Sunday, January 3, 2010

Writing is hard

I am focusing today's daily writing on acknowledging the difficulty of writing. I think this will be a common theme for me, because I have a lot of thoughts about it that aren't done forming in my head.

One of Jack Heffron's writing prompts is to write about the positive messages we receive about our work, and to keep those messages visible to ourselves when we start feeling badly about our writing in a way that prevents us from succeeding.

I am reminded of the saying that we are "our own worst enemy", and it is certainly true for me. I have never received one negative message from anyone about the quality of my writing, yet I have quite often felt as though it was bad. Unimaginative, boring prose that no sane, intelligent person would want to read.

Recently I wrote that my dad told me how good he thought my writing is. Arguably, dads are supposed to support us and tell us that our art is good even when it isn't, but I think I can tell when my dad is lying.

My Aunt Alyce, who isn't really my aunt but I have claimed her as such, gives me so much support and positive love about my writing.

My friends, both "real" and bloggy, give me the most positive messages of all.

Even the criticism I have received from friends to whom I have entrusted my fiction for review has been constructive, positive feedback that I can use to better my writing. In truth, I am the only person to be so judgmental of my writing; to read it and then delete it in disgust, to pick apart sentences and criticise structure and stance.

If I could get out of my own way long enough to finish a project I might actually un-learn that behaviour. I wonder if the words that leak into my head and demand to be written are my own psyche's way of really forcing me aside so this creativity can come out. Perhaps that overwhelming need to write that I get is not actually true inspiration pouncing upon me, but my brain's way of forcing the creativity out of me; the creativity that I stifle by telling myself that I am not a "real" writer or that I don't have enough talent to pursue anything beyond writing-as-a-hobby.

Wouldn't it be neat if my unconscious knew better than my conscious what was best for me?


D.M. Bonanno said...

I think our issues are that we KNOW we can write better than what we see on the page. It's beneficial: it pushes us to improve, or to want to improve. We just need to perfect the process. :) The real trick though is not getting bogged down by where we are, and keep looking ahead to where we need to be. *hugs*

GirlGriot said...

Oh, to be able to get out of my own way! Wouldn't that be quite the gift?

One of the things I found the most liberating about doing the NaNoWriMo challenge was that I never had time to think about what I was writing or to go back and look over what I'd already written. I had to spend every available moment writing so that I'd make my daily word count, I had to just leave the old stuff alone. It was so interesting to go back after a month and see what I'd said.

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