Opening up about writing

Is it just me, or is the writing process so boring for anyone who’s not actually doing it?

Sure, it’s great to get little sneak peeks at what the author is working on, and cool to find out facts the author recently learned, but as far as the actual process goes, does anyone other than the author really care?

I’ll be honest, keeping up the weekly blog is difficult. I often realize that I have a post to make, and try to cram some writing in a day or two before sitting down to write the post, as though that will somehow give me something interesting to write about. But it doesn’t.

Fun fact: I actually hate talking about my own writing projects. Blogging is easier, but I really hate it when people ask me what I’m writing about, how it’s going, or if I’ve solved problem X yet. Writing, for all that I want to blog about it, is very personal. I’m very protective of my characters and my projects because, to some degree, each character is me, and each story is my story. While it may not be easy to see, it’s my outlet, it’s how I deal with the challenges of life. I recast them in another setting. Maybe it’s completely unrecognizable to anyone but me. But it’s there. A psychologist could probably analyze it tell you all about me.

But back to people caring about the process.

I keep telling myself that I’ll post an excerpt or something, a little bit that I’m really proud of, or a moment of honesty in my book that’s scary but real. And yet I never do. Mostly because I drag my feet about writing and never have those gems at the ready.

So my posts are largely me making stuff up, and trying to relate it to the writing process (I’m doing it now. Look at me go!). But how do I make a weekly post when I’m 1. lazy and don’t write at all regularly; 2. Very private and I don’t want to go into detail, so I’ll just tell you, I wrote 1,000 words, I’m establishing characters, it’s slow and boring work that will be rewritten if I ever get to editing; and 3. Afraid that if I post something raw or honest, I might get brutal feedback that makes me want to quit writing for the rest of eternity?

I can’t decide if letting other people in to my writing would be good or not. The few people who have been inducted are the kind of people you always assume will read with rose colored glasses. Not that they would lie, but they would always seek the encouraging way to give feedback, and probably only critique something if it was truly awful (which is important critique, to be sure). But sometimes you need someone to say, “I didn’t like this part.” And then you have a conversation to find out why. Is it out of keeping with the established character? Is it poorly written? Is it boring? Is it necessary?

But then what if you find someone to read it, and they tell you, “it’s all awful, cease writing immediately and do the world a favor!”

I don’t write for anyone but me, at the moment. And that’s ok. Right now I think that’s all the writing I need to do. But, somewhere in the back of my mind, in the dusty box that still remembers what it’s like to dream, the idea of publication lurks. And if that dream is ever going to go anywhere, I need to get used to critique, rejection, and most of all, perhaps, vulnerability.

My characters are me. My writing is me. But I am not them. I am more than that. And some day soon, I’ll have to embrace that, and start being a little more open about my projects.

I don’t have to like talking about them, but I should be capable of doing it. And I should be capable of losing myself in the excitement of it all, that I forget that I don’t like talking about it.

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