16 September 2009

Balance

Wow. This post has been sitting in 'drafts' for... well, a Really Long Time Now. I glance at it every now and then, just to remember that it's actually there, but I don't really think about it.

Today, I realised it's exactly what I've been looking for.

You see, I've been blogging a bit sporadically lately. I'm in the midst of prac, and while I'm busting to the brim with new ideas, none of them are really relevant to this blog.

And of course, I'm a perfectionist. A blog post has to be meaty; I have to feel like I've actually said something in it.

Hence, sporadic posting.

I've been writing a lot - I'm up to a bit over 7k for the month already - but I honestly believed that I had nothing to say about writing; I had nothing to blog about.

I was wrong.

So today: Balance.

Authors are always at risk of losing balance. We really buy into the idea that if we read enough blogs, or belong to enough crit groups, or talk to enough other authors we will somehow find that magic key and get published.

It's a nice thought. But nice don't buy rice... (Randomly, anyone know where that saying comes from?)

There IS no secret key to getting published. Rather, it's a mix of time, effort, and a chunk of luck.

I'm being reminded of this a lot this week, because I'm working on short stories again. I haven't done shorts for quite a while now, and I was missing the feedback that submitting gives - even if it is just rejections.

But that's exactly the point, it's where luck and timing comes in: I, like every other writer who submits I'm QUITE sure, have plenty of stories that have received multiple rejections before they were accepted. The most I have for any one story is only 5 right now - and that's chicken feed. And the stories that have placed certainly haven't been my favourite stories that I've written - I just happened to hit the right market at the right time with a story that resonated with them.

I want to relate this back to balance. How? Because as writers, we have obsessive, perfectionist tendencies. I certainly do. We go through phases of hating our story, our writing in general, and sometimes even ourselves because we haven't yet stumbled on the magical bit of timing that we need.

We rail against ourselves when we can't 'get it together' and perform miracles; when we can't somehow be the Magic Household Fairy, the Dedicated Working Wo/Man, the Bestselling Author AND Sane (!) all at the same time.

We're impatient.

We're impatient, we're scared, and sometimes we're lazy too.

Writing is hard work. It's terrifying work, because we expose so much of ourselves in the process.

And it takes time.

We're not superhumans with special powers; we're just humans with imaginations. We can't run the clock.

But we shouldn't let the clock run us, either.

So today, right now, let's make a committment together: tell me one thing that you're going to commit to enjoying, sometime this week, just for yourself. And tell me one thing that you're going to make a conscious effort to stop ragging at yourself about.

Me, I'm going to slow down and enjoy some yoga, and I'm going to stop telling myself that my worth as a human being is defined by how many dirty dishes there are in the sink.

How about you?

3 comments:

Merc said...

Good post, Inky One.

As for enjoying, this week, I'm totally kicking back and watching "Wolverine". B-) Oh, I'll probably be working on the collaborative story with Sparky, but that's just as enjoyable. :)

Lady Glamis said...

I'm going to stop ragging on myself for being jealous and lazy. I'm going to just write and enjoy it!

Nice post. :)

Inkblot said...

Merc - Yay Wolverine! :D And collaborative shorts, too. Much fun. I haven't done collab writing in aaaages.

Glam - Yeah, take life at your own pace ;) It's much more fun. :D

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