Friday, October 23, 2009

Relaxing (?) Weekend Getaway

Today around three I'll be on the road to Gainesville with Kaity. Our destination: her house, Oktoberfest, a library book sale, and a Fall festival including a costume contest. Everyone keeps insisting I suit up in my knightly attire for the latter, and I won't lie and say I wouldn't enjoy it. From there, we're headed to Saint Augustine, then back to Jacksonville for some sleep before Monday begins again.

I feel like I need to get away. Schoolwork isn't particularly hectic, but feels especially draining when I'm forced to read selections from Stephenie Meyer's Twilight and from even less intelligible works of fiction. The lesson here isn't really a lesson, but a reminder of the constant circus of bad writing, good writing, and published writing.

Quality isn't a prerequisite for a story to be published. Nill reviews and unanimous boos regarding certain books are proof enough. But a true writer's sole occupation is to produce good work, so when the consensus becomes that he or she has failed, it becomes something of a Shakespearean tragedy. Of course some writers won't care. They're in it for money, or whatever their reasons are. But many, perhaps most writers must feel that faceless anger and ask those burning questions.

What's wrong with my story? Am I a good writer? Am I really a writer at all? Why can't I do what they've done?

Writers can tell you until they're blue in the face that they enjoy criticism and take no offense and turn every bad review into a learning experience. Do not believe us. Writers are humans, humans are animals, and the writer's animal instinct towards a bad review is primal.

If even for a second, the writer's instinct will tell them to crawl into a dark pit and lick their wounds. Bark back, spraying saliva. Or bear their fangs and tear throats.

Artistic pontification aside, I recently finished a 10000 word story that Kaity believes is my finest writing yet. I suspect it will be difficult to find a home for. It'll wait until next week, when I can tie on my apron and file my knives and get ready for some butcher's work, without distractions.


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