Monthly Archives: October 2012

Humble pie tastes like shit. (Obi)

When writing, you must let go of ego. Easier said than done.

It’s that ego-deflating moment when you turn something you’ve written in to your writing instructor. You’re beaming with pride and a sense of self-satisfaction. You anticipate what your classmates will say about it and what your instructor will say. Then, you get your feedback and you discover what you’ve written isn’t as awesome as first thought.

This is what getting kicked in the nut sack feels like.

This post relates to an earlier post on revision which you can find by clicking the link. In my never-ending quest to become a better writer, I knew going in that there would be bumps on the road. What I’m discovering is that I’m being challenged in a way that I wasn’t in my two previous courses, Intro to Fiction and Novel Writing I.

But as Frederick Douglass stated, “Without struggle, there is no progress.” Fuck if that isn’t true. One of the things we learn as writers is that the process is hard, really hard and there will be many times in which we will struggle to find the right way to express our ideas. There will be times when we show the world what we think is great, only to be told to go back to the drawing board.

But a hero takes these slings and arrows as lessons. He or she (no sexism in these parts, youngster) gathers tenacity and starts again.

So this is my promise to myself, I will never give up. I will work hard to make my writingIt'll be hard, but in the end it'll be all worth it. worthy, even if there is no one around to appreciate it. I will take the lessons I learn from my instructors, and I will appreciate the feedback they give me. Without lifting that weight, one never becomes stronger.

RONIN STAND UP!

Random Post – I LOVE INCUBUS!!

I love Incubus!

I love Incubus! Seriously, I love these guys. OK, I know this has NOTHING to do with literature, but you should become accustomed to random posts like this. I sort of have this predilection for just blurting out my random thoughts; it got me punched in the mouth once. Good times.

Here’s a nice video of Drive, which is a great inspirational song that helps me with my writing.

You’ve nothing to fear. Wait, I’m scared shitless!

Greetings Ronin!

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Macaulay Culkin is terrified of writing! Just like everyone else. Don’t be scurred.

If you are a writer and you’ve never felt the sting of self doubt or the pangs of your inner critic nitpicking every word you write, then check your pulse because you might be dead. EVERY writer experiences this. Stephen King, Neil Gaiman, Margaret Atwood, Caroline Leavitt (she’s my online writing instructor, by the way), they have all experienced writer’s block, self doubt and that nagging inner critic. But most importantly, they’ve all experienced FEAR!

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My inner critic is a talking llama, and he’s evil. Courtesy of Taste of Awesome.com

I read an entry to an awesome blog ran by Lesley Carter called Bucket List Publications about swimming with sharks. The phrase Bucket List conjures images of old men lying on their death beds writing out a list of exciting things they want to do before they kick the proverbial bucket–hence it’s name. Instead, Lesley lives out her exciting adventures while she still has oxygen in her lungs and not one foot in the grave. But regarding the sharks, Lesley admitted she was afraid. Who wouldn’t be, I mean, it’s fucking sharks! I wouldn’t jump my ass in that water!

But Lesley faced her fears head on and took the plunge (no pun intended). And that’s what writers do every time we sit down to write. We cast off our fears, shed away our trepidation and remove our anxieties and write. But we all feel that fear, that hesitation. Steven Pressfield in his book, The War of Art, calls this fear, anxiety and trepidation, Resistance.

We acknowledge resistance. We accept it as a part of our existence. We even respect resistance. It has a purpose. But we also know when to ignore resistance. As Steven puts it, resistance is that nagging temptation to stay in bed instead of getting up and hitting the weights or running on that treadmill, which is collecting dust in your garage. I know mine is. Resistance is when you do anything, and I mean anything such as chores, watch TV, play video games, go to the bar, have sex, etc, to get out of writing. Resistance is a part of us, but it doesn’t have to control us. We are greater than our resistance.

A question was asked of Neil Gaiman on his Tumblr, which you can see here about self doubt and how he handles it. His answer is pretty enlightening. The fact is, he acknowledges he has self doubt. Writing isn’t easy. It’s hard, super hard, but rewarding as most hard endeavors usually are.

So shed off that fear and know that you, Ronin, are in good company. All writers face that fear. There will always be the fear, but we can overcome it.

Ronin Stand UP!

Oh and if you want to read Lesley’s entry on her shark adventure, click here and tell her we sent you. She’ll give us a cookie ( we hope)!