Thursday, August 28, 2008

If I used all the time I spend fretting to write...

...I'd be published by now.

This transition from MFA student to graduate is harder than I thought it would be. I thought having my degree would make me feel like a "real" writer. Surprise: it doesn't! I don't know what will. I want to say publishing a novel, but my guess is that if I did that, and wasn't a best seller, I'd still feel like it wasn't enough. I think this feeling can be a good thing--as it pushes me to do more and more. But right now, the feeling is so overwhelming all it does is make me cry.

So I'm taking tomorrow off, having a full me-day to regroup. So far the plan is to wake up, walk Chloe, do some yoga, and then head to Salem for a day at the beach, writing in a cafe (assuming I find a cool one), eating a nice lunch, and wandering around town. I hope to use some of this time to think about what I could be doing--right now--to make my life more the way I want, to make me feel more like I am a writer.

I say "right now," because "quitting my job and writing all day" just ain't gonna happen.

Wish me luck! Best Blogger Tips


TI said...

The day you have planned tomorrow sounds fantastic. I hope it restores you. Talk to you Monday.

TI said...

p.s you ARE a writer! I've seen your work and you have the best writing habits and your writing blog inspires constantly.

Anonymous said...

Oh, I've totally been there!

I think the hardest thing about being a writer is finding validation in it. It's like a marriage--if you go into it thinking that your spouse is going to "complete" you and you'll always be happily ever after, well, it's time for a wake-up call. You have to find satisfaction in the writing you're doing for yourself first, then the rest will come--promise! Because all the publishing in the world only feeds into neuroses--"okay, my book sold, now I have to make sure it does well." And, "okay, my next book is due. What if my editor hates it?" the fretting never goes away--it just changes form.

Try to remember that it's an art form. You've finished your apprenticeship (grad school) and are practicing your craft--a journeyman. We continue to develop and develop as we work towards mastery.

Have a wonderful day off and enjoy Salem! If you want to chat about writing stuff, I'll be home all day. email me offline and I'll give you my cell if you don't have it.

Repeater said...

I second ti on your being a writer and I'm sure erin's right about publishing--not that I know what it feels like, but it was exactly the same with selling paintings (the irony of invention--I just wrote "painings" by mistake)Anyway, know that we're all with you & are living the same struggle (my good habits went out the window this week) We're all bound to make a comeback. Have an excellent Salem day- I'll be thinking of you.

Writer Bug said...

Aww, TI, you made me cry, for the second time in one day! In a good way. :)

Writer Bug said...

Erin, you're so right. Love the marriage analogy.

I think my main question at this point is what to do when you're not loving what you're producing-do you find a way to just accept that shittiness is part of the process sometimes, or do you reevaluate what you're doing? I think I might need to be more accepting of shittiness at this point, and let myself move forward with the story. Otherwise,I'm not going to get anywhere. I don't think I've found my voice yet with it, which is frustrating. But I'm thinking I just need to keep on keeping on, and it will come.
Anyway, I would love to talk. I will email/call soon.

Writer Bug said...

Thanks Tavi! I'm sure it's very helpful for you to have your visual art experience when approaching writing. Let's hope we'll both get back on track.