August is the beginning of my creative year. August is when I first decided to start writing 9 years ago. I was terrible then. I’m still pretty terrible now, but I’ve learned a lot.
On an old episode of the Secrets Podcast Michael Stackpole alluded to trying to make a high jump from inside a well. Turns out that’s what I’ve been doing these past 9 years. Quite apart from that I have approached writing thoughtlessly. Oh, the process I have thought about almost constantly, but the most important aspect of storytelling (the story) I have not considered at all.
I could blame this on my foolish choice to take the easy way out and be an English Major in college. That might be partially true. After all, a large portion of what I read in those classes only holds up today because of an exclusive club that fixes the canon for years. In another way it is entirely unfair of me to blame the classes, or anything or anyone else. Obviously, the mistakes have been all mine.
I have gone nine years without any polished work ready for sale to show for it. Yes, I was a stupid teenager at the beginning, but I feel as though I have only matured into a stupid twenty-something, rather than a real adult. I don’t mean to be overly negative, but this essentially year nine in review. What did I accomplish?
I wrote about 180,000 words of crap. Some is okay, perhaps, but mostly? Crap.
I ran novel through a draft that improved it substantially. But improving that book is like polishing a turd apparently.
I went on the Roundtable Podcast where I sounded like an idiot at every turn. I should have known then that I needed to think more while I write. Formula only takes one to shit city.
I paid a fair amount of money to go to Tennessee to the first Out of Excuses Retreat ever. And I squandered that opportunity by failing to really connect with people there. I was too afraid of what they’d think of me (Not totally unjustified in hindsight, but whatever). I don’t blame them. I might be prolific at producing crap, but that’s about all I have going for me, and not even that much of that.
I hate the way I write. I hate the way I talk. I hate my mannerisms, my appearance, and my habits. I hate my body and my mind. I hate my diet and my exercise.
“The most important thing is this: to be able at any moment – to sacrifice what you are, for what you will become!” – Eric Thomas.
I want to do exactly that. I hate the life I’m leading. But I can’t seem to tear myself away from its corruption. Cut it off, cut it off! I’m chained to a boulder at the water’s edge and the tide is coming in.
Damn it, this is getting terrible. Everything I do is wrong and coming to terms with that is not easy at all. I’d assume most people think they’re smart, or that they know things. I do too. But it’s all in error, at least in my case.
Blah. Today is the first day of a new creative year. This year I’m going to do better. For God’s sake, for my own sake, I’m gonna do better. I’m sick of setting goals I never meet and deadlines that pass without notice. I’m sick and tired of being a terrible writer. As usual, it is time to improve. ‘Cause there’s never a time like now. And I have a lot to learn, and more to practice.