I’ve spent a few weeks in a writing funk. This isn’t the first time this has happened, and I sincerely doubt it will be the last. It is an unfortunate fact, but there it is. Sometimes my writing ability can be interrupted by life. I’m still getting my story ideas, but I am losing my inspiration to write them.
It started a few weeks ago, when I was working on getting some critique on the beginning of a story. I went in knowing my own story weaknesses, but feeling like what I was submitting was all right. I left realizing that everyone else saw the same weaknesses I had.
Suddenly I was hit with an absolute knowledge that everything I wrote was crap. Seeing my own problems was fine; I could pretend I was just being paranoid, or maybe giving myself a little tough love. When someone else sees the same problems it means they are actually problems and I should fix them.
Trying to make a go of a creative career is not easy. You have to be sensitive enough to follow your creative path, and express real emotion. You have to open yourself up in a way that feels almost wrong; a part of you is exposed to the world that you would normally keep hidden. You put that part out there, and then allow others to pass judgment in the name of making things better. You have to be raw and place everything out there, yet tough enough to shrug off everything negative. As soft as silk, and yet as tough as nails. I’m not even sure what material out there would come close to that, but I’m sure I am not made from it.
I can’t take the critique without suffering a few scars. Maybe it means in a few years I will be out, or at least in a perpetual state of ‘revising’ before letting anyone read. Hearing negatives hurts, even if it is for my own good. Sometimes, it breaks my confidence down for a little while, and makes it hard to write more. This is my fatal writing flaw, worse than any grammatical or spelling error I will every make. I take the hit, and I will get back up, but I might need a little rest first.
I think the worst of it all, knowing that some of it was true. Many of my own fears of the piece were exactly what was said back to me. I’d feel better if I could laugh and say they were wrong, but they zeroed right in on the target, and sent their shot there. Sure, some of it I will brush off, because I know the purpose of the little facts that were included early on. I know the big picture thoughts behind certain things, and maybe they just missed my point. It’s all right. Other things I will have to change because I know it is for the best of the story.
After spending some time on my pity party is it time to pick myself back up. Just because I made a few mistakes doesn’t mean I should never try again. Every critique is important, as long as I take it as a lesson for future learning. The most important thing is to get back at it, and make something.