Introspective Post #372

Happy 4th of July! I’m blogging today, because I decided to work in spite of the holiday, and then found myself roadblocked. I know I’m unlikely to get a whole lot of feedback or even views on this one because of the day I’m posting, but thats just like normal writing so I’m going to see how it works out.

You see, I am currently theorizing that my roadblock may be from the lack of feedback I receive on the text I produce.

When I write a blog post like this, I normally enjoy more immediate feedback than any of the fiction I churn out. In fact, I receive almost zero immediate feedback on anything I write, and as I am yet unpublished I find the solitude and obscurity discouraging. I’m trying to think of a way to solve this issue without resorting to alpha readers I may or may not be able to reach often enough.

But I suppose that question may lead to a different one: “Why am I striving so hard to live up to standards of others either real but subjective, or completely imaginary?” Or: “Why do I put so much pressure on myself to produce a lot of words, or high quality words, or whatever?

Finding a good answer to the first one is tricky.

The next one, however, has a very glib line I’ve been using over the past two years: “It’s my job.”

But is it? Is it really?

I don’t want to be a freelancer anymore. I want to tell my own stories. But even so, writing is not my job. It pays zero bills. It attracts zero input from others. I hardly even submit to publishers or agents. I am a writer. But writing is not my job.

Many writers tell new writers to ‘treat writing like a job’ but I have been trying to do that, and I’ve found it simply depressing. I’ve also experienced a dramatic drop-off in writing rate, coinciding with my discovery of the writing excuses podcast and delving into the approach from the more systematic approach Brandon Sanderson uses. I don’t blame Sanderson mind you. He’s a good writer and probably a decent teacher.

But every writer has their own approach to the craft.

I don’t write like Sanderson, who is a slow and steady grinder when it comes to prose production, as well as very systems-focused as a storyteller.

Even if I wasn’t so wildly different in temperament, worldview, and age from someone like him (or pretty much any of the other podcasters I’ve listened to on these writing shows), I need to pursue this art through my projects, and my goals through my own way.

I’m heavily addicted to listening to writing advice. I should probably stop listening to it altogether, but I doubt I will. So I shall work to limit the amount I pay attention to the advice that gets crammed into my head.

This post is pretty long. Happy 4th of July, once again. I’m out. For now.

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