Writing fiction is serious business. It demands nothing less than everything you’ve got to give: your blood, sweat, heart and soul; your time; your ego. You expose yourself in your work and again when you show your work. It deserves to be taken seriously, and yet somehow we have to find a way to treat it lightly, hold it lightly, so it doesn’t slip away from us.
I have been meaning to write this post for awhile now, but the fabulous Justine Musk gave me a little push.
I am not nearly as eloquent as Justine.
For me, it has simply been a case of gaining a little perspective on my work, and in particular, how I approach it.
I wanted to stop and think. That's why I chose such a long time for my hiatus, 2.5 months. Perhaps, subconsciously I also knew that is how long The Pathmaker had been in my head before I wrote down the first word.
Taking that route has made me more objective. I have fewer 'I am a sucky writer' days. True, I believe I haven't had enough practice to be anything but a sucky writer, but you know, it doesn't make me suicidal/depressed or kick the vicious cycle in either.
On the craft side, it has given me a measure of restraint I didn't use to have, both in the stylistic and the 'OMG, this is so bad and it has to go Right Now' sense. Now, I have the mental space to consider 'Is this where I think the story is going, or just where my writing preferences are leading me to?'
When I am not in the grip of 'create or die,' as Justine puts it, I feel freer. I am
freer, not just to do whatever I want, but to create. And isn't that exactly the point?