Wednesday, October 31, 2012

"You Only Fail If You Stop Writing" --Ray Bradbury

I came close to failing.  I haven't updated my blog in close to two months, it took me those two months to write a 3,000 word story.  I had stopped working on my novel, and was considering getting out of the writing game. 

Writing is work.  It is not fun.  It is the terrible opportunity to sit down in front of a mirror and look at yourself.  For hours.  On the other hand, I feel better after I have written.  I find myself with greater clarity, a greater capacity to concentrate, and overall have a sense of accomplishment I fail to get from my work life.

I love reading.  Writing seems, in some ways, to be my self-medication.  The problem is when I don't have the motivation to do it, I fall apart without that activity which centers me.

I used to try to count the number of attributes someone needed to be a writer.  I've lost count.  Someone needs an ability with words, good ideas, that special dedication that lets them pump out words on a daily basis, a thick skin that doesn't take rejection to heart, an ego that believes it needs to be heard, a compliant enough personality that allows others to mess with their manuscript, a cheerfulness that is undampened by hours spent alone with only their own words for company, the tireless energy it takes to self-promote, even when the publisher is doing so.


Some of these things come naturally to some people.  Others must work on several aspects.  I'm still working on several.  But I'm back.  I'm working on my feelings of isloation by having a Pathfinder group meeting at my house.  I'd say it might cut into my writing, but I'm barely getting any done at the moment.  And it's nice to have people in the house.  They're a good group, and they make a pleasant change from the social interaction I get at work.

I've sent some short stories out, "A Poor Sinner's Hands" to Atomic Age Cthulhu, "No Small Dreams" to Aetherial Publishing, "Nicaragua 1986" to Anthology II (which I didn't get in to) and "Between Two Living Gods" to Epitaphs 2.  But I've also got a number of stories basically sitting around and I need to get them back into circulation.  I also need to finish my novel, because I'm having ideas for the next one, and that's the most fun I've had for a couple of months. 

So Happy Halloween.  May scary things happen to you, and may you enjoy them.  I'm starting to, again. 

4 comments:

mackenziesdragonsnest said...

Never say fail, John. Welcome back.

John Goodrich said...

Thanks, Shawn.

Good friends made getting out of that hole much easier.

Elizabeth Bear said...

Fallow periods are also an important part of development--and as hard as it is for us workaholics to admit it, sometimes we need a little time off. Working 24/7 is mostly a route to burnout.

FWIW.

Short form: It's okay to quit once in a while, as long as you unquit again eventually.

John Goodrich said...

Thanks, Bear. Greatly appreciated.