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Friday, May 12, 2006

Worry Warthog-face

There's a lot of worry that goes into writing a novel. First, you worry about writing something that doesn't suck. Then you worry about writing something that's actually pretty good. Then you worry that when people laugh, it's not because you're funny but because you're a dork. Then you worry that you'll never write enough, then that you'll write too much, then that it will never get published (and this is likely for the vast majority of things people write), then that if you want to get published that you're not loving the process enough, not a real writer. Then there's worry over neglecting other responsibilities, worry about msg in takeout food, worry that the baby is going to grow up demented because mommy spent much of her life staring at the Hello Kitty laptop, worry, worry, worry.

Did I mention that I'm a person who worries?

But there's therapy for the baby, and there's the natural foods market across the street. As for the other worries, I try to remind myself that the lamest thing written is better than the most brilliant thing not, and just the fact that I sit here with bum-in-chair is all the validation I need that I'm a real writer. I read over Anne Lamott's SFD chapter and drink some nice tea. And I look forward to my Wednesdays where I can stretch out my brain and chip away at the vast landscape of ideas I store away in my mind all week. The canvas never looks like it does in my head. Never. But sometimes it gets dangerously close, and I am encouraged.

The bigger worries involve exposure - so I guess it's a good thing that I start with blogging and get used to the idea of my innermost thoughts being available to any casual reader. Inner landscape and exposure are indeed one of the core novel themes, which I guess makes sense, considering my tagline ("what do you have in your soul?" in case you missed it). And what is real, and what is fiction, and what fiction will readers think is real, and who is going to sue me for slander (you can't libel the dead, right?). But for the record, this is entirely a work of fiction in which the tiniest seeds of real life have been sprinkled as compost, sprouting here and there in ways that don't remotely resemble my life, the lives of my friends, or any family members. I draw inspiration from what I read, but I absolutely, unequivocally promise that I have never and will never in my life plagiarize (unless, after hearing you say something really cool, I follow up with, "Oooh, can I steal that for my novel?" which does happen rather frequently).

I don't know why I had to get that off my chest, but I did. I guess I was worried.


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