True Confessions of a Writer 'In Process'

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My friend GingerGirl has done something awesome, though admittedly a little intimidating.  She's given herself a deadline to finish her novel, has been working on it daily for about . . . a month now? (is that right?)  . . . and has inadvertently guilted me into getting back to my own novel.

I can do this.  I can.  I can finish this thing.  Why not?

Why not, indeed.  I've been working on this novel for a few years now and I am ashamed to say I'm nowhere near the end.  I say the problem is not enough time, because of my job and my family and my responsibilities (you know, the endless list of excuses).  That, however, isn't the whole truth.  It's not even half the truth.  The real reason I haven't finished this story is that I am afraid.  I suppose that's true for most writers (at least, that's what they say in interviews), so I'm in good company.  But, what am I afraid of?  Yep, the usual.  That I'm just not good enough.

It's not writer's block; I see the story, I know my characters.  In fact, I love my characters.  They're like dear friends of mine (though it's sometimes a sad fondness, since I know a few of these darlings will have to die).  I can experience the world in my head--the scenarios, the highs and lows, the pain and joy.  I feel this story, and sometimes it explodes in technicolor brilliance behind my eyes.  But . . . can I tell it?

I have pages and pages of what seems to me like wordy, meandering drivel, with the occasional "good" sentence or scene.  And I don't mean "good" as in "well written."  I know how to revise and rewrite until a thing is honed for maximum effect, and I'm comfortable with the fact that this is a first draft and things are a bit slipshod at this stage.  No.  By "good," what I really mean is true.

If you're a writer, you know what I mean.  Well, I assume you do . . . we probably haven't met properly, so I can't say for sure.  I think it's safe to say, however, that most writers know and love their stories, as I do, and just want to be true to them, in the telling.  These funny, thoughtful, explosive, terrifying, poignant stories that live within us just needing a little nurturing by a competent mother so they can be birthed into existence and learn to walk around on their own.

So, no pressure, right?  Right.

I'm going to get back to my novel, now.  I've got a villain who's trying to take over my whole head, and I'd better get him in check before he wins.  As I said last post--a year of doing.

"Go then, there are other worlds than these."
- Stephen King, The Gunslinger

Aye.  Thankee, sai.  Wish me courage.

2012 Arsenal: What We Have

Monday, January 2, 2012

Hello, all.  Seems I'm always good for a New Year's post, huh?  (Even if it is a day late.)  I won't keep you long, however.  No, just a little blip of a post.  I don't have a lot to say that hasn't been said more thoroughly and eloquently than I could ever manage.  It's 2012, after all--a big year, according to, well, everything.  An election year in one of the most strained political climates of our time, the apocalypse, the end of the world.  You know, all that fun stuff.  All I know for sure is that, for me, this is a 'doing' year.  And for the world, this is a 'changing' year.  I am certain things will get worse before they get better, because isn't that the way it always goes?  But that's all right because we have each other, and we have ourselves--our dreams, our hope, and our tenacity.  We can build from there.

In the Archdruid Report, our hero John Michael Greer addresses this very same concept with his most recent post, Hope in a Cold Season.  He talks of hope and courage and our waning sense of entitlement.  "Courage, for example, isn’t a facile assurance that one is destined to win. It’s the quality of character and the act of will that does the right thing in the face of danger and fear."
Yes, Mr. Greer. I quite agree.

Ebbs and flows are everywhere--some things grow stronger while others grow weaker--as we move closer and closer to a critical point that will tip our country in a new direction.  Through it all, we must remember that we are still here.  Everything else is possibility.  

"Feel no shame for what you are."
     - New Year's Prayer
        Jeff Buckley

This next is a phenomenal video.  (It's worth watching in full screen, if you can.)  Somehow, it seemed apt.  Here's to a new year of growing in all the right ways.

"I put my soul in what I do."
     - When I Grow Up
        Fever Ray