Thursday, February 10, 2011

Out Of The Habit

Ok... I'm in semi-freak out mode. After writing nothing of any significance whatsoever for over a month, and blogging about nothing but trips to the gym and lists of foods I'm eating, I'm starting to wonder if this whole business about me being a capable writer was all in my head. I'm trying to retool some of my writing to submit to an anthology of parenting stories, and the more I work on it, the more unsure I feel about it. I don't like my beginnings... can't think of good endings... am reading what I once thought was pretty compelling stuff (for a blog) and am thinking to myself, "Oh, this is *not* good..."

I usually have a pretty good sense about whether something I've written is ready for public consumption, but I've had a few epic misjudgements (my novel, for starters),  that makes me doubt my own internal censor. Good writing, to me, flows like music. There's a rhythm and a melody to it. I hear it, I like it. It sucks me in. The good things I've written, I can read over and over again, always with a sense of satisfaction, because I've hit every note, pitch perfect. I can identify my own bad writing, too, because it's off key, lacks rhythm, definetely does not have perfect pitch. I wince when I read it, and hit the delete key faster than you can say "yuck!" But I have to immerse myself in my writing and constantly train my ear to hear the difference between the lovely melodies and the clunky rhythms. And since I've taken such a long break from writing, my ear is not in top form, and now I'm doubting myself.

It's like an American Idol audition in my head. I'd like to be the come-from-out-of-nowhere talent that blows the judges' socks off, but I could just as easily be the crazy chick in the Wonder Woman constume who sings I Will Always Love You like a tone deaf cartoon mouse.

I guess the lesson is that these contestants put themselves out there and then they find out whether it's a good audition or not. If they stayed at home, singing in the shower, they'd never have a clue. If I want to do something with my writing, it's time to put it out there. Just don't think it's easy. It's a totally nervewracking experience.

The good news is that I think my head has readjusted itself so that I can workout without wanting to sacrifice it for writing time. I still have compulsions to stay home and write instead of going to the gym, but now I use my writing as a carrot, telling myself, "Go work out, get it out of the way, and then write." So far that's working. I've mostly-edited two pieces for submission, and am thinking about how to rework a third story. I think any more submissions than that would be overkill.

But since I'm on the subject--do any of my readers have a favorite blog post you'd like to see me revisit and tidy up for submission? I'm curious to know if my favorites are your favorites.


  1. you are not the crazy contestant!!!

    the poop post, of course!

  2. LOL Cathy! Which one? (They seem to be a reoccuring theme with me!)

  3. I love the Pop Idol analogy - it can be so nervewracking putting your writing out there - I'm labouring over my novel, rewriting and rewriting adn never getting to thepoint af Ahhh, it's done. keep at it is all I can say - adn the gym is good for the writing and the writing is a good incentive for the gym - win win!


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