Because it’s NanoWriMo and because I’m doing a creative writing thesis, I thought we could have a (one-sided) discussion about writing!
How are your novels going? Are they driving you crazy and not always in a good way? Do you have disturbing and intense dreams because the line between fiction and reality has blurred and now you are not sure which world you are inhabiting? Do you feel like you are slightly (or even a lot) psychotic because you carry so many fully formed people around in your mind 24/7? Does it drive you crazy when you cannot pinpoint the exact word that you want and pore over thesauri and dictionaries and other word repositories looking for that word?
You are not alone.
I would not ever be able to finish a book in a month because that’s now how I work. I can’t. It takes me time to think, parse, think, parse, plot and then write. I’m a slow writer and my first drafts are so crappy I call them .5 drafts because they don’t warrant a full number. Really. I write one chapter multiple times even in the first draft because the voice of my main character is elusive and it takes a while for me to completely grasp her. And most of the times I am convinced the chapter sucks and well, I just have to leave it because tinkering with it means I cannot continue with the story and that would be tragic because I will need to graduate at some point.
How do you deal with the insecurity? Because I have found it to be a constant presence. No matter how confident I am about my writing (and I’m not very much), as soon as I read a good book, I feel really awed and then dismayed thinking that I will never be able to emulate the smoothness and poetry of the prose. I’m not going to lie, I’ve annoyed myself several times and have had to smack sense into myself at other points too. Because really, everyone has their own style and while some writers are better than others, it’s a learning process and the more you write, the more you learn and the better you get. Or so I keep telling myself.
I heard Maureen Johnson and Maggie Stiefvater and I don’t know about Stiefvater but Johnson definitely talked about this phase where you feel you suck, your work sucks and everything sucks. Is that normal? Why is it normal? Why can’t we be awesome superspecial snowflakes all the time? Is it because we are creating something? Do all creators feel this way? I wonder if my mother looked at me when I was born and went, “I wonder if I can get a refund…”
I hope not. Heh. I guess it’s important to have a sense of humour about writing because you may really go nuts otherwise.
Good luck to you guys. It may be difficult but remember to have fun writing and I will try to follow my advice.