One More Word on the Page

It is very hard to remain motivated to write when I continuously feel that I am simply not good enough. I realize the issue becomes one of what “good enough” actually is, but I’m constantly reading other writing, always reading so many books, and I see where I lack, and it isn’t a stretch to believe that I’m not good enough. I wish I had known in college what I know now. My participation in creative writing classes would have been so very different. I seemed to get the analytical writing thing pretty quickly, and still feel strong about my abilities in this area, but not so much creatively. I just have nothing against which I can compare except what I read in other books. I know part of why I suspect my fiction writing is not very good is that I’ve given it to many of my friends to read, all of whom are intelligent, capable women, and none of them have said a word. Silence is quite the communicator, and I hear it. Also I’ve submitted some of it for publication or to contests, and have been rejected and have not won anything. It’s disheartening.

I have asked myself why I feel the urge to write and I just can’t come to any simple answer. I just need to, that’s all. This is not helpful. Even when I decide I’m going to give up and never do it again, not much later I’m thinking of something to add to whatever I am currently working on, or something to revise. Maybe it is just habit, but I can’t seem to stop any more than I think I’m not that great. Maybe I’m like the character in the movie Mermaids who wanted to paint, even though his paintings were pretty terrible. Except painting seems more fun than writing. I don’t know.

I wish I could find an editor or some other such person who knew what they were doing in that arena and could tell me how awful my fiction really is. I go to conferences or writer groups or whatever, and it is all about how to persevere through rejection, that J.K. Rowlings was rejected a dozen times before someone discovered her. But at the same time, I have also known people who really are not any good at all and persevere and it seems really pathetic. I guess if the point is to write and not to publish then being terrible doesn’t matter, but as with any artist, I desire an audience, so my quality matters to me. I don’t want to put any more crap out there. The world is so full it already, why add to it?

Anyway, this is my constant struggle. It is always there. I’m not John Irving or Joyce Carol Oates or Stephen King or any of these other writers who can rattle off fabulous book in a matter of months. No. Not me. I have completed one that I know is terrible and needs work, and I am in the middle of another and it doesn’t feel like it’s what I want it to be, and I’m tired. I need motivation, but I don’t know how or where to get it. This is actually a theme in my entire life right now, except for parenting, so maybe I should not be surprised. I just keep plugging on. I don’t think life is supposed to be just plugging on, but it has been that for so long, I accept that thinking it should be something else is perhaps magical thinking. My life has not been like a movie, but I don’t expect it to be. I’ll keep putting one more foot after the other, typing one more word on the page. I’ll finish and then it will be something else.

Maybe I should hire a cheerleader.  Craigslist ad: Needed, cheerleader to come to my house and say rah rah rah, sis boom bah. You can do it!

On second thought, no.

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