I’m a writer who doesn’t quite write, who isn’t quite right. I claim it’s my passion, but dread the white screen, the blinking cursor, my inner editor. I abhor the discrepancy between my vision and my skill. I understand what my writing needs to do to be engaging, but I can’t make it do what I need it to do.
Here is my problem. I’m impatient. I want the first draft to be perfect. But that doesn’t happen. I need to rewrite. But even then, I still see a difference between what I aim for and what my writing does. Yet I haven’t rewritten a piece more than once.
I’m so focused on the craft that I forget to have fun. I’m not writing stories because it’s daunting, and not amusing. I’m not smiling at the keyboard anymore.
It’s not quite right that I don’t write. Because I’m writing right now. But I’m not writing fiction anymore. Only journal entries. The only thing I can do with words right now, it seems, is to spill my guts grind them across the keys for a while and lament the mess on the screen.
I reread some stories I never finished. That was some good stuff. It was engaging and vivid, the words and images popped right off the page. And my first thought was, “Wow! I wrote that? How am I gonna pull this off ever again?”
But then, I remember how I did it in the first place.
I was having fun.
I was writing with no holds barred, just chomping away at the keyboard during NaNoWriMo, trying to nail that word count by the end of the day. And all I had was this vague beginning of a story and a couple of scenes, and all I wanted the story to do was to be ridiculous, funny, unexpected.
All I wanted was to have fun coming up with the randomest stuff happening to my protagonists.
No theme. No plot. No character arc. No problem.
Damn. *Lightbulb* That’s how I took the fun out of writing stories. I wasn’t writing for me anymore.
I was writing for the reader, the publisher, the editor.
And that’s why I was only able to write journal entries. Because that was the only time I was writing for myself.
And it goes right back to my theory of genius. Some of the best creations of humankind were either happy accidents (the genius was recognizing the applications of the discovery), or borne out of play, or of a childlike wonder at the universe.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to get back to playing pretend with my imaginary friends.