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Jul 12, 2010

Better


I've been working on the re-write for the first chapter of the fantasy novella. I notice a habit of mine, to cut myself down while I'm writing. "This doesn't have to be good." It's a defense, a way to warn myself, "This won't be too good." That way, if I finish and it's not, in fact, good at all, I can say, "I wasn't really trying."

The defense is not without its charms. I have other projects I would like to work on, but can't, because my expectations paralyze me. Those are projects which I want to be good. To fall short would crucify me. The result is that I write nothing at all.

Surely there must be some middle ground between these extremes. I would like to hold myself to a high standard for every project, and not just toss out shoddy writing because I am "saving" my "real" efforts for something better -- which I never do anyway, because having to keep my own promise intimidates me. I aim to do better.

Photo here.

8 comments:

Damyanti said...

Hey, we all go through this :) the trick is to not criticize yourself for the first draft, and let the inner critic in only for the second one. Even then, it is never an easy process...

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Oh, well, hello! I haven't come over for a few days and there's a lot of posts! I think I've mostly caught up. Real life has been intervening in my precious blogging time!

So you're working on a fantasy novella? That's exciting! Can't wait to hear more about it if you're going to share. And I understand about being paralyzed by expectations and finding a middle ground. I think I finally found that with Cinders, which is why I decided to put it out there. Tough choice, still, and the whole thing still scares me to death.

Michelle Davidson Argyle said...

Sorry about not leaving a comment for all your other posts! I did read them, and the unlikable character posts scares me because I'm afraid my Cinderella is just a big spoiled brat. I guess that's kind of the point...

Tara Maya said...

Thanks for visiting, Michelle. It was actually your discussion of Cinders that made me examine my own characters, wondering if they were coming across to the reader the same way they were to me.

Tara Maya said...

Thanks, Damyanti. Yes, it's a hard balance between the Inner Critic and the Inner Slacker. They have a symbiotic relationship, at least in the territory of my mind.

Ban said...

grief - I can soooo empathize with this ...

Anthony said...

EMBRACE THE SUCK!

Sometimes, if you're behind so much, suddenly you're first.

scott g.f.bailey said...

Isak Dineson's motto serves me well: Write a little every day, without hope, without despair. Having written is enough. I can't tell good writing from suck writing while I'm doing it, so I don't even think about it any more. I just try to move forward.