Consistency

Me in 2012:

  • I’m learning so much by writing a novel, teaching myself how to do it by actually doing it instead of sitting around and thinking about it and keeping myself on-track with a wall planner that holds me accountable to my own self-directed goals as well as recording my progress and success rate as a source of instant encouragement! I never knew I could be this productive; Mum was right, I just needed some structure and discipline, it’s like fucking magic!
  • I’m really excited to see what the end product is like and I don’t care that it’s not a well-structured narrative because I’m just writing it as it comes to me and I’ll look at it later and make up my mind once it’s all put together! And maybe I’ll write three different endings just because I can! Anything goes and creativity is awesome!

Me in 2013:

  • This story is so fucking shitty the main character is literally just me with a girl’s name there is no story just copy-pasted angst from my real life it’s a fucking LiveJournal blog I’ve never even had a LiveJournal blog and I know that that’s exactly what this fucking is how did I physically endure the process of writing this how did my shame not devour me from the inside-out as I vomited this garbage from my brain-space into legible documents and how did I then SEND IT TO OTHER PEOPLE TO READ how did I not DIE FROM HUMILIATION AT MY OWN INADEQUACY WHY WAS I ALLOWED TO DO THIS
  • Fuck this shit I obviously need to stop writing and stop myself from making an even bigger mess of this big shitty fucking messfuck also I need to go and walk for 40 minutes every day because I’m fat and worthless hey that song is catchy how about I let my feelings about it dictate every single plot point of this new version of my novel which will be better and more coherent and have better structure it’s so obvious thank god I’m going to start writing again and make everything better
  • OH MY GOD I CAN’T WRITE ANYTHING I AM FAILURE INCARNATE HOW DARE I CALL MYSELF A WRITER WHERE IS MY DISCIPLINE WHY DIDN’T I HAVE STRICTER PARENTS OBVIOUSLY THIS IS ALL THEIR FAULT THAT MY IDEAS ALL SUCK AND I CAN’T FOCUS OR PLAN ANYTHING WHERE IS THAT SONG IT COMFORTS ME TIME TO FACECLAIM SOME ACTORS FOR MY CHARACTERS
  • Buuuuuut now that I actually sit down and read it through it’s really obvious what all of the problems are and holy shit that would solve everything perfectly if I just change this thing and move this bit over here and well look at that I actually have a solid plan that turns this pool of fetid precum into a somewhat coherent narrative good work me it’s only three quarters of the way through the year there’s still time to put some shit together good job
  • … wow, I actually did it. I was actually right. This did work better; this story does hold together better; sure there are still problems but, like, holy crap I just had to read it a few times and make basic summaries of what happened in each chapters and then copy-and-paste a whole bunch and it was just so easy, seriously maybe I can do this maybe I can actually be a writer! And the further along I get with this book the more excited I am to write my other books eventually, committing to a project and sticking to it literally just makes everything better and teaches you that your limits are actually way higher than you ever imagined; this is so great I love writing!

Me in 2014:

  • Now I’ll just read this manuscript a bunch of times to get nice and familiar with the structure and prepare for the next revision – and I have all of these exciting new scenes that could really bring it to life and add some extra dimension and depth; I’ll just write them down in documents so that I have them recorded but don’t commit myself to anything before I know the whole situation. Awesome! Also I like this Scrivener programme maybe I’ll use it to trace every single character’s character-arc through the story and isolate them and treat them each like stories of their own with proper character progression and three-act structure and Hero’s Journey this shit right the hell up. I guess I’ll have to take it easy once semester starts but this is great I’m feeling great, a little worried that I don’t know exactly what to focus on for this next revision but I’ll work it out, I’ve done it before I can do it again!
  • moving house is kinda exciting but also I’m useless and can’t turn in assignments on time but also I’m awesome and get stupidly high marks for these absurdly late assignments and therefore it all balances out guess I’m doing Honours but I feel really shitty because these were actually really interesting papers and I just didn’t care about anything oh well I was moving house and am also depressed and lonely so it’s not my fault though maybe I should go see a counselor as for working on that novel I’ve been trying to write for the last 2 years hahAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAhAhhaaHAAHHAHAHAAAAAAAAAaaaaaaaA
  • I hate this story. I hate it. It is literally the exact fucking story I didn’t want to write when I first started out; I wrote fucking documents dedicated to how much I did not want the story to go this way and then it FUCKING WENT THIS WAY what’s the fucking point, if I can’t even write my own goddamn story my own goddamn way, what is the point if I’ve spent all this time writing something I hate, I could reshuffle the events of this manuscript and keep working at it until it flows properly and yes a lot of it works better and the characters are evolving but I never actually experimented like I wanted to with the first draft, never explored all of my options and instead ended up with this mess and decided to work with it because at least it was written and therefore physically available to work with and now I just can’t fucking stand it even if I did polish it up and made it the most coherent narrative to ever exist I would still hate it because I hate this story, I hate that I wrote it, I hate that it’s not what I wanted to write, I hate the fact that I never had a clear plan for this story to begin with and I let myself try to write it anyway, I hate that that was the correct decision and it just turned out badly and that I spent all that fucking time and energy on something I HATE and I don’t know what to do anymore
  • I have never realised how angry writing makes me until now. How much I rely on it to solve all of my problems when it actually just makes those problems worse. How there are all of these things that I want to do with my life that I haven’t been letting myself try because I’m A Writer and also because I have no inherent worth as a human being and, just, wow I have problems, I need a break.
  • Shit. I need to stop writing. I need to stop writing. I need to stop doing the thing I’ve been making myself do for the past 15 years, because the only reason I did it was that I decided at age 13 that I was going to Be A Writer and let myself be ruled by that ever since. I need to take a break from Tallulah. A proper break, where I don’t even think about it much less write notes or try to continue revising it. I need to take a break from writing altogether. I need to stop, and find myself in whatever’s left.
  • … I’m not a writer. I’m just a person. And I’m finally letting myself be just a person. I’ve never felt this free, this liberated, this – I know this is shallow, but this young; I’ve spent so much of my life waiting to have an ephphany that would solve anything, so much time thinking about how when it finally happens it’ll be too late to fix so many things that went wrong, but now that it’s happened I’m not disappointed, I’m just happy, because I’ll have this knowledge for the rest of my life. I can’t go back now. I can’t fall back into the sad patterns of denial and desperation that I once lived in exclusively; I have learnt something, and that’s for life. I can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Me in 2015:

  • God I don’t want to write my novel again
  • God I want to write my novel again
  • God I want to do other things with my life than write
  • God I wish this blog were a little better-maintained and professional and actually about writing like it was supposed to be
  • God I need to stop playing fucking World of Warcraft there was a reason I quit in the first place try learning something for once brain for fuck’s sake
  • I’m gonna write a satirical political thriller with vampires
  • I’M GONNA WRITE MAGICAL PORN

*

That’s the best summary I can come up with of my writer’s journey over the course of this blog, up to the present date. I have no idea why so many of you still follow me. But thanks. I do appreciate it.

I predict that my violent swinging back and forth from one agenda to the next on a near-daily basis are not going to stop either, and I do apologise for that. I feel uncomfortable in the way I have turned my very understandable uncertainty into an exercise in polemics, the way I seem to be politicising my own inconsistency and making it seem worse than it really is. But the truth is that this is the strangest, most turbulent rut I’ve ever been stuck in, in life and in writing; I can’t seem to see ahead with anything I do or want to do, only the murky present moment, and as such it’s hard to try and make plans or lay down foundations for better things to come. Everything’s so up in the air and I don’t know what I’m doing or where I’m going to end up. Every time I change my mind lately, especially concerning writing, it’s a massive, extreme, paradigm-shifting upheaval, which I think is because I’m really kinda lost without having the objective of Being A Writer to guide me. I think that’s also why I’ve let myself fall back on it so much in the past week or so, because it’s always been a crutch when I needed it.

I guess what I can learn from this is that learning is a slow, repetitive, frustrating process, but you’ve still gotta do it. And it does work. And I did get some writing done today, and it did make me feel a bit more open and relaxed. I did feel more productive today than I have in a long time, and I’d like that to continue. I just have to learn that I don’t have to instantly channel it into writing. That can’t be the answer anymore.

I want to use it to plan, to be smart, to lay down some solid groundwork and start building up some resources I need. This blog is one of them; I want to use this as a planning-gym, only posting things that I’ve thought about and laid-out in order beforehand as much as possible. And my stories are another. I do still want to work on them and push them forward, and Tallulah is back at the top of the list, at least for now. I want a plan for it, and I know I can make one. I just have to not try and force it like I’m used to doing. I’ve got other things to do as well.

Like the reading response for tomorrow, which I also need to print out to bring to class. So I guess that’s my immediate plan.

One day. I’ll get there one day. And then keep on going.

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3 thoughts on “Consistency

  1. LOL. Your writer’s journey sounds a lot like mine, though I’ve never fleshed it out like that. I particularly liked the first bit where you hated your writing so much you called yourself fat and worthless. I am soooo fat and worthless when I write sometimes. Occasionally I want to smack myself in the head with a hammer. Or a chainsaw….good luck on the writing….the fact that others are experiencing some angst, darkly, makes me feel a little better about my own struggles…

    • Hey thanks, glad to hear my writing experiences has helped a fellow writer feel better about their own! BTW the “fat and worthless” comment was actually in relation to my physical health and self esteem as an intersecting point with my writing; I’ve been self-conscious about my weight for a long time and, as with anything, it overflows into the way I think and feel about my writing. So it was not so totally off-topic as it may have seemed!

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