Writing is not a hobby; it’s a hassle…except for that one time when the stars align, and the words flow from your fingers onto the page, dazzling and bright. Fairies flit around your head like points of light on a crown- because you deserve a crown. You are the monarch of magic, the empress of exceptionalism, the goddess of grammar. You are utterly perfect because this scene wrote itself, and that only happens when you are writing the most incandescent, glorious literature in the history of humanity.
Of course, then you go back to that same wonderful scene later, and find a thousand and one errors, because you are not Shakespeare, who apparently only ever had one draft of his sonnets: the final draft (bear in mind that this information came from my high school English teacher who may or may not have been high at the time). And so, you begin editing.
And then you continue editing.
You look over your third draft, expecting to see brilliance shining out of every- oh shit, look, there’s another plot hole that you have to fill. You edit again.
The fourth draft rolls along, and you’re starting to lose patience with yourself. How are you such a bad writer? How the hell did you manage to screw this up so badly? Does your protagonist even have a voice anymore?
At this point, your story isn’t even a story in your mind anymore, it’s more of a conglomeration of scenes, and facts about character development. Your mind is a list of plot developments that you must foreshadow and themes that you have to clarify. There’s that one theme that you wanted to incorporate, but can’t because the scenes you’d need to add in to make it happen would overload the plot…yeah, that theme is driving you slowly insane. Not that insanity is that much of a leap from your current (metaphorical) mental status.
If this is how writing is to you, welcome to the club. It’s called Writers Anonymous, meetings are on Tuesdays on top of a very high building.
Instead of my usual whiny drivel about how creativity sucks the life out of us creative folk, I thought that I should try my hand at being an actual asset to humanity. Brace yourself for some motivational drivel.
Right, bitches, you chose this path for a fucking reason, and it must’ve been a good one if you got far enough down the path to have actually found this obscure post with a writing tag. Since you’ve got a good reason to write, and assuming you have some sort of idea to work with (I don’t care if it’s shitty or not, you can refine it with your critique partner or beta readers…hell, email me if you really need someone to talk it over with), all you need is the skill to make your passion a reality. Unlike other artistic endeavours where you need a modicum of talent to build on, any idiot can learn to string some words into a sentence. Figuring out which words to use to get your thought across comes with practice. That’s really all writing requires: an unhealthy obsession with the art, a love of reading (so you can learn by example), and practice.
Basically, you can be as thick as my waist after eating an entire cheesecake- if you practice and read, you will eventually figure out how to write, and from there it’s just a matter of developing a skin thick enough to plow through the copious rejections your fabulous manuscript will get for you.
Reflecting on that, maybe I shouldn’t have attempted a motivational post…I’m pretty sure most inspirational compositions don’t have so many insults.
So, what motivates you to keep going down your chosen path?