Sunday, February 17, 2013

Digging Through the Past

The other day I was having a little trouble coming up with the
inspiration to work on my WIP, and so I indulged in a time-honored
writing tradition: procrastination.

I wanted to be able to pretend I was going something useful, so I
decided to stick with something relating to my writing. I began to dig
through the "Archived Projects" folder. I ended up spending several
hours throughout that day reading up on several manuscripts at varying
stages of completion. Some were years old, some as recent as last year.
And I discovered the strangest thing--I like my writing!

This might sound ridiculous. Because why would I write if I didn't think
I was any good? But it's hard to see that when you're lost in the thick
of the weeds that consist of the middle of a first draft. To be able to
back and read something I wrote years ago and be drawn in and want to
read more is something different. I was actually mad at myself for not
continuing on with those projects because I wanted to finish reading

But then, I began to think, maybe this isn't such a good thing after
all. Where is my critical eye? How can I ever hope to improve if I can't
tell myself where I suck? I'm not saying they were perfect, because of
course they weren't, but I didn't get the editing bug that sometimes
strikes me when I am reading less-than-satisfactory books by others. And
shouldn't I be growing as a writer? Why isn't my writing now leaps and
bounds above where it was two years ago? And if my writing is as good as
all that, why does it get form rejected time and time again?

I don't think there is a perfect answer to this conundrum. I eventually
closed out of the old files and put some work into my new one, and I
told myself not to worry about it. Do my best, keep writing, and keep
submitting. Hopefully someone else will someday be as enthralled with my
writing as I am, and then I can pass a little bit of pleasure along to
the lives of readers everywhere. And that is a dream that hasn't changed
for decades!

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