Sunday, 3 March 2013

Day Sixty-Two: On Setbacks

Let's play with a hypothetical here (or maybe it isn't a hypothetical, I don't know your life). You're a writer. You're writing a novel or a short story or a poem. Whatever. You're in the groove. But you've also got a life. So let's be honest here. Let's state the obvious and get, admittedly, a little profane:

Shit happens.

Good shit. Bad shit. Doesn't matter. If you're currently breathing, you're going to have to deal with some shit sooner or later. Sometimes that means some minor inconvenience, but other times it means swallowing the unfortunate and setting aside your writing for a day or three.

I hate when this happens. It leaves me feeling terrible and unproductive and unfulfilled at best. When I want to work--oh god, especially when I want to work and not spend all of my time playing video-games or whatever--telling myself that I'm going to write that day and then being unable to can actually leave me feeling nervous and kind of queasy. Like I'm living some sort of shoddily built fiction that someone might see through, or that I'm proving to be a grand disappointment to myself and those around me.

Again; I hate this. I can't even begin to tell you how much.

Is this healthy? Probably not. Is it a normal response? Also probably not. It is a response that I come across somewhat frequently with other writers, though. Especially those of us who are still struggling to have a novel published for the first time. When we're serious about our craft, we tend to be a lean and hungry bunch who fluctuate rapidly from being egotistical, self-absorbed monsters convinced of our own self-worth, to being depressed, self-absorbed monsters who stay up too late worrying that we'll never amount to anything.

It really sucks. A lot. There's not a whole lot that you can do about it, though. It's just a part of being a writer at this stage of the game, and the only thing to do is try and choke it down and power through the pain and agitation that it causes. Try to do better the next day, or to do anything at all.

At this point, you might be wondering what the point of all of this is. Well, with not being able to write over the past couple of days, I've been feeling a sort of pressure to catch up or increase the level of output that I have when it comes to A Body Up the Well. I can't necessarily promise that, though, because shit happens and good intentions can't stop it. So, I'm not making excuses here...I'm just trying to convey that being unable to post anything relevant here on a daily basis is easily just as frustrating for me as it is for you. It hurts me when I can't achieve what I've set out here to achieve, and it's important for me that you know that. And, most of all, I want you to know that I am absolutely still commited to seeing this thing through to the end.

I really want to finish this novel, guys. I really want you all to be able to read it. I also really want a piece of cake.

Let's see what we can do about those things, shall we?


-Sean

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