Saturday, January 29, 2011

Like a Rhino Stuck in the Mud

This goes without saying that as far as writing goes, I am chronically back and forth on how involved and immersed I am in my story. Evidenced by the various blog posts that are filled with motivational words, make believing that I have found the magical combination, that I have found my way out of the pit. But one day I might be flying high and the next I am right back in that mud.

If I take too much time away from writing, when I try to pull myself back to it, I find myself impossibly stuck in the mud. It is not that I don't like the story or feel like giving up. I have come too far to simply turn around now. It is more that I get caught up in needing to make it perfect that I fail to make it anything. I stare at the computer, write a witty line here and there, but usually somehow manage to only modify what has already been written, instead of actually jotting down the rest of it. I have point A down to a tee. And I have an understanding of point C. But it is point B that has me trapped. I have no idea how to go from point A to point C. And it is killing me. I also suffer from an inability to skip sections. I think it would harm the characters if I just jumped to a different section. Because maybe the problem is that I want point C to be something it is not meant to be.

It is a difficult cycle. Because I get stuck and then what happens is I more or less stop writing altogether. I read books that I wish I could have written (comparing myself to the published and successful writers), watch Gossip Girl, or play stupid games on my iPad. I don't take the time to sit and actually write. And I can write anything. I have that freedom. It can be absolute crap, but at least it would be words on the page. At least it would be an attempt to push the rhino out of the mud. But even that has been a difficult task.

What I am realizing these days, is that I have stopped writing for myself. I keep thinking about what others want to see or what others will think. This is poison. I, who am terrified of critique, have started only thinking about others opinions. And nobody has even read it yet.

This book--this experience--it is not for them. Whoever they are. It never was and it never will be. It is completely for me. This is my story, my writing, my feelings. I need to write for myself. It will be in writing for myself that I will discover the true heart of the story. It will be in writing what I want to see that the book will be able to grow and develop.

It will be in allowing my voice to be heard on the page that the story can grow. It won't grow out of my insecurity. In fact if written with fear it will read like fear. It will read like I am unsure of my plot and my characters. It will feel false and contrived.

Metaphor for Life?

So here it is. One more motivational blog post amidst the others. And perhaps it can be seen as a metaphor for life. If we live our life only concerned about the opinions of others, then we are not living our own life. We are telling the wrong story. Living a lie. Our lives are our own. We can't look to someone else to tell us who to be. The only person who can tell us that is ourselves. If we don't, we run the risk of becoming the wrong person. And if we get stuck in reviewing the past (point A) and only thinking of the future (point C), we miss what is happening in our now (Point B). Be who you want to be today, not tomorrow. It is easy to see what we want point C to be, but it is a daunting task to actually get to that point. We fear failure. We fear the idea that we might not succeed and might not make it to where we want to go. So we do nothing. We waste our days watching reality television and following celebrities on twitter. We think, tomorrow I will begin. But then tomorrow comes and once again we find an excuse. Until one day we realize there are no more tomorrows. We've lost our chance. We've left our rhino stuck in the mud.

But I say to you (and to myself) give the rhino a really big shove. He might way a ton, but I promise, he probably doesn't want to be stuck in the mud either. Give him a push and he might surprise you.

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