Monday, December 12, 2011

Lowering the bar

I'm having one of those days where everything I write is crap. Probably a result of reading too many how-to-write books lately. They're useful but make me start saying things like "Do I have a theme? What's my theme? Show me the theme!"

Then I throw my hands in the air all melodramatic-like, shout something about being a hack, and turn on the television.

So far there hasn't been much television. I've been bouncing back and forth between two short stories. One was almost finished before I decided I had wasted the cool setting on a trivial idea. The other I'm afraid I'll break. So I write a few sentences at a time, hoping I'll distract myself long enough to finish something and push past this slump. And then yell at myself for being such a baby.

Anyway. This is the ugly side of my day. I'm not looking for sympathy and it's kind of funny when you think about it. Even when I don't have any real, tangible problems to bemoan, my brain is more than happy to invent something stupid.

I need to find that place outside of myself where I can be objective again. Because right now I can't see the story for the words.


R. K. MacPherson said...

I find that when the words look wrong, when I doubt myself, that it's time to kill pixels. Alternately, it might be time to bundle up and take a walk along the water.

Folly Blaine said...

Excellent suggestions. I took a break and read half of a Cordwainer Smith short story, but a walk around the block sounds even better.

Podforge said...

Learning when to walk away and let things sit for a spell, is easier as a knife maker. If you stick it out too long you risk lopping off a finger or leaking all over the place.

Mark Andrew Edwards said...

I so know what you mean. I keep trying to fight that headspace (not to say, headcrab) all the time.

You are not a hack. People like your work, they even pay you to write it.

Folly Blaine said...

Podforge: I can see that. It's unfortunate the only pain a story inflicts is mental. If only I could show you my bruises. :)

Mark: Thanks for the kind words. I saw the post about burnout on your blog. Maybe I'm just feeling some of that. Just gotta push through it. :)