bitchin'...Sort of

I've not been a happy camper on the writing front for ages. As in months. And more months. I've been on the blacker side of blue for about the same amount of time. Know what? I'm done. With the angry depressive crap anyway. Mostly.

I'm not a big fan of publicly moaning and groaning. Frankly, I tend to keep my process on the down-low because it's weirdly personal and I just don't feel like sharing. What the hell is anybody going to do/say besides offer (frequently good) advice, cheerleading, or poor babies? Yes, we all need a good poor baby every now and then, but it just gets old after a while.

Here's my oh-so-pithy conclusion: it's just words on the freakin' page. The novel is not the sum/total of who I am intellectually, emotionally, creatively, or any other "ly" you want to throw in. The world will not end if it is not perfect. The world will not end if I write it, or don't write it. I, however, may well implode if I continue to put all this insane-o pressure on myself to live up to ridiculous expectations. It is paralyzing and the end result will inevitably be a beautiful, still-born novel if I continue in this vein. So I quit.

No, I'm not quitting writing in general or the novel in particular. I quit with the whole crazy-making fear and insecurity. Thank you very much, but I really want to get back to having a little fun with words instead of incessant worry. So I'm letting go of bitch mode (okay, except for creepy-crawlers & other non-writing junk). My plan on implementing this? Go play when I'm truly stuck, stick it out if I'm just scared and stop with the angry depressive shit. It's just wasted energy and time and let's face it, we all have a limited supply of both.

I'm planning on entering the Debut Dagger thingie, and have been going nuts over how to write a synopsis for the reverse chronology of the novel. I'm letting go of that, too. I'll still enter, and do my best, but damned if I'm gonna get all flippy over it. Won't make the book any better or the work any more fun, so screw it. It's just words on the page, dammit!


At 10:04 PM, Blogger Daniel Hatadi said...

I've entered the Debut Dagger twice, and didn't win, although I did get longlisted the first time round (unofficially).

I'm wondering if I should enter this year. The pressure of having to make only a small part of the novel perfect feels a little stifling this time round. I think I just want to enjoy the process without time limits.

Marcus Sakey has some really great advice that I haven't seen elsewhere, especially the last point he makes.

"Don't get it right. Get it written."

At 7:15 AM, Blogger Bill Cameron said...

Marcus is a wise man. And, Angie, I think you are being a wise woman. Ease back and focus on the joy of writing. It'll come, I believe. Big Pussy tells it will.

At 9:01 AM, Blogger Trace said...

Good idea, Angie. It's easy to get caught up in the pressure, isn't it? I can relate.

At 9:02 AM, Blogger angie said...

Yeah, I've heard the "don't get it right, get it written" thing many, many times before. It's all good info, advice, etc. My issue is just about finding the joy again, cause the blue depresso crap is just so damn boring and non-productive. Here's to play & having a little fun!

At 11:29 AM, Blogger dink said...

what's Debut Dagger?

At 11:32 AM, Blogger angie said...

It's a contest for unpub'd writers (mysteries). Basically they want the first 3k or less (whole chapters) and a synopsis. Here's the link:

At 11:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes, they're just words on the page. I think we've all been there where writing becomes a burden and a chore and we forget it's a voluntary activity we're supposed to be doing cause we love it. Good luck with the entry.

At 12:06 PM, Blogger anne frasier said...

i think a lot of writing is recognizing and coming to terms with our own personal writing demons.

At 1:05 PM, Blogger Hulles said...

Go Angie! Good advice for yourself and for me. Thanks.

At 4:57 PM, Blogger dink said...

Thanks for explaining angie!

Good luck in the contest!


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