First, Let me Vent
It’s been about five years since I took the plunge and committed myself to writing. The most frustrating aspect of being a new writer is you have no idea what you don’t know.
After neglecting the call to write for about twenty years when I decided I wanted to write a novel, I told the scariest person I know (Sensei Ron, my son’s karate coach- you do not disappoint Sensei!). Then, I got notebook. Then I started writing (I may be oversimplifying this part). Five years later, I say the novel is “finished”, but every article I read, writing conversation I have or writing course I take points out another flaw.
Holy Cow- It’s Hard to Write a Novel!
Once I finished my first draft I thought I’d figured this writing thing out, but then I realized it was time to edit. How the hell do you do that? I revised it. And I revised it again. How many times do I have to revise it? I need to find a critique group. Where the hell do you find one of those? Once my critique group (thank God, I found them!) was tired of reading it, I needed some fresh eyes. When and how do I find a Beta reader?
With each question, the writing would stop and the learning would begin. I would turn a corner, and bam, I’d be lost again.
Now, For Something Completely Different
Even this blog held up a mirror to show me how much I don’t know; a comment I received after my last post had me scrambling to learn all about the medium and what I wanted to do with it. I spent an hour trying, and failing to load a public domain photo to the start of this post (I gave up and took my own.) Don’t even get me started on all the stuff I don’t know about the business of writing. Sigh.
Once You Answer the Call…
It’s a humbling experience this writing gig. But, because I am a writer, I cannot give it up. It is part of who I am. So, I persevere- I’ve learned it’s the special hell of the vocation.
Eventually with more practice, I suspect, all the pieces will come together and click for me. I’ll figure out my best writing process, find the idea that is out there looking for me, and breathe life into it. I’ll produce a novel or story that lives somewhere other than my desk drawer. Until then, I’ll work on becoming comfortable with how much I don’t know, and repeat the mantra- practice makes perfect.