It turns out I’ve been blogging here for 20 weeks today. I jumped back to the first post, where I said it’d be mostly preoccupied with fiction – can’t say I ever got around to food like I thought I might, but I’ll definitely submit that I’ve posted about fiction, with a specific interest in the creation of it.
Is that where it sits in the realm of blogging?
It’s meant to be helpful, to be thought-provoking, and address ideas with the same sort of fervour I’d have in person. They’re not soundbites. You won’t find snippets like “Till your fields” or “pop the bubble” as a stand-in for whatever points are being made. Folksy wisdom like that doesn’t give the writing process enough respect, and respect is what I have for it.
Sometimes it’s the representation of characters, about the interaction between conscience and imagination, about seeing what we do as more than just a time-filler for a hypothetical future reader. None of it is new ground. They’re battles played out before I ever picked up a pen, or lessons taught before I’d ever spoken a word.
Once upon a time, I was in a writing group. Over time, talking to some about writing lead to derision by others in the writing group, for whom the discussion of writing was now a point of mockery. Talking to people about writing has always felt like a calling to me, from the very first time it happened during NaNo 2009. It’s progressed each year, and I never have as strong a sense of myself as I do when I’m talking about the process, or helping someone work on their story. Perhaps this blog is a stand-in for that level of personal interaction, or for the intoxicating drug that is a discussion about writing, or even both.
I know it’s inexplicably tied to what I know about writing. I couldn’t do a sum-knowledge. It’s too situational. It’s a how, not a what. That’s creativity for you, me, and everyone else. Is success here imperative? No. I’ve known that I’m a competent writer for a long while (can be, at least, whilst I’m actually doing it). The blog isn’t the dividing line between creating and pretending.
Right now though, the piece I’m really working on keeps hitting brick walls. Feels like I keep running over the same ground with it, choosing a half-dozen ways to say the same thing, and it’s difficult to separate them from one another. They mightn’t be terrible, and could actually all be quite good. I’m not sure at the moment, but I do know they’re all blending together. Even my usual method of stopping, and approaching the concept from a different angle resulted in something that didn’t feel different. I feel like part of it could be the names. Characters. I keep seeing their names, know their actions, and just know too much about what’s in the scene.
There’s also the balancing act of describing a new world, both in terms of the city itself, and then the ‘political’ situation in the city. Where is it right now, on the scale that runs from too little to too much (with the right amount somewhere between the two)? I don’t know. I’ve not touched this scene for a few weeks, and as a whole, the story in over a year. I don’t think it’s a matter of being too close to it, but maybe it’s that.
It’s easy to lose confidence about your writing when you run into times like this. I’m comfortable with what’s on the blog, both the posts and the pieces I write for the writing challenges. Some of them I’m proud of, either for content or topic, but not being able to make progress on this chapter does throw a heavy dose of doubt into the mix. Will it pass? Almost certainly. It may take time and effort, certainly not some magical solution out of nowhere.