Writing fiction is similar to writing non-fiction – there’s this semblance to some true situation or feeling that you’re trying to explain without being bluntly straight-forward or an absolute doofus. That’s right – doofus. One of those strange words that you still can’t believe is a word. Spell check didn’t squiggle it’s red pen underneath it, so I guess we’re good.
It was fun. Anyone can do anything. It’s not real. It’s all theoretical, metaphorical, and can be just plain silly at times. Nothing needs to be serious, which when writing general thoughts, can be taken as such.
The problem doesn’t lie in the writing, it lies in actually starting the work. Every damn time my fingers rest upon the keyboard and my ass sits in this chair, it’s coupled with the riddling of distractions. Between social media, to YouTube, to literally any sort of masturbation of procrastination… there’s a constant nag to avoid the work like it’s going to disappear or go away.
It’s not. Trust me, I’ve tried. Those dishes in the sink aren’t going to clean themselves either.
…or are they???
Nah, probably not.
What will then happen, is after I’ve break danced around it, I’ll convince myself that there’s other more pressing things to get done, more important things to get done. Time is of the essence. “You don’t have time to sit here and write for a little bit, you have to get X, Y, and Z done.” Check the phone, check the notification popping up in the corner of the screen, check to see if there are any notifications I may have missed.
I didn’t. And even if I did, they are of no importance right now. The art of writing is what deserves the attention. Self-expression is what matters right now.
Is the coffee too cold? Yeah, I should go heat it up. The coffee needs to be piping hot, otherwise it’s just lukewarm coffee-water. Fantastic, hot coffee. What’s that out the window? A car going by. Nothing more. That car looked like my friend’s car. I wonder what my friend is doing. Maybe he’s at work with his 9-5 job that offers the security that he loves in life. Man, security would be nice. Knowing when the paycheck is coming, medical benefits, a 401k.
Fortune favors the bold. Risk it for the biscuit. Chase dreams. What are the dreams? No idea, really. I just do things I enjoy. Where am I right now? Ass is still in the chair and distracted more than ever. That’s where.
Writing long-length-esque fiction was more difficult that I imagined. In my own opinion, I decided to write myself into a corner each week and hope that I could figure out a witty and interesting ending. I couldn’t. What we got instead was a simple, action scene at the end. Punches, kicks, etc. No twists. No turns. Just solving my problems with violence – literally… literally. But who doesn’t love a good action scene? Sometimes the simplicity is key. B-movies are still entertaining movies, they just don’t win any oscars.
What I learned is to have great appreciation for all these writers out there that can turn the plot from page to page, or to set something up in advance and call back to it chapters later. “Foreshadowing” I believe it’s called. Doing it consistently throughout the book and getting me to turn to the next chapter, staying up well past my bedtime because I NEED to know what happens next. Those guys. Give up the appreciation for the art they put on paper.
The true goal was not to write the next greatest piece of fiction, but to write 6-8 chapters of fiction and publish it for all to read. Good, bad, who gives a shit. It’s done. We don’t always try to win a marathon, but we’re just happy to finish one.
This is something I’d like to continually do, but the strategy needs to change. The level of commitment needs to change. The elements of a good story need to be implemented rather than skimmed over. Consistency is key. If we continue to show up and do the work, the fruits of our labors will come… one day.
The goal of the next piece will to be to improve upon the writing, to improve the storyline, and to have more fun with it. Stressing over our own artificial and manufactured deadlines can steal the joy from things. Sure, the deadline needs to be there, but with more discipline everything will improve. Discipline to consistency, discipline to the attempt, discipline to writing wildly, discipline to writing something that I want to read, too.
This has been one of the hardest ones to write. I’m unsure why. Switching gears and actually having to analyze what went right, what didn’t, how to improve, etc. is, for some unknown reason, incredibly difficult. Writing has always meant to be therapeutic for my insanely self-critical mind, so having to allow said criticism to come through without beating myself repeatedly along the way… it’s not easy. There’s a bracelet that sits on my wrist as a reminder to be peaceful and gentle to myself. Once I can ease up on myself, it’s much easier to be much less critical of all those around me.
The paths of self-expression we choose are supposed to help us feel better. Just like everything we do, it’s important that we reflect upon our journeys and see how we can improve. Music, painting, you name it. Staying in the same skill level only produces stagnation, with stagnation will come disdain for the art, when it’s not really the art – it’s us. We need to improve and that means doing the uncomfortable, whatever that may be. We can be our own best teachers and we owe it to the art to march forward.
What’s really wild to me is that this may seem obvious to a lot of people and it is for me too. The issue being is taking the action. What will you do? Sit there and tell yourself to get outside the comfort zone… or are you actually going to do it?
Now I’m off to play some Elden Ring. The work is done for today. The battle might not be won, but the army showed up and fought. That’s all that matters.