I’ve been reading a lot, from writers about writing – cuz well I haven’t been writing much. My attempt to do 400 words a day worked. Brilliantly in fact, I wrote a lot. But then I got sucked into a mother of project at work – still ongoing and I drowned.
Somewhen in the middle of straggling home after dark every night for weeks I lost all zeal for writing – although at first it was a pleasure to sit quietly at midnight and hammer out a few words in an escape from a long day, – after a while I just didn’t have the energy. So now I’ve been trying to get back on the wagon now that things have quieted down and it’s been rough.
I hate everything I’ve written. It all seems trite and clichéd and stupid. And I know all the writing advice says keep going- just write your million words of shit. Get it all out, like so much bile. But I’m a perfectionist and I want to write something I can be proud of.
So I wanted to quit. Just give up.
But here’s the upside to living with a soon to be published writer who’s in the middle of a bunch of edits and having every single meltdown that goes with that process. LIKE THIS ONE
I’m learning that it’s all shit.
No matter how good you think you did it the first time. When you hit those revisions and the plot-holes start jumping out at you, the awkward dialogue, the nitty bitty grammar errors – it’s all SHIT.
No matter what you do – no work of art whether it be written, painted, composed, sculpted or designed whatever your medium is – it will never be perfect. It will never be 100% RIGHT.
And maybe it’s not supposed to be. Art represents life – and life is a flawed beast. It breathes and grows and changes and ugly cries but in the end it’s beautiful.
Which by the way does not give anyone an excuse to foist shit upon the world and call it art.
I’m just saying that in the process of creating – you’re gonna fuck things up. You’re gonna make mistakes and get things wrong. And the lesson I’m trying to learn – that I’m trying to absorb into my own nitwitted brain is that – it’s okay.
It’s okay to fuck up and make giant plot holes and be derivative and crappy.
What’s not okay is giving up. What’s not okay is thinking that you can’t get something good out of all your fuckery. Because you’re learning and hopefully getting better and one day you may just – make GOOD art.
There’s a quote from somewhere that goes – ‘the only way to fail is to not try at all.’
I guess for me it goes a step further than that. As a writer, I just need to finish something. Finish my novel, and polish my little friend until it shines. And if I never share it with anyone – and if I decide that it must go into the trunk of shame – then that’s okay. But I just need to give in and create and hold fast to that.
Because committing to art is just the same as committing to life; it’s just what we do.
And like the title says – It’s all shit in the end so write it anyway.