My Writing Process Includes a Lot of Melodrama

Oh, lord, remember everything I said about how great it is to get older, more in touch with yourself, more at ease with your foibles?

It’s bullshit.

I got two really solid, good in-depth responses to the manuscript today, both of which get at the same things from different ways. And I have had to flail along the length of the couch all evening, flopping in despair about how I cannot possible fix those issues because I’m just not that good of a writer.

Even if I had a million years.

Therefore, I will just burn the manuscript and go back to not working on my quilt.

Like I said, my writing process includes a lot of melodrama.

Writing, I think, is a lot like walking a tightrope without a net. Once you get the hang of it, and are way up there in the air, and your body just kind of reflexively knows what to do, you are, occasionally, still going to slip. And you will fall. And you will stay there for a moment, with your arms and legs wrapped around the wire, and you will be sweating and you will be shaking. And then, you will get up and finish your routine.

And you will not have actually fallen as badly as you might.

Shoot, some folks in the audience might not even know it was an accident at all.

4 thoughts on “My Writing Process Includes a Lot of Melodrama

  1. While something of a queen myself, drama and otherwise, I’ve never thrown myself to the divan, to wallow in my despair over having my writing critiqued.

    Yet.

    However I’ve done it in my mind countless times. I feel your pain.

    And, I also think you tightrope simile is just perfect. Especially the part about the audience thinking it’s all part of the act. Onward, sistah.

  2. The worst part is that I didn’t even get the “Fuck you, my writing is fine. You’re just… just… stupid.” feeling that burns through you for a good three hours before you’re like “No, I have to get over myself.”

    I read the first one and I was like “Fuck me. This person is on to something. NOOOOOooooooooo!” and then the second response. I totally was “I can’t do it. I see what they’re saying and they’re right and I just can’t do it!!!!”

    But this morning, I’m feeling better. Like, no, I’m not sure if I can do it, but at least I can try.

  3. You can do it. You know you can.

    It just will be incredibly painful. I won’t lie to you.

    And it won’t be incredibly painful because of your technical inability. It’ll be incredibly painful because it will be the part of the process that requires the most of you emotionally speaking.

    It’s the part that, going into it, you have to know in advance that you’ll have to

    a) take it slow
    b) surround yourself with a lot of things that feed your positive energies
    c) have someone (like the Professor) to talk to about the junk it dredges up.

    The small work is what is most painful because it’s the part where you have to go step by step into your head and you can’t stand and observe from a safe distance away.

    Make sure that you’ve got a lot of growing things around you–plants or animals–and a lot of pretty things to work on. Otherwise you’ll either give up on the book (as I have on 2 of them) or become an alcoholic.

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