Friday, January 24, 2014

The Long March

I generally have multiple projects open at once - jumping from one to the other when I get bored, run into a problem, of simply get too frustrated, disappointed, or depressed.  Been doing this for years without ever feeling that I've accomplished anything.  The whole time it has felt as if I was on a long march to ... somewhere indefinable.  Then I was directed to a well-wrtiten blogpost by Kameron Hurley about persistence being the secret to becoming a writer and it all came clear.

The reality of being a writer is that, despite distractions of family and friends, of television and books, of temptations beyond measure, you have to write, and write, and write some more until there are no more stories to be told, no more inner voices to chide, and no more gnawing worms eating you inside.    Ideas fill your head to the point where getting them down as a story, as a fragment, as an outline, or as a short note to yourself is necessary to keep your head from exploding.

Or maybe writing's  a worm in your belly that gnaws at your guts until you have to find release from the pain and give birth. It could be the nagging muse behind your eyes that challenges you to come to grips with it, to wrestle it into concrete reality and silence it for a time.

Writing also means moving beyond the creation and slogging away for days, weeks, months, or years to get it down right.  And when you finally finish it to your satisfaction you have to submit it against the slim chance that someone, somewhere might be affected by your words and flip a comment or a few coins your way. Even if those don't come to pass you might warm yourself with the thought that at least somebody read your offering before rejecting it. That infinitesimal bit of acknowledgement might not mean much, but it's a whole lot better than leaving something you've created sitting unread on your hard drive.

It's now clear to me that the long march doesn't have a destination.  It is a process through which you improve your craft.


1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this blog, Mr. Sparhawk. It's great insight into the trials and tribulations of a fellow writer.


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