I don’t know.
But some days, some weeks (and for me, some months and years) it just is.
I look at June – even though I skipped some days, I got the 20 “assignments” done. Every one of them. Were they all terrific – no. Were they all done- yes.
But once that was over, and it was July, the sense of infinite drift set back in. My three-part series on “the question of suicide” is a notable exception, of course. Which was draining to write – and from some feedback I got, I understand it was draining to read, too.
I don’t think I’m alone in this, but I have the feeling that I have to produce something good to great with every post, and let’s face it – every post isn’t going to measure up. I wish they all would. I wish I were a better writer. I wish, I wish.
So here are some random thoughts –
1. Even if I’m not blogging much right now, it’s not that I’m not focused on writing.
I’m reading about writing.
My husband has finished a first draft of a novel and I’m in the process of reading it. And along the way I have the realization that I actually do not understand fiction. Yeah, I’ve read plenty of it, but that doesn’t mean I understand narrative structure, plotting and character, pinch points and the rest of this stuff. In essence, I can tell you if I find a book good or bad, but not necessarily why. Hence the reading about writing.
And as I’m reading along these books and my husband’s draft, I remember the 55,000 words somewhere on my computer of a novel I wrote for Nanowrimo a few years back. To me they were a mess, but they were a lot – a lot of mess. I didn’t have an ending, and barely a beginning, but I had plenty of middle. I felt more confident about the characters, but the plot was . . . well, plot? Who needs a plot? Duh.
So I’m getting geared up to try and learn Scrivener and upload my mess into it and to see if there is some sort of novel in there.
2. Kindle – do you have one?
I do. I have a now old-style kindle, but still, I love that thing.
I thought I’d hate it – I was a book lover, and the idea of reading on a screen, even a great screen like the kindle has, was a tad bit offensive to me. The book experience would be lost, I thought.
Of course, I was wrong. For novels, especially, the kindle is great.
Best of all, it’s gotten me to discover new authors. I’m a cheapskate in some ways (well, I wish I were in more ways, actually), and paying nearly full price for an electronic version of a book – now that offends me. There are so few costs involved in kindle publishing, that just a buck or two difference is not enough.
So it was revelatory to find authors willing to deep discount their work on kindle to garner followings and introduce themselves. I fell in love with J.A. Konrath this way – and now follow his every move (okay, I’m a mystery suspense junkie – I admit it). He’s a kindle publishing success story – mega success story.
And I recently discovered a new writer named Tyler Dilts who writes the Long Beach Homicide series (well, does two books constitute a series . . .?). He’s good – maybe not quite as Konrath good, but I grew up in Long Beach (we’re talking Long Beach, California, not the beach on Long Island, New York), so I’ve enjoyed reading about the neighborhoods and local haunts, even my high school and college, in the books.
3. Now back to blogging.
When I started this journey back with Zental Floss, I had all sorts of ideas for posts and I had a schedule and I had accountability (you guys) and blah blah blah.
I’ve revised my “about” page to take out the schedule, and changed the categories a bit to drop the days of the weeks. Is this a concession to sloth? I don’t think so, but I realized when June and Writing 101 took over my posting, that I felt confident enough to maintain a more loose schedule, although I think I still like the focus of the blog.
And as I write this, I realize my focus is like many other blogs here on wordpress – it’s really on writing and living with and around writing. Exploring different types of writing, exploring my own life, but reflecting on it as a writer and hopefully as a thoughtful person, too – all of this is where my true focus is. I don’t know that I’ll ever make a living from writing, but I’m blessed enough that I don’t have to.
That’s a double edged sword, by the way. I don’t have the push of the need for a paycheck from writing, and I don’t have the anxiety of that, either. Which means for an essentially lazy sod as I am, that I can just drift a bit. Hence, the “infinite drift” comment.
Yet what pulls me back in, again and again, are the words.
Some of those are words that were more elegantly written by others – usually that’s the poetry that I post on occasion. And now, I feel the need to continue to produce some words of my own.
Again, thank you for continuing this journey with me. As I’ve said before, I don’t know exactly where this is going, but I’m enjoying the ride and hope you are, too.