I did some proofreading for Torquere yesterday, including a short story by one of my absolute favorite authors, and once again, she did not disappoint. I found a few typos, but as always, the story was solid. Funny and hot and perfectly paced and except for a slightly awkward opening, completely adorable.
So when I sat down with the computer last night to write, I was feeling hopeful. And I managed to write 700 words and finish the scene I've been trying to finish for most of the past week. But I'm not happy with it. It's stuttery and jagged, but not in a good way, just in a my-pacing-sucks kind of way. It's neither hot nor sweet, it doesn't advance the plot... All I can say good about it is that the scene is finally finished.
Two months ago, I'd have killed for a 700-word night. But the last few weeks, I've been averaging 1000 or more words per writing session, so last night, 700 felt like a cop-out. Especially since it was 700 words that I'm wondering if I'm going to have to completely delete and re-write.
Editing and proofreading don't mix very well with writing, for me. Once I've flipped the switch in my head that makes me look for "how to make it better" then that becomes a drag on "how to get it out". I'm getting better with flipping back and forth -- if I edit in the morning, I can usually write in the afternoon. Yesterday just... didn't work for me, I guess.
Yesterday should have been a good day. I crossed off a lot of things on my long-standing "to do" list, and made my airline reservations for the trip to Cancun this summer, and Alex made it through the day with only one accident.
But I'm tired and trudging today.
Neil Gaiman had this to say back in '02 about writing and writers' moods:
When writing a novel that's pretty much entirely what life turns into: "House burned down. Car stolen. Cat exploded. Did 1500 easy words, so all in all it was a pretty good day." "Got call this morning to say I'd got Nobel Prize for literature. Wrote less than 300 words (285) probably unusable, so lousy day." And so forth.Yes. Very much yes.
On the other hand, I saw this from Kevin Smith yesterday about writing and the motivation to write:
Writing is the closest any man or woman will ever come to playing God (or a god).Yes.
Only writing – amongst not only all the arts, but amongst all of humanity’s waking endeavors – allows we mere mortals a true taste of all-encompassing creation along the lines of that which God (or a god; or a god-like energy from which the universe sprang) knew or knows.
You sit down with a blank page (let’s be honest: a blank screen) and you create a universe. You fashion a world. You populate it with whimsies and desires. You make the world the way you feel it oughta be. And you don’t have to show a single image to convey your creation to others: just words. The more you share it, the more your fiction becomes a reality.
When you write, you are as a god – or even the God. Who needs motivation for that? You wanna enjoy the perks of godhood without some jackass nailing you to a cross? Go write something. Right now. Stop reading me.