Sunday, August 8, 2010
I've discovered - and succumbed to - a new disease. It's not writer's block. I am writing like crazy, every chance I get. Notebook at the ready. Rewrites not being rewritten. New stories and ideas. Old stories with new twists. The creativity is all there, spewing out....unfiltered, unedited, partially processed.
Man, have I got GREAT ideas to share. I got stuff you just GOTTA hear.
Except...well...I'm going to call it EDITOR'S block.
Don't you, the reader, deserve MORE than my unedited stream of consciousness? Do you REALLy want to know how I feel about the school system in Germany? Is my view on the nature of life and change REALLY something you need to hear? Shouldn't I try to pull it together a bit more, tighten it up, make some connections, wait for something REALLY and truly witty or insightful?
Do you really want to read unprocessed ME?
Thank goodness I have the cure for this disease too. Monthly Writers' Group in Stuttgart. Phew.
"So, what's up with the blog lately, Christine? You doing any writing?"
"Well yeah, but.....see above paragraph."
"Oh. That's you thinking like an editor, Christine." says Jim. (And he should know!)
Jim then proceeds to tell me about creative push-ups, the work we need to put into anything, the preparation, the PROCESS...just the sheer act of getting it down on paper, snapping a photo, sitting to an instrument and playing what sometimes amounts to sheer crap, in order to buff ourselves up for the good stuff.
The thing is you don't need to show anyone this stuff, but you do need to keep on doing it.
And POSTING the blog makes me keep on writing.
So that this is what you get; the good, the bad, the ugly, the irrelevent, the uninteresting....oh and every now and then, if we are lucky, the seeds of something really good.
So that my job is to write.....
It probably is a similar thing to writer's block, this fear of posting. Even ten years ago you just didn't write it if it sucked. Now you can post anything on the Internet in seconds flat. With no discrimination as to value.
So that I can panic and try to present a perfect finished piece....and hence, never post anything. Or let you all see the worst of it and decide for yourself what to keep and what to throw out.
Funny thing there is, and I believe this is where an editor and an audience comes in, is that some of the stuff I am most truly embarrassed of (honestly, did you REALLY want to hear about the town hall meeting in ALTDORF?!)is some of the stuff that people really want to hear. (Answer: yes!)
My blog is process. My main character is myself. (I don't believe I ever even pretended it was about the kids. It was about me learning from the kids.) I learn as I write: about writing, about what people like to read, and about myself.
And it turns out I'm a fairly interesting and likeable character...or at least a character that keeps 'em guessing and talking!
Is my novel out there? I've started three this year.
Do you deserve better than my ramblings? Sure.
But unless I do these pushups, and do them regularly....the stories won't be written. I want to write fiction. I want funny, witty, characters people will relate to. And I want them to say something about the human condition - without actually coming out and hitting you over the head with it.
Until I get there thanks for helping me count the pushups.