Monday, May 19, 2008

When responsible writers go bad.

I figure that considering I've been gone for weeks and weeks and this is supposed to be a blog about my experiences with writing, I might as well make a post about writing. And considering I'm an advocate of writing every day, keeping the eyes on the prize, and remaining dedicated, I figure that an explanation of me slipping from my own advice would be perfect fodder for a post.

I finished editing Marton Syan March 2nd. In that time, I've written the first thirty pages of one novel, and the first 15 of another. I wrote a script that's now collecting dust. I've taken multiple breaks, where I did little but read lots, or watch lots of movies, or nothing in particular but sit around and be lazy.

Why? A couple of reasons. The most important one was that for the first time since I started my writing adventure, I was tired. I had written two novels and edited another in six months. That kind of output isn't easy and I worked hard to achieve it. Once it was done and I let the dust settle a bit I realized I was horribly fatigued. I didn't just need a break from working on novels, I didn't want to do any writing.

So I let the blog lapse. I let me initial readers work on Marton Syan. I planned and got distracted by my screenwriting adventure for a bit and I've taken more time to goof off and go out and have fun. These are not bad things, really.

Another important factor was real life. In that time since March, I've moved twice and been dealing with changing my life situation. It's not really something worth getting into, but lord knows it contributed.

The final reason is much more ethereal. Things have changed in my writing between now and this time last year. It's grown much more serious, which is to be expected. But as my own skill level increases I realize that this is soon going to stop becoming an amateur thing and will begin to make the transition into a (hopefully) professional gig and ... to be honest, that's a little daunting.

Many writers are afraid of failure. But those that work past it realize that the only thing more terrifying of failure is the paralyzing realization of just what it takes to move from hobby novelist to professional writer. The gap is as wide as forever and as sudden as an instant. And the fissure between the two sides is enough to swallow you whole to where nobody will ever find you.

At this point, I have to try to bridge the gap. I've finished a couple of novels, and I have one that's edited and has been read and supported and is ready for another edit before it goes out into the world. The impending agent-to-publication process is going to take up most of next year, I'm sure, and it's intimidating.

So, to be honest, I got cold feet. I just needed to check out and get a little perspective on it.

Does that mean I've worked through it? Not in the least. But I'm tired of not working and I need to go back to doing something. So I'm gearing back up in my books. I'm restarting the posting in the blog. And we'll see how well the slightly more grizzled, slightly wiser Literary Rock Star fares going into the second half of the year when it's all editing and preparing for the up and coming joys of querrying and rejection.

Should be a ride. Until then, I'm out of here.

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