Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Sometimes, Ya Just Gotta Fight Your Way Through...

Some mornings I bounce out of bed. Others - like this morning - I have to sit there on the bed's edge, slowly pull all the pieces together, limp out to the kitchen, zombie my way through breakfast, then make myself go down to my office and bang out at least four pages. Some mornings - a lot of times - this isn't nearly as torturous, and quite often very fun, actually.

Some more mornings, however, it's a fight. One I usually win. But it's a tough one. A real tough one. Mornings like this one, part of me really wants to quit. Would be so much easier if I could just sleep in and leave off this whole "writing" dream. Simpler. And I'd get lots more rest.

But I can't. Something inside me just won't let go. And that's probably the only thing right now I can latch on to that defines me as a "writer". The days that are easy and it's fun and the words are flowing and the story is crystal clear in my head - wonderful. But if all days were like that for everyone who tried to write, well...everybody would be a writer. Because who wouldn't want to do something that was easy and fun and so empowering, all the time.

It's the days when my brain feels like thick sludge, I can't keep my eyes open, the publishing industry seems like a vast, decrepit wasteland and my words useless but I still MUST get up and write SOMETHING that makes me a writer. The continual, never-ending fight to go on.

Sometimes, ya just gotta fight through it, to the other side.  Because you're a writer.  And if fighters fight, then writers write, and writers, very often, gotta fight to write (and I could throw a Beastie Boys reference in there, but I'll pass).  Early morning writing philosophy, courtesy of ROCKY.  And, of Ira Glass, with the following advice, which I stole and shared on Facebook last night, and what I leave you with this morning....

"Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. But there is this gap. For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. And your taste is why your work disappoints you. A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. We all go through this. And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. It’s gonna take awhile. It’s normal to take awhile. You’ve just gotta fight your way through."

— Ira Glass

Time to go fight my way through, and close that gap.