It's a blog hop, folks, led by Captain Alex Cavanaugh and his minions. To find links to more writers talking about writing, click here.
The last time I wrote an IWSG post, I talked about struggling with my writing project, and the muse that yanked me off in a different direction. That direction was a 550 word essay that I wrote in under two hours and sent on spec to the Boston Globe. Less than a week later they informed me they wanted to publish it, and it will appear this weekend. Working on that snippet was fun, and the acceptance, complete with pay, gave me little confidence boost.
That same week, I finally tracked down a copy of a spring issue of a boating magazine where I have a fifteen hundred word feature about my hometown harbor (guess my complimentary copy got lost in the mail). A few days later, the mail delivered another regional magazine where I have a center spread on eight seafood restaurants. The two magazines sit on my coffee table, taunting me in a way, reminding me it’s been over a month since I focused (or tried to focus) on the novel.
I belong to a local writers group, and the last two times I’ve read pieces of my current project the feedback was tough, critical in ways that are correct, but for some reason, also damaging. I’m reading from an early draft, I know the writing needs to be tightened, but I have to get through the story first, and I’m finding it difficult to have the thing torn to pieces before I’m done. After the last critique session, I re-read the draft and realized in addition to the accurate comments from my group, the whole thing lacks complexity and conflict. I have a million miles to go and right now, I’m straining to take a step.
Perhaps that’s why every once in a while, I open the two magazines on the coffee table and rifle to my articles. Perhaps that’s why I look forward to getting Sunday’s paper and seeing my byline. Maybe that’s what led me to write another, 650-word essay that I’m planning on submitting soon. These days, I’m really not sure I'm ever going to publish a novel. But this less, tear-my-hair-out kind of work convinces me at least I can still write.