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Friday, August 31, 2012

Cheesy Writing: My Personal Hobby

When one becomes a mom a lot of times things that were important to you get put on hold. They can be big flashy things like careers or trivial, almost embarrassing things like a World of Warcraft addiction, and while being a mom is fulfilling and worthwhile, sometimes you look over your shoulder at things you assumed would always be a part of your life and wonder how you left them behind so easily. Some things you don't miss (I never really had what anyone would call a "career" though I held steady jobs of one sort or another from 19 to 24, when Coryn was born, and working outside of the home doesn't tempt me at this point. I always had a "work to live" rather than a "live to work" mentality). Some things you think of wistfully every so often (Oh, World of Warcraft, how I would love to be farming herbs around Kalimdor or questing in Tol Barad instead of doing the dishes and changing diapers. . .) but you realize you have better ways to spend your time. . .some things. . .you just feel an ache inside when you think of what you thought you'd accomplish by your 27th birthday as opposed to what you've actually done. . .for instance, instead of being a published writer you are an easily distracted mommy blogger with maybe ten readers, several of whom are relations.

I can't really blame motherhood for my lack of progress in writing. I do have time in my day that could easily be devoted to writing rather than to the myriad of other ways I've learned to blow off steam, relax, waste time. I watch too much TV. I play too many computer games (not WoW any more, but I've recently mentioned my addiction to Nancy Drew puzzle games.), and omgosh, how many captioned pictures of lolcats have I seen in my lifetime? You make time for what's important to you, even if what is important is simply having some time doing things that aren't important at all to decompress.

But what if instead of spending an hour a day scrolling through Facebook or icanhacheezburger I spent an hour a day working on writing something truly meaningful? With just that amount of time, I could've written novels over the last several years, yes, novels plural. I have ideas, after all. I have a good dozen half finished novels and plot lines written out in notebooks stashed all over the house. Some of my notes are insanely detailed. It's just an issue of execution, and that's where it goes awry.

Because. . .and here is the big confession. . .deep breath . . .

I'm not that good.

It took me awhile to realize it because I was a very talented (and I'm not just saying this) teenager. Not the prodigy type that gets published, but the kind that wins local contests and places in statewide contests for poetry and essays and even short stories. I produced and edited a "school" paper for the home school kids in my area and frequently received compliments from the parents of my peers.

I still feel I can express myself on paper better than most people. I know how to string words together to create a sentence. I have a good vocabulary and can generally edit and rewrite for other people. However, that really isn't enough when dealing with a market as competitive as fiction writing.

Every few years I go back and read things I've written in the past and while there are some good parts and some ideas that I love, I'm always generally disappointed in what I once saw as "publishable" writing. I can tell it isn't good enough and needs a lot of work. Sometimes I think of taking the time to edit it. Sometimes I just feel depressed and wonder if I ever really had what so many people told me I did: the gift, the ability to write something that meant something, that would entertain someone, that would be marketable and original.

It's hard.

I have also come to realize that a lot of what I wrote was for personal gratification. I had a crush on my husband long before we were a couple (we've known each other since grade school and didn't start dating until we were in our early twenties), and from about fifteen on, I was head over heals in love with him but just couldn't catch his eye in the way I wanted to (when we finally started seeing each other a long time friend congratulated me for being the only person he ever knew to successfully fight their way out of the "friend zone."). . .so I wrote about "us." About how I thought it would be, hoped it would be, needed it to be. . . and while I'm admittedly not the world's greatest writer, I'm apparently somewhat of a prophet because it pretty much is exactly like I wanted it to be. I still connect to the love stories I was writing all those years ago, and even now, I can't seem to write a story that doesn't center around a guy and a girl that are somewhat like me and Matt.

My most recent venture is such a love story and I'm pretty excited about it. It's a trilogy involving a young woman who befriends a dragon who turns out to be an enchanted prince (I don't do frogs . . .dragons are much sexier). It's pretty sappy but has a lot of the cliches that get my heart going. . .in fact (and I've never read the series, so I could be wrong about this) I'm pretty sure it's a lot like Twilight with dragons instead of Vampires (I don't get the whole sexy vampire thing, but of course, I'm pretty sure most people don't get the whole sexy dragon thing, so to each her own). I enjoy the premise, but I walk a weird line. I'm too geeky to write true chick lit. I'm too girly to write true geek lit.

I've been considering sharing some of my finished fiction on here, just for the heck of it. I have two "full length fairy tales" that are just sitting on my computer which are a lot of fun. For now what I write fulfills my personal need for a very specific kind of love story and I guess if I'm happy with it being a hobby rather than a career that's enough for now. 

1 comment:

  1. Good luck with your writing. The whole writing/publishing/etc. thing will happen when it's supposed to happen. Take your time now and ecompress the way that works for you. I had "have something published" on my 50 before Fifty list. I keep trying to figure out how to cheat on that one!! Thanks for stopping by my blog. Have a great weekend!
    Michelle
    Heartfelt Balance Handmade Life

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