Saturday, September 17, 2011


Someone asked about my recent blogs and wanted to know if I was developing an inferiority complex about my writing. My response was that being depressed about the industry in general and my place in it was more about facing the reality that I have to deal with than acquiring a psychological affliction.

My feelings of inadequacy are part and parcel of trying to write better as opposed to not earning a decent return for my efforts.  Daily, I write under a cloud of concern about my place within the genre and deal with rejection as my stories are rejected by successive editors.  Is there angst? Sure, and in copious amounts. Also despair at never achieving more than a footnote in someone else's biography.  Then there is the haunting concern that the well will run dry, that suddenly the words will fail to flow, that someone else - at this very minute - has just written the same damn story in a much, much better way and with great style.   Then there's the gnawing fear that some fan or critic will completely misunderstand and misinterpret something I wrote (and perhaps not quite so innocently.) 

The pressure of keeping my name before the editors, before the public, to keep producing ever better works until I end up despairing of ever topping my past efforts is a constant worry as well.  Each day I stare at my Work in Progress (the manuscript before me and the half dozen or more partially written pieces lying in disorganized array within my work folder) and despair of ever getting anything sufficiently done to my satisfaction.

As if those demons weren't enough, I have to fight my own imagination.  While writing I am beset with new ideas, plot variations, new characters, and twists and, always, my irreverant sense of humor threatens to upend whatever I am trying to hammer into shape.  As if just finishing the umpteenth draft wasn't enough of an effort I still feel the burning desire to re-write, revise, improve, and make whatever I'm working on a bit better. I seem never to be satisfied with good enough.

Maybe I'm not alone in this.  Maybe there are thousands of writers who have their own demons as they struggle to put words on paper, to give birth to some new concept, worldview, or idea.  Maybe all of these demons are part and parcel of what writing is all about, as if the act of creating something new, something the world has not seen before, validates the effort. 

I hope so.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for coming to speak to our SF class today. I really appreciated hearing your perspective on writing, and sharing what the Writing Life is like for you.
    Thank you for the time you invested in us as people desperate to write like you do. Thank you also for the stories you have written. The ones I have read made me smile.

    Alicia Foster


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