For years, I have been working on The Book. The Book has no title – at least, not one I want to share. And that’s the problem with my writing. I don’t like to share it. I like to hoard it. It takes me a LONG LONG time to be comfortable enough to share my writing. Donna had to wait YEARS before I showed her anything and Ashleigh only got to read stuff because she was coughing up her own writing. And every time I would exchange stuff with Ash, I would nervously check my inbox for feedback.
I’ve been writing short stories, novels, extended plots, soap operas etc since I was 17. I used to write what I wanted when I wanted how I wanted. And somewhere, sometime I got caught up in GETTING PUBLISHED. and suddenly writing wasn’t fun anymore. It was stressful, and a chore, and it was painful, and I watched the clock while I did it and every word that got typed got scrutinized painfully. And counted. Would a publisher like this? what would a reader say/think? who would my readers be? Was it childish? Cliched? Was I following the ‘rules’ I’d learned in Grade 7 – Introduction, Rising Action, Climax, Denouement. Was there enough character growth? Too much? would people care about my characters? Too much dialogue?
Ashleigh and I set deadlines for ourselves, for each other, made promises to deliver pages, paragraphs – on time [and under budget!].
And it was HORRIBLE. I had never disliked writing before. I had never dreaded it. I used to sit in my bedroom on the floor with a pitcher of koolaid and a fine selection of CDs/cassette tapes and just have at ‘er with my Special Pens and my Special Notebooks.
I had to think long and hard about what I was doing and why. and I decided to Frak it. Did I care about getting published? Sure I did, but not as much as i wanted to get the ‘happy’ that had been SUCKED out of my writing hobby.
So, I’ve dropped The Book. At least Book 1. There was too much emotional baggage wrapped up in it. And now I write what I want when I want and how I want. and the Happy is still there! It was waiting for me to get my head out of my ass!
I still consider myself a writer. Even if I never get published, even if I never even try to get published. I like my stuff. I never think, Jeez, I wish that hadn’t have happened, or why did so and so go do THAT, – the way I do when I read books. Because when I write, I am god. Stuff only happens because I want it to happen and people only do stuff because of reasons I’ve given them. It’s narcissistic and self-centered and MINE ALL MINE.
And you’ll probably never get to read it. And I’m okay with that.