19 July 2013

The Work is Hard

'There is no substitute for hard work.' - Thomas Edison
'Shut up, Tom.' - Everybody Else 
I put a lot of expectations on myself as a person, but most especially as a writer. If I were my boss I'd probably hate me. Boss Derek, lording over Writer Derek, has little direction or inspiration to dispense; vague, poorly communicated deadlines poised to be brought down like a hammer; unclear expectations of how a 'writer' is supposed to be. In short, Boss Derek is confused and takes it out on all the other Dereks. And God knows there are many. But a writer is supposed to be is me, writing words. Hopefully words that can be put together in a tasteful and coherent fashion that people enjoy reading, and maybe even gives them a pump up or two. 

But this summer has been hard because of reasons. First and foremost is the lack of schedule. It took me a month to figure out that I was killing myself and being nigh-unproductive by waking up early and trying to write. It doesn't work except during the school year. It took my first caffeine rush to break out of the technology loop and do any actual writing and by the time the coffee kicked in my daughter was up and [Captain] Dad Derek had to clock in. I later figured that writing time was better during nap time. This didn't always happen, as the summer schedule leaves things pretty flimsy and unstable.

Then there are the Voices. The ones that tell me I should be resting, playing a game, or just mucking around on the internet. Sometimes they're correct. Sometimes they're not. It's the ciphering that makes me loco. The Voices, as performed by Boss Derek, tell me that I will lose it all if I'm not writing consistently. That my weak prose will stay weak unless the prow is up to ramming speed. That what I'm working on ultimately won't matter or that the book I'm working on is the wrong thing. 

Please help me.

And I don't really know what else there is to do but to crack on. Keep doing what I think I must be doing until something comes of it and hope for those little moments when my brain and my fingers and my heart fall into alignment and some good words come together in a good way.

1 comment:

Andrew Isley said...

I feel like I can't be a great writer unless I sacrifice all (or most) stuff that matters. If that's true (and I hope that it's not, but feel that it is true) I think that I've settled to be whatever level writer that I am with the time commitment that I have. In short, I feel your pain, but I also TRY and accept that I have other things that I want to do. Some important, some not so important.

There's a cool game that's kind of about this struggle called The Novelist. Check out the gameplay trailer http://www.thenovelistgame.com/ (maybe it will keep you from writing when it comes out).

Also, when is Artemis going down?