The reasons for this blog: 1. To provide basic author information for students, teachers, librarians, etc. (Please see sidebar) 2. I think out loud a lot as I work through writing projects, and I'm trying to dump most of those thoughts here rather than on my friends.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

smarter than a monkey

I'm in the middle of w-f-h, but am waiting for details about some of the specs before I can proceed farther, so I hope to get some of my own writing time in right now.

Am feeling a little frustrated at present, because I feel that I could get a firmer grip on this WIP if I had a title, or even a central image or idea. I was discussing it (WIP's lack of title) with some writer friends, and realized that I talk a good talk about what I want this ms to be--what I want it to say--and that I can talk with great passion and the project sounds great and meaningful and exciting. But the fact is, none of that is on the paper right now. I talk big, but it's just not there. And a writer can talk about all the myriad levels and themes and meanings behind his/her book--but if it's not on the paper, all that talk is just bullsh*t.

One of my (many) minor annoyances is writers who ask you for critique, but then afterwards explain to you why your critique is wrong. They explain what you were supposed to get out of the ms that you didn't. But the effin' fact is, if it's not on the paper, you don't get to explain it. You don't get to send a leaflet paperclipped to your slush pile ms explaining what you really meant, so that the poor assistant who reads slush can keep it in mind. You don't get to call every reader who buys your book off the shelf and tell them what they're supposed to extrapolate or infer.

So I am frustrated because all the passion I feel for this project isn't there. It isn't coming through. No point is being made. I hope that this will change on its own as I get the whole thing more into shape. But it worries me that I don't have a title or a main image to hold in my head, or at least some small concrete idea that I could wrap my fingers around and hang onto, to keep me on course as I work through it.

I feel like I am full of hot air. Sigh. The only good thing is, I am writing. I am working on it, when the world is filled with people who talk, talk, talk about writing but never actually do it. And I must remind myself of one of my mantras: You are smarter than a monkey.

Because conventional wisdom says that a monkey with a typewriter, who types into infinity, will eventually produce all great works of literary art. Said monkey would also produce what I want to write right now. I don't have infinity to work on this, but I am also smarter (we hope) than a monkey. I write with thought and try to direct my revisions, instead of just hitting random keys. Therefore, if I keep working consistently on this ms, it's almost certain that I will eventually get it right in my lifetime. Because I am smarter than a monkey.

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