In learning about the art of writing you often hear established writers warning of the vacuum problem. By the very nature of writing, writers tend to operate on their own, in their corner, maybe a cave. It’s anti-social. It’s not necessarily lonely. But you are on your own.
You’re told you need to have writing groups, people you can share the trials and tribulations of writing with and get feedback on what you’ve done. All essential stuff. There is another key component I think we are guilty of forgetting here. Surrounding ourselves with these people is also about taking ourselves seriously. Writing isn’t something we do to pass the time. But how many writers out there can truly say they back themselves?
Maybe from time to time you do but I’d be willing to bet a coffee there are as many times or more where you don’t.
Last night I had a conversation where I was asked what I’d been up to. My response? “Oh you know, just plodding along.” This is a common response from me and it must make me sound really boring. It was later I realised I do this all the time. By plodding what I really mean is writing. What I should be saying is I’ve been writing like a steam engine producing great volumes of sentences that I may or may not use.
This past two weeks I’ve polished a chapter following feedback and written two more chapters ready for feedback later this week. I’m on a roll and I’m neglecting everything else because of it. I shouldn’t be saying “Oh you know, just plodding along. Or, not doing much. Or you know, just cruising.” I should be backing myself and saying I’ve been really busy writing and it’s exciting and I’m on a roll and it’s taken over my life to a point where meals are now a very low standard, walls are grimy, laundry piles are becoming mountain ranges and the windows are so filthy I’m opening them so I can see the sky.
So next time you ask me what I’ve been up to and I say “Oh, just plodding along, not much really.” Feel free to call me out!