Reality – 1, Me – 0

Note: I wrote this post before the previous one, “Writing ‘Till My Wrists Fall Off”. This is how I was feeling before that one. If you have read that one, you know that things turned out okay.

 

Lately I have been whining about writing. I was stupid and didn’t become involved enough in another project once Winter’s Trial was waiting or being edited. Maybe I wrote the subsequent short story too fast; I don’t know. I was reading around tonight, and this is a fairly normal reaction after initial publication. But I didn’t know that before, and the thoughts would not stop plaguing me.

So, I whined more, finally making my friends throw up their hands and change the subject.

Publication was a huge goal, a mountain, something I have wanted for about a billion years. It’s not mainstream and it’s a small debut, but it’s still a huge achievement (I guess). Now that I have achieved that goal, I kept asking myself if I wanted to continue. Do I want to write? Is this still a dream I want to pursue in the future? Or was it some lame bucket list item that I can cross off and never think about again? Now that I have climbed that mountain, do I want to climb the next one?

On and on it went. It was a bit nauseating, really.

I have been “researching” my (probably over-ambitious) next novel for months. It doesn’t take that long, seriously. I was stalling. I was taking weeks off between subjects, thinking, plotting, planning, etc. Mostly, I was stalling. And that made me wonder why. I used to say that if I ever was published, if I had that “in”, I wouldn’t flounder around. The predominant time it took me to get Winter’s Trial out there was shopping it around to agents (failed!), and I thought that once that got published, the floodgates would be opened and the writing would flow forth unhindered.

I was wrong, it seems. There were bigger issues I needed to tackle.

On my countertop lay a package I didn’t dare open for about a week and a half. It was my trib copy of Winter’s Trial. A physical freakin’ copy of my work, and not some bullshit I printed out on my ancient printer. Bound professionally, worked on, and viable.

Tonight, when the whining reached a ghastly crescendo in my head, I opened that package. I opened the book. I looked at the words I wrote. They were there. My characters: Austin and Cristiano meeting, Taylor bitching about Quinton calling him “Scrawny”, William’s letter, Pearl and Elena…all of it.

Having surged ahead in my research earlier today, then seeing that, then posting the musical inspiration entry here, it all reminded me of why I did it all. I like writing. I like my stories. I don’t know that I will ever be able to write as anything more substantial than a hobby. But I do it because I love it. I don’t HAVE to write another thing in all my life if I don’t want to. I can fade into greater obscurity than I now revel in.

Then why was I researching my next big project? Why was I agonizing about the whole thing? If I didn’t care, why was I doing it? Was it the death of a dream I held for so long, or was it looking up a very long staircase, wondering if I could ever get to my destination?

The answer seemed so obvious, really. If it didn’t matter, then why would I be bitching and whining about it? If I really could drop it all, then why was the thought causing me such agony? Then reality knocked my ass out with the totally obvious answer:

Because I don’t want to give it up and never did.

Duh.

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~ by Darren Endymion on October 3, 2013.

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