Tuesday, and I have a late night of bar testing staring me down. Heavy heaving sigh. But the weather has shifted back to the pleasant side of things; we turned the heat off last night when we got home and it's still comfortable inside. The sun is out, fluffy white clouds dance across a bright blue sky, and I have a few hours this morning to straighten up the kitchen, get organized and do some writing before I head into work for the day.
I feel a bit disoriented this week. I am not sure why that is. Maybe because it was so cold this weekend; maybe because i had that panel at Comic Con on Saturday; I don't know why. But I am looking forward to my three day weekend this weekend; that is going to be absolutely lovely. I have to work another late night this Thursday--so the three-day weekend is going to be particularly lovely for me. Yay!
I have, however, utterly failed you, Constant Reader. I didn't have time to read a short story for today's entry. But I feel like I've done a really good job so far this month, so a one-time failure can't really be held against me. And I promise to read a story tonight to discuss tomorrow, okay? It'll probably be a Harlan Ellison, because my paperback copy of Approaching Oblivion fits so nicely in my jacket pocket.
Today I have to work on the book and finish an essay that's due today. Hurray! I was hoping to get the book finished before the weekend so I could actually just get some rest and relax and read this weekend, but that's not going to happen. But when I do get all of this finished, all I have to do is another essay by the end of the month, which I should be able to get done, and rework some short stories, maybe start writing another book. Huzzah! I need to really get going on something new sometime soon, which is why I think I am so unsettled and off-balance. This current book has been a slog, quite frankly; much harder than I thought it would be when I planned it, and I don't know why. Burn out, maybe? I don't know. But there you have it. I've said it out loud so hopefully the curse is broken; because that's how I seriously feel about this book sometimes--that it's cursed.
Heavy heaving sigh.
I was commiserating last night with another writer friend--who is having the same problem with finishing her WIP and is hating hers almost as much as I'm hating mine--and I asked her, not entirely joking, "Why do we do this again?"
Her reply? "Because we like having written."
Which is very true.
The funny thing about writing is that it never gets easier. Some parts of the process might get easier--you learn craft, you learn how to outline and how to write dialogue and sentence structure and the create a rhythm with the words and how to create characters and so forth--but the self-doubt never goes away; at least it doesn't for me. For me, being a writer is this never-ending bipolar struggle between feeling confident in my abilities and crushing self-doubt. I have book and short story ideas that I've never written, never gotten started on, simply because I don't believe that I have the ability to tell them properly. I rarely, if ever, read things I've written and published and thought, wow, this is really good, actually.
What must that be like, I wonder, to reread old work and think it's good?
Don't get me wrong, I'm proud of everything I've published (while there's a few books I'd like to have back, frankly, I am proud of some aspect of them), and even whenever I read something I don't like by another writer--I don't talk about books/stories I don't like here because I respect the amount of work that went into their creation. I know what it's like to struggle with a story or a book, putting it out there and then having it get shit all over--yet another reason being a writer is so damned bipolar! But you keep reminding yourself that you don't like everything you read, so therefore not everyone who reads my work is going to like it, and so on.
And now back to the spice mines. Here's a hot guy to reward you for reading my whining.
Are lovely. I know that won't make the self-doubt go away, but it's the truth. Your stories are well thought out and fun, your characters engaging. I have a lot of fun reading them. So, kudos!
I love Ellison. Looking forward to the next short story review.