Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The World Keeps On Spinning

I was just doing a bit of blog-surfing (a habit that has slipped significantly), just checking up on people, sniffing around.

I got on Jaye's blog and watched the first half hour of her little interview thingy. 1. I feel cool just knowing her. 2. She seems like the kind of person you want to chat into the AM hours with. 3. I realized just how little I know about the process of getting published.

Then I went to Jamie's blog where he talked about the Squaw Valley conference and how he's come full circle in three short years. 1. I feel cool just knowing him. 2. He just might be the best thing that's ever come out of Montana? 3. I realized that he's right, the world does keep on spinning. Whether you've become a NYT Best-selling author or if you've stumbled back however many baby steps you may have taken into the writing world.

I entered Jason's contest last month. Writing that piece was stiff and uncomfortable for me, but I entered it anyway because I had encouraged my sister-in-law to enter and didn't want to be a hypocrite. I didn't score tremendously well, but wasn't bothered by it. In the end I was pleased with the concept even if my execution was lacking.

I think I'm rambling, but I'm also unconcerned about that because I think I'm only getting readers by accident these days anyway.

I have always wanted to be a writer. I have always wanted to be published, not because I want to be famous or have money. I'm not that delusional.

I want to be a writer because I love books. I can imagine nothing more thrilling than looking at the spine of a book, fresh and smelling of the press, and seeing my name on it. Because that means a part of me, my ideas, my words, will be seen, be read, be hated or loved, but most of all, be known.

I've been trying to take a realistic look at my writing. I'm not doing a lot these days. This makes me sad. I could take the easy way out and say that having three small children has got me so bogged down I just don't have time. That would be convenient, but untrue.

I think I've stopped believing in myself. Or something. I'm trying to be honest with myself, but honestly assessing ones own skills and abilities is tricky business. We are all our own worst critics. But I would hate to be the writing equivalent of those poor souls on American Idol who really actually think they can sing and it's clear to everyone with ears that they can't.

I think I've discovered something about myself. With a lot of practice and lot of focus I think I can be a good writer. Good enough to get published? Who knows. That's always a gamble.


I don't know if I'm a very good story-teller. I've had this one book idea circling my head like a vulture for two years and I've been waiting for the plot to pounce. I have the world in my mind. The characters. The basic story arc. It's the details I lack. What should happen in each scene. How the conflict plays out. I'm at a point where I think if I haven't been able to figure it out yet then how can I honestly expect to make it in the writing world?

I'm not writing here for encouragement. I'm just writing what I'm feeling.

At least it feels good to watch my fingers on the keyboard. To hear the click of the keys. If nothing else, I can keep writing for that.