Earlier this month, I was doing body work on my car and decided to tackle the massive rust spot along the bottom of my left fender. Long story short, while sanding down the worst part of the rust, my sander plunged through, putting a large hole in my fender (the only thing holding it together was the paint). Now, I could buy a new fender, but I’ve been struggling with feeling good about my writing, so decided to challenge myself: no new fender until I can pay for it with money from a story sale.
Currently, I have one story out but won’t get an answer for it for another three months so I went spelunking in my “to be revised” pile of stories. One called “Shadow Talk” turned out to be the closest to publishable, so I did a read-through for last minute editing before printing it out.
Turns out, I wrote therapy for myself half a year in advance. See, I’ve been struggling namely with my book, feeling that it’s lifeless, the plot is stupid, the characters suck, my ideas are crap, the voice has changed irreparably and I’m not sure I like it–you know, the usual novel anxieties. In this story, a writer who is struggling with her lifeless book and procrastination ends up having to come to terms with what’s giving her stress (namely, her book).
Anyway, it was funny to read through this and find I’d written all my fears and anxieties down as fiction BEFORE I had any fears and anxieties, and then I got to have myself tell me to shut up, sit down, and fall in love with writing again, you lazy-assed excuse for a writer.
Okay, I wasn’t that mean to myself, but still, it was good to reread this. It also reminded me that, yes, I actually CAN write and not every word I put down on paper is inherently shit because it came from my hands (which is what I’ve been feeling for about two months now). It just needs a bit of polishing and cover letter.
So what’s the moral of this story? Don’t wait to do body work on your car “when you have the time.” Rust does a number on fenders if you let it go for a few years.http://static.panoramio.com/photos/large/23546686.jpg