My problem with writing, it seems, is that I tend to get stuck on the mistakes that I can see myself making. I’ve got three or four drafts of short stories saved on this damn blog, but I can’t see past the glaring mistakes I continue to make. I know that that’s what editing is for. I know that. That’s how every story I’ve ever written has worked. I write it out, and then edit it until it is good.
Good luck telling me that now though. Perhaps it’s a trait I’ve simply lost, and need to regain. Maybe these writing challenges are actually HAMPERING me right now, because someone is forcing me to write something for THEM. And I’m just not there yet. I just can’t get the hang of writing something because someone told me to. I got back into writing because I wanted to write god dammit. Not because someone told me to. (Winky emoticon.)
So perhaps, before I write words that do not yet belong to me, before I tell stories that did not originate from me, before I share secrets not entrusted with me… Maybe I need to make my own stories first. So that’s an idea. I beat my figurative head against the computer for two hours trying to come up with three paragraphs that I don’t hate THAT much; yet in about three minutes I wrote three paragraphs on what was already on my mind.
Maybe that’s a sign.
Maybe I should learn how to jog again before I run a marathon.
There’s a thought. Start training. There are some writing competitions coming up kinda sorta soon that I’d like to submit work to, but I’ve forgotten what it’s like to come up with ideas. That’s kind of a scary thought too. I used to have so many ideas because I read and wrote all the time. Now it’s all smartphones and twitter and the like. Pushing the ideas out. Filling it with nonsense or national outrage against the latest whatevers. (Not that I have a problem with outrage against injustices, POLICE.)
But it still pushes the ideas out. I haven’t even read much over the last few years. This last month, after the passing of the late great Terry Pratchett, I got back into reading actual books and found that it was quite refreshing. I was astounded at how CLEAN it all felt! I didn’t check twitter more than a handful of times over the course of about a week, and my tension bled out of me terrifyingly quickly. I’m all about the news. I’m all about staying informed and passionate and all that. But… I need to take a break every once in a while. Just put the damn phone down and pick up a book.
*raspberry noise* Anyway. I am working on a few things. Still writing mostly every day. But I gotta get past that hump. So as much as I love the guy, I may put Chuck Wendig’s writing challenges off for a while until I can find my voice again.
I can’t be heard until I find my voice.
Also, boom. 520 words in 10 minutes. A story I wasn’t prepared to tell took me two hours to get to 300 words. That tells me something.