I don’t know what it is, this inner drive that prompts me to write. I can and have theorized, but I don’t know. Clear to me as I try to find my way back to a disciplined routine this week–this “thing” includes whopping doses of masochism and delusion.
On masochism there’s the obvious, rejections. But honestly, I haven’t faced that many rejections this year because I haven’t sent out all that many submissions or queries. Yes, yes, I said I would have at least two pieces out on submission at all times this year. I lied. Sue me. Then there’s the masochism of sharing your work with anyone. Critiquing, being critiqued, or just being read. I fall behind on official submissions, but I still like to be certain I’m being spanked regularly by sending work to a) people I know it isn’t their thing, and/or b) people who take for-ev-er to respond. Gives me plenty of time to obsess about how appalled they are by my words, and how they’re never ever going to speak to me again.
Then there’s the masochism of connecting with other writers. For the camaraderie, the understanding and support. Mmmm hmm. Sometimes it works that way, sometimes it doesn’t. And usually when it doesn’t, I know better. I know better as I’m digging that six foot hole, telling myself to drop the shovel and keep moving. Don’t respond on that thread, Mrs Fringe, it’s a trap you cannot avoid. Like, say, trying to explain and defend that nebulous category of literary fiction. Ridiculous, really. Who am I to defend the validity of lit fic? Unpublished, uneducated, my roots are anything but the ivory tower assumed by many when they see the term “literary.” I sit and sputter and shout at the screen. But I don’t keep moving and respond anyway. Why? Masochism is the only answer.
No it isn’t. Because now my old friend walks in. Hello, Delusion! Walks in and snuggles against me on the couch, plying me with café con leche and unsweetened iced tea as I write. Whispering, “You can do this, you have to do this. A few people like your work. One manuscript, one agent, one publisher. That’s all you need, and then a few more will find your words and like them.”
That’s all I need. So clear, so simple; so ever-loving subjective I sometimes wonder if my time would be better spent dreaming of lottery numbers. Or doing laundry.
I may be delusional and masochistic, but I know we’ve got to have clean bloomers. I also know that some of the very same people who sneer at lit fic refer to their manuscripts as their babies, being critiqued and sending out queries as sending their children into the world.
Yeah, no. I put a lot into my writing. I fall in love with these characters I create, no matter how broken. I write, read, obsess, polish, rip apart over and over again. I love my children, obsess over them, hold my breath in fear and pride as they move out into the world. But I don’t rip them apart or ask others to do so, shrug and move on, dig one out five years later and say hey, if I trim some of the fat off this one I can try again, think of the older ones as learning experiences.
Delusions or not, this day has to move forward. I bet if I search all the way at the back of the dresser drawers, I can find a a pair of clean underwear. Opening the WIP….
Keep going. Do what you do. Block out the chatter from M & D. Wishing you a productive day with your WIP!
I feel your pain. Sounds much like me these days. Oh, and your time is NEVER better spent doing laundry. 🙂
LOL, Linnea–you’re my kind of gal 😉
Welcome to Mrs Fringe! 🙂
I don’t have any words of encouragement of my own that don’t sound trite, but I will share a quote that operates as a daily reminder for me.
“A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.” – Richard Bach
Thank you TT! ❤
It's true, and always comforting 😀
I agree. Keeping on keeping on is harder than it is made out to be. I think I vote for delusion over masochism. 🙂
Delusion is certainly more pleasant, some might even say fun 😉
Ah, the lit fic thread. I saw it, and yes, it could easily make one sputter. I can feel your pain with all the rejections. But you’re not a masochist unless you choose writing because of the high chance of painful rejections. 🙂 As for how your day went, I hope you spent in on your WIP and not dirty bloomers.
Spent the day thinking and chasing my tail. I seem to be coming down with some form of autumn crud, not good for productivity. No bloomers either. 😉
Hope your day was more productive than mine!
I don’t know what to say, so all I am going to tell you is that I came for a visit and read this and feel for you
Support and empathy are always, always appreciated.
Not sure what is more painful to look upon: a mound of dirty laundry or a blank screen. No matter. Both demand our attention. Neither can be ignored too long, if they are, well. . .
Let’s not dwell upon such unpleasantness, especially in your weakened state, mrs fringe!
As for your contention that you love your characters, you obsess over them . . . what can I say except It’s true, our stories are our life-blood. Our characters are our children. We can’t help but feel protective of them despite their shortcomings. Or maybe because of them.
Perhaps they feel likewise about us.
I think today is going to be another s-l-o-w witted day for this Fringey mama. Blech. I hate being sick!
I have words to craft and laundry to sort. Someone has to figure out what happens next in Astonishing…Blasted germs!
You don’t know what’s gonna happen next in Astonishing? Hey, put your germy little minions to work! Give ’em teeny tiny pens and itty bitty sheets of paper, set ’em down at teeny tiny desks and put ’em to work, dammit. You drink your tea, they’ll write your book.
I hope you feel better soon, mrs fringe.
I like it, a novel penned by bacteria. Maybe for the climax they’ll invite their buddy fungus 😉