03 November 2011

Just write.

I've been writing for a long time. I'm pretty sure I have been writing, in some capacity, since the third grade when I started making my own comic strips. When I first read Dragonlance I wanted to start writing fantasy. When I read Tolkien I wanted to write fantasy that could change lives and worldviews. If I have ever finished a work longer than a short story or essay, I have lost it.

Time and again I realize that I need words. Words are the way I see the world. Words that make stories are how I understand the world, including myself. At a deeper, more cosmic level, the Word is the foundation for all reality, truth, and life.

But I forget.

So what I need to is just write. Here's what this guy says:

Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through.
— Ira Glass
My irking comes from the "taking a while". If I had been writing more consistently, maybe I would be a published author. Maybe things would be different. Inversely, maybe things are the way they are because they are they way things are supposed to be. I like that notion.

1 comment:

Andrew Isley said...

Man, I constantly ask myself, "Am I a teacher who only writes in my spare time because teaching is my true calling? Or am I a teacher who only writes in my spare time because I'm not committed enough to the craft? Or do I just fear rejection letters?

I still don't know.

But I know you should keep on writing because it helps me keep on writing. Every time I return to writing, I'm rewarded and I ask myself: why did it take so long to do this?