Be Like a Weed

Be Like a Weed

The book, Writing Past Dark, by Bonnie Friedman has plenty of interesting things to chew on.  It’s not your typical book about writing.  This is more the book about the demons we wrestle with while writing.  While not writing.  In order to write, etc.

She talks about the way our writing can be strangled by too much self-awareness:

If, while writing, you must always be proving that you write well, the writing will suffer.”

If we pay too much attention to the fact that we’re writing, we’ll fuck it up.

I resemble that, sometimes. Sometimes I get twisted up in my expectations about what I’m doing.  I get caught up with future tripping and imagining how awesome it will be once I’m done and then the self-saboteurs show up.  “It’s not really that good” he whispers.  “You’re cocky for someone who’s barely published anything” she sneers.

The trick for me is, just write.  When I’m writing and connecting with my characters, I know how damn good it is.  I have no doubt, no lack of self-confidence.  Do I care if anyone else gets it?  Of course, I care.  I’d like to find that others enjoy what I’m doing as much as I am, but the point of it all is that I enjoy it.  That’s what drives me, that’s what lures me back to the notepad and keyboard over and over again.  I enjoy my own story telling, I enjoy opening up and letting that story come out,. I have confidence in my ability, I believe in my story, and I believe that I will find others who also believe in it and it will be published. I believe it enough to know that I will fight editors and proof-readers in defense of my voice, my vision.

As long as I’m writing it, I have all the fuel and self-confidence I need.  When I stop writing, that’s when I run into trouble.  A distance between myself and what I’m creating causes doubt, the confidence becomes fainter.

So the trick is to keep writing.  And keep believing in our own voices and vision.

Friedman says that our finest writing will come “… unbanishable, immune to education, springing up like grass.”  That makes me think of weeds and the way they come up in some of the most inopportune places and dare to thrive anyway.

Be weeds, my friends, make a place for yourselves no matter how cramped or lacking.  Keep creating and keep believing.


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