What is this writing journal all about?
“…eventually you just have to assume you’re not good enough. That it’s really that simple, there’s not some magical reason, and the fact that you read your stuff and think, oh, yeah, no, this is good, well of course you think that, because you’re not even talented enough to recognize you’re not talented, but, you know, eventually you get tired of calling an empty glass half full.”
That passage is taken from Persephone (yes I’m thinking of calling the newest play that) and it is one of those instances where a character puts into words something I myself have been feeling. There was a time when I had absolute confidence in my ability as a writer; now, I move between a some times amused and other times unsettling uncertainty. Though I’m profoundly grateful to those who care about my work, an objective eye must note it falls somewhat short of the grandeur of my past confidence.
Well, so what? I have come to value that doubt as a rider does a horse that loves to run. It is a doubt of propulsion, an uncertainty engine, no writer’s block but a sluice that lets everything through, because there is so little time and so many untold stories, and maybe this next will be the one that catches like the common cold.
Trying to keep a streak of writing every day (and after oversleeping this morning), I wrote a page for After Earth, with Zou attempting to sneak back home:
Maybe she could could sneak in, act like she’d been resting with a bad tummy? No one ever questioned a bad tummy. She opened the side door, and a creak like an angry crow shot through the air. Zou winced, then walked into the living room, hoping to dash upstairs to her bed, then walk back down to the dinner table, holding her oh-so-aching tummy. She knew it was wrong to lie, but she’d been chased by bullies and nearly hit by a train, and so told herself, it’s all right, just this once. She set her face in what felt like a pained expression.
One thought on “Journal, 3/25/11”
I really love the way you discuss your doubt. I think too often in the creative arts, we as people are discouraged from expressing any negative feelings about our relationship to our work.
I especially loved these sentences:
I have come to value that doubt as a rider does a horse that loves to run. It is a doubt of propulsion, an uncertainty engine, no writer’s block but a sluice that lets everything through, because there is so little time and so many untold stories, and maybe this next will be the one that catches like the common cold.