Saturday, April 16, 2005

Time to Step Back a Little

A little Learning is a dang'rous Thing;
Drink deep, or taste not the Pierian Spring:
There shallow Draughts intoxicate the Brain,
And drinking largely sobers us again.

--Alexander Pope, "An Essay on Criticism"

Often misquoted as "a little knowledge is a dangerous thing". Quite true either way.

I have worked myself into a frenzy of self-doubt about writing fiction. The biggest problem is that I know both too little and too much. I have reached a point where concern about the craft has overwhelmed the flow of the art. I have handcuffed myself with worry over plot points, scene structure, dialogue beats, adverbs, passive voice, sentence structure, and every thing else. With all that going on, I'm unable to get myself started on actual writing. That sucks.

I know that this stage will pass. As the details sink deeper into my mind, they will become habitual and second nature. Right now, though, I feel bad about not writing.

I need to write something. Therefore, I have two paths I will follow for the short term until this passes. I will write non-fiction, whether for publication or just for my own enjoyment, and I will free-write. Free-writing is something I have gotten away from lately. I always found it a good way to break open the logjam and just let thoughts flow onto paper. I love that feeling of freedom and that's what I am missing right now.

Self-imposed deadlines be damned. Relax and get back the joy. That's the priority.


At 11:13 AM, Blogger Debra Young said...

I second that! D:))


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