Saturday, May 14, 2005

Thoughts on Reconnecting

The problem is, I've become too civilized. Where once, I prowled the jungle of my mind and roared my defiance to all the lesser beasts. I now walk clean, paved streets among white-washed buildings and breathe sanitized air. I have removed myself from the primal turmoil and worry about mowing the lawn and keeping up with the neighbors. I miss my former state of noble savagery and long to shed the strictures of my current life, to run free once more through the living world and not give a damn what anyone else thinks.

I think this all started when I came out of the closet as a writer. Once I began to show my work to others, I started becoming dependent on their reactions. I submerged and devalued my own feelings in favor of the approval of others. That's wrong. I have to believe in myself, or I lose the whole damn-the-torpedoes attitude that I depend on to get the passion into my writing. The more I worry about doing something "wrong", the fewer chances I'm willing to take, the more I rethink my words before getting them down, the more distance I get between my self and my work. The result is crap that neither I nor anyone else cares about.

Now I will be the first to say that "The Prodigal Son" is amateurish crap as a story. It's cliched, static, and has a laundry-list of faults too long to list here (and I don't really like to think about that, anyway). When I wrote this story, I had no idea about craft. Plot was an empty word and character development an enigma. I didn't know then that adverbs are our enemies and adjectives suspect at best. I didn't know that the action was more important than the language. I didn't know a lot of things that I have learned since then. Yes, I'm being sarcastic and more than a little bit cynical.

But...

The passion and energy and joy of writing shows through clearly, at least to me. The words often hit hard and are dead on target. This story has a life of its own outside of me. It's real, far more so that anything I've written lately.

I'm a right-brained person. I'm left-handed, intuitive, and completely unreasonable. I can't let myself be bound by external opinions about what sells or what makes a story good. I have to get back to trusting my instincts and pouring my heart's blood out onto the paper. I have to get my stories down off the TV screen and let them live. They need to groan and laugh, to cry, to sweat, to stink.

I've got to find the Wizard, so he can give me my heart and brain and courage. Then maybe Glinda will show me how to get home again.

1 Comments:

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Michelle Miles said...

I think this all started when I came out of the closet as a writer. Once I began to show my work to others, I started becoming dependent on their reactions. I can so relate to this! You said exactly what I've been thinking these last few weeks (but couldn't put into words) in this paragraph. I'm starting to feel like a writer again and get excited about my work. It's a nice feeling.

 

Post a Comment

<< Home