Monday, March 22, 2010

Maybe not writing is the right thing to do?

I cannot get this proposal done. I have the rough but I keep second guessing everything. I am so sure it will be turned down and whatever time I've spent will be for nothing. Not that I'm getting anywhere spinning my wheels changing a word here and going back and adding there and never getting all the way through these initial three chapters.

And somewhere in the fog of doubt engulfing my brain, there is a small light that flashes the message - you're wasting time Not getting it done, so why are you so hung up that you will have wasted your time doing it? You clearly grasp that you are wasting your time, so better to do something and at least have a shot at a book sale.

Makes sense. Except... the hard truth about writing is that words mean things and you have to use the right word for the job to get the writing right. Like any craftsman or artist, you have to have the tools to do the job. Words are our tools.

So if I take a moment to go back over my expressed fears about this proposal I see the phrase wasting my time over and over. Am I giving myself the wrong message by using these words or hammering home what I really believe about this project and/or working with the targeted publisher?

That's the real question to ponder today. I am all for the 'finish the project before you make up your mind about it' school of writing, especially if you have stacks of unfinished pieces/unedited works/un-explored ideas. If you don't finish anything then I'd say push forward on Something then come back to this concept - maybe, sometimes, there is a real reason not to finish a work in progress.

Maybe you need to set it aside or maybe you need to re-examine what you are doing career-wise as a whole or maybe you just need to approach it from another direction. We make such a fuss about knowing your characters, knowing your subject matter, knowing the craft, knowing the business, but every now and then I think as a writer you need to take a little time to stop and see how well you know yourself.

The answer may be in your toolbox of words that you are using every day.