Are You Married to Your Writing?

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Photo by vl8189 via Flickr

Warning: Cheesy comparisons ahead

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m currently revising the first draft of my very first novel, and I’m trying to decide what book to write next. But the idea I keep coming back to has a main character that might be hard to empathize with, and I keep questioning if there’s any point in writing it. I could easily write a book with a much friendlier, easier to connect with main character, but I can’t help but wonder if I could make this one work. I mean, if it was done well it would probably work, right?

And then last night I got to thinking so what if the character doesn’t turn out well? I don’t have to try to make every book “perfect,” and I’m allowed to experiment, especially since I’m just at the beginning of my writing career. And if I don’t like that book, I’ll write another one, and then another one after that. I’m committed to my writing and willing to keep trying in order to make it work. I remember reading that even Sarah Dessen wrote a book and gave it to her agent, but then they later pulled it out (I don’t remember if she made the decision or the agent, but even after having several published books, she still wrote one that “wasn’t good enough” for whatever reason). And that’s okay.

Anyways, I guess the point of this post is that I realized how committed I was to my writing and it was quite freeing. I’m not trembling with anxiety anymore to decide what to write next or if it will be good enough, and if it wasn’t, what would that say about me. Writing has made me embrace experimenting, be easier on myself when I make mistakes, and most importantly, be willing to try over and over.

How about you? Are you “married” to your writing—committed to making it work no matter what, or just writing as long as it stays fun? Has writing changed your approach to the way you work?


Jade said...

You have such a great attitude! I need to steal it. But you're right. Experimentation is important. I wrote a lot of books before I found my voice and the direction I wanted to go in. I don't regret them because they helped me to reach the point I'm at now.

But, yeah. Totally married.

Tere Kirkland said...

LOL, one of my favorite books (that I wrote) has a very unlikable heroine. I love her because her voice was very strong in my head, and I think she helped me become a better writer.But I don't think the rest of the world is ready for her. ;)

At this point, if I gave up writing, I'd probably start wandering aimlessly in a fog for months, so yeah, it sounds like I'm married.

Fun post!

K.M. Weiland said...

I've always liked the analogy of writing to marriage. It's a "relationship" that only works if we're in it for the long haul. The warm fuzzies and the sweet nothings are nice, but we also have to willing to stick it out when we're all to aware of our manuscript's faults (and our own).

Jennifer Shirk said...

I'm definitely married. The honeymoon phase has worn off and I still get mad at how difficult my wips can be, but all in all, I still love writing for better or for worse. LOL

M Pax said...

We're definitely wed. I'm so glad it remains fun. I hope it always does.

Lyn Midnight said...

I'm glad you found your resolve. :) I am, sadly, not married to my writing. I wouldn't say I'm married to anything really because there are too many beautiful and interesting things out there, though writing is one of the best.

Btw, I just wanted to say... sometimes readers will sympathize with unlikely characters. So long as there is something human in them, they can be lovable. For example, I got really excited about a chracter today, the MOST unlikely one - a leper. An old, bitter leper. I don't mean to sound rude, but I didn't expect to CARE so much. The writer just knew how to push my buttons. ;)

Anyway, you should be proud. Passion, before all else, is what makes and breaks us. Obviously, it won't be able to break you.

Plamena Schmidt said...

Thank you so much for the super nice comment!

It's true. Readers can sympathize with unlikely characters, but as you said "the writer has to know how to push the readers buttons." That's what I'm afraid of. Not being able to do that ; P.