Thursday, October 18, 2012


I have been experiencing an unyielding poke in the gut from reality.  Reality being the sum and all the parts of everything I do not know. 

And there is a lot.  A staggering lot.  An overwhelming lot.  Of stuff I do not know.  I have wondered many times over the past few weeks how in the hell I have homeschooled a child into college.  But, I have.  He starts spring semester.  I honestly have no idea how that happened.  Granted, it is absolutely more to his credit than to mine.  I did not teach either of my kids much of anything.  I just taught them how to learn, and why they should keep doing it forever.  

I suppose I am on a mission to practice what I preach. I am slowly realizing that it does not matter how much natural talent one has, if they do not know what to do with it, it means nothing. 

So.  I am trying to figure out what to do with it.  More to the point, I am trying to become a writer.  Being a natural wordsmith does not automatically translate into being a talented storyteller.  And I find myself in a rather pedestrian muck- I have concepts galore but very little in the way of complete stories.  Beginnings, middles, and endings.  Complete scenes.  Well-rounded characters.  Clever progression.  I truly have no idea what I am doing. 
I am trying.  I am reading.  Catching up on all the knowledge to which I have turned up my nose over the years under the false assumption that I know everything.  It is a daunting realization.  Becoming aware, all of a sudden, of the full breadth and scope of everything I do not know.  And I am sure there is twice as much I don't even know that I don't know.
I need to finish something.  I need to figure out how to use myself.  How to pull things out of my head and spin them all the way around.  I have dozens of "first few paragraphs."  DOZENS.  Maybe even hundreds.  I write.  Write my little heart out.  But then, only a few paragraphs in, the color of my story starts to change.
I have talked about that before.  Seeing things in colors.  Words and people and memories.  They all have colors.  And it happens so quickly in my writing.  A few paragraphs in, things become gray or brown.  It is as though the setting of my story suddenly becomes a dark and cloudy afternoon, maybe a bit of haze from a drizzle.  And when it becomes gray or brown, I get bored, blocked, lost, paralyzed.  I'll save it to a folder.  And start again.  New story, new characters, new everything.  And the cycle continues.  I have begun trying to scrap everything back to the point in my story where the color changes.   It's an exercise.  I am working on it.
I have so little discipline.  So little knowledge.  So little ability to apply the knowledge I do have.  I am flailing around in an ocean of words, knowing they can be used to build a boat, but having no idea how to go about it.  I gather all the words floating around me, and then they drift away.  Or I have no hammer.  Or nails.  Or maybe a shark comes around and tries to bite me.  It's always something.  Always something.  And never enough.
I am disappointed in myself.  I see so much potential, but just can't quite pull it out.
And then there is still that 14-year-old girl whispering in the back of my noggin that if I am not a prodigy or savant, if it doesn't come naturally, then there is no point in trying.  Because I will never be good enough.
Hell.  At this point, I'd settle for good at all. 


  1. Try getting to the editing and rewriting stage. Holy crap is it killing me.

    Hang in there. I love your words, regardless fo how they come.

  2. I once read that writing anything is like relationships... the beginning is fun, exciting, new. You want to spend all your time on it, it's a rush, it's all you think about.

    Then, you spend a little less time. "I'd love to see you, but I have to take my kid to his placement test/see a doctor for my elbow/work/cheat on you with another beginning..."

    Eventually you grow apart, bump into each other once in a while, or think of that beginning and say, "you know... I really should stop and say hi..."

    It's a commitment and work just like any other. The beginning of anything is always exciting and easy. It's what comes after that is harder. But you... you have the ability to commit like that. And I believe you have been. (I'm a little behind here and on PD).