Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Trust and Writing

As a writer, I am chaotic and vulnerable and I push myself to the limit. I believe in digging in and holding ground. Writing is always a battle with me.

I am almost extremely impatient. (with pretty much everything- not just writing)

The book I've been working on for the past few months has been wriggling in my grasp. The story, the characters- everything has been a struggle, everything has been difficult. I was going all sorts of places with the plot (in planning stages), I was daring myself to break all of the conventions I usually rely on, but the novel never felt right. I was never able to slip under the water and grow gills and let myself breath the story in. I always felt like I was drowning.

Over Spring Break, I had a sleepless night where I wanted to give it all up. I knew that something was wrong, but I couldn't figure it out. Then the doubt crept in and, let me tell you, doubt is a writer's greatest downfall. It's poison. I cried my eyes out with exhaustion and frustration and anger at myself the next day. And had another sleepless night.

But that night, in that waking, near hallucinatory state that comes with going so long without sleep, I figured it out. And once I began to figure one part out, I was able to figure another part out and so on and so forth and I told all of the doubt that had been suffocating me to go to hell.

And yes, now, it's all falling into place. (I was missing an essential character, by the way, who now I can't believe didn't exist before) What I just realized, though, was that I had to go through all of those months of struggling and wrestling with the story to get to the point that I'm at now. I needed those months of pushing myself and going outside of my box and grappling with difficult characters and a convoluted plot to be able to set myself up where I am with the story today.

So the lesson learned here is to trust myself. To trust who I am as a writer and where I'm going and let the story work itself out in the way that it needs to.

Disclaimer: Yes, I'm also aware that anyone who is not a writer (or artist, musician, etc.) probably has no idea what I'm talking about. And that's okay, too.

3 comments:

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    1. Sorry. I meant to say I know how you feel. And I love the show Justified too.

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  2. I've nearly quit so many times. Once I thought I had quit just after college. Then it seemed that everything kept drawing writing projects for others. Eventually I picked up where I had left off and I haven't really stopped since.

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