Today, I had planned on joining fellow writing buddy Michelle T in doing a weekly progress report. I was on vacation all week, but instead of writing up a storm like I thought I would, I did nothing! Well, not nothing, but you know what I mean. 🙂
There is so much I could say right now, but in an effort to keep this as short as possible, I’ll jump right ahead to the matter at hand and hope that it makes some kind of sense.
During vacation, I finally finished this amazing, amazing story, and per usual, whenever I read something amazing, I freak the hell out about my own pile of artistic crap. I’ve actually been freaking out a lot lately. A few weeks ago, I cried through half of Big Hero 6 because it’s so good I could hardly stand it.
To be transparent, yes, I’m comparing myself to another writer. Of course people say not to do this, blah, blah, blah. But it’s the only way I can see where I need to improve. Everything I write is crap, and that is going to change.
My first instinct is to crawl into a hole and stop writing. However, we all know I can’t quit (and we know because I’ve tried so many times I should be ashamed, only I’m not). I’m a writer. I just need to get over it and freaking own it.
Nothing will ever be perfect, I swear I understand this, but sometimes I just messed up. So, after analyzing several stories and giving myself a migraine, I decided to shelve everything. Yes. EVERYTHING.
Now, before you think I’m being irrational, though it’s possible, this is the reasoning behind it: I don’t believe everything can be fixed. Sometimes you just have bad seeds. Sometimes the problem is so deep that you have to trash everything about it and start over from scratch. Sometimes something is just off.
Let’s face it: being a writer sucks. If I’m going to continue writing, I might as well aim my stupid rocket at amazing and try to be one of the best. Why settle for being the best chef at a three star restaurant in a three star town when who I really want to be is Emeril!
Sure, it may never happen, but if that’s what I want, what I really want, then I can’t settle for the best that I can do anymore. My best isn’t good enough. I have to be like Batman in the Dark Knight Rises and just leap without any ropes: make it or die. Reach for something I’m not sure I can grasp. Otherwise, what am I doing? Why do I bother?
So, I’m shelving everything. Because nothing is good enough. This includes DISCORD, and in a minute, I will tell you why.
This doesn’t mean I’m not going to work on “Phantom Silence.” I’m really not sure this story is what I’m looking for; I’m stilling ruminating over it. But it’s been therapeutic. I feel like it’s pointing me in the right direction, if nothing else, and something in there is making me feel like myself again. I feel less…bitter, for lack of a better word. Less bitter about EVERYTHING in my life, not just writing. Whatever the “it” is that is drawing my attention to this story – that is the link I’m missing.
In any case, my point is, I’m not querying anymore and putting myself through that crap until I have something amazing. I thought it was enough to love the story. I thought I could make it through queryHELL with my sanity in tact if it was a story that I loved enough. But DISCORD makes me happy, and it’s beautiful, and I love it, and it isn’t anywhere close to being enough. I truly need to believe that it’s the best thing I’ve ever written. I need to be able to hold it up against the works of amazing writers without it losing all of it’s color, or I’m not going to make it.
Querying DISCORD turned me into an empty shell who felt nothing and didn’t care anymore. And not in a depressed person way. Like in a looking at beige paint way. You don’t even notice what color you’re looking at after a while. It’s just there. It’s just a wall. It means nothing. I truly looked at my writing and felt nothing.
So, I have a thought on what I can do. I won’t go into too much detail now because this is long and I don’t want to psych myself out or sound crazy or both. But I’ll tell you a little story and maybe it will make sense.
You’re on your writer’s path, and you come to a clearing. Branching off from this clearing are different paths which disappear into the fog. However, there is one path drawing you closer; it’s magnetized. It scares you. So instead, you forge ahead into the wilderness and cut your own path. But you get lost along the way because you don’t know where you’re going, and you have nothing to guide you. And quite suddenly you realize where the magnetized path was trying to lead you. Only now that clearing is years behind you. So you continue in the wilderness and aim your compass for the direction you think you need to go. And you start to make some progress at last.
However, you come to a brick wall. Where you need to be is just on the other side. But your criss-crossed path will only take you so far. You realize with some dread, as you stare at these bricks, that you have to go back to the clearing and fix the mistake you’ve made several years ago. You have to go back to that first story you went awry with and take it on the right path – the path that is still waiting for you, because it is your path.
I’ll be honest, what I really, really want to do is dump everything and start over from scratch. I want to delete all of my stories, the plot bunny field, the story graveyard, everything. I want to set fire to all of my composition books, delete all of my notes. But that would be rash. However, I must be onto to something because I can FINALLY sleep at night. And it’s been a really long time. ^_^
I realize this probably sounds like I’m having a dramatic reaction to something, but nothing of note has happened in the last few weeks. I’m just trying to figure out where I need to go from here and realizing that I have nothing to lose by taking my time and writing what I really want to write.