Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Good times, bad times, you know I've had my share

Pissed away most of a sick day without writing. I settled down about 4 p.m and started writing until 6 p.m. when my fiancee came home. Unlikely I'll get to more of it. I'm amazed how long it takes me to finish a story. How long have I been working on this? Two weeks? Most writers talk about writing a short story in a few hours. Maybe this isn't a short story? It's over 2,500 words in on file right now (and it's spread across several files), so it certainly fits short story length.

Just like after last weekend, I'm now wondering if this story is worth continuing with. I doubt its worth anything. But I keep reminding myself that I just don't know that's the case until I finish it. I also don't know if the words I put down today are worth anything. They advanced the plot, but are they in the same league as stuff I wrote last week. And is that stuff worth anything at all? Self doubt, after lack of discipline, is my worst failing. I just give up on my ideas too soon. I just keep beating away at this trying to get past it.

I came up with a few other story ideas over the weekend. I managed to scribble them down before I forget them. In the meantime, I need to concentrate on one story at a time, not get worried about the ideas I haven't dealt with yet.

Jeff Vandermeer had a great post last week on inspiration and the enjoyment of writing:

I'm not suggesting that what one produces during blind inspiration/infatuation is superior to what you produce during the slow slog, but my god, why do you write if not for that moment when the world opens up before you and yet narrows to that singular point of pen against paper, that sensual drag of fingers across keys? Why do you write if not for that moment when you’re opened up to the point where there’s nothing of you left but the story and the characters and the words? Why?
That is one of the great reasons to write. I absolutely adore those moments when it all feels right, or even when it doesn't feel right, but it feels good. Unfortunately, right now I'm working through the slow slog. I just have to remember those good times though. Remember, remember... remember ...

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