Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Despair is easy

I am fine tuning my novel.  It took me about six years to write all the way from the beginning to the end, and I'm beginning to think I will be fine tuning it for another six years.

A few days ago, a gently worded email from a pre-reader pointed out the poetry in the novel was weak.  The actual poetry.  The prose itself is quite poetic - that was intentional, and for the most part, it's working.

Now I knew that the poetry left a bit to be desired.  I had kind of sort of decided I didn't care.  But, as I said to someone earlier this week -  I firmly believe that as a Christian writer, I'm called to excellence.  I'm working for a *king*.  Is there room for intentional mediocrity?

So the poetry is another thing on the list of frankly minor things to fix.

Every single time I have sat down to work on it this week, I have started lying to myself.  "This is beyond you."  "You will never finish this."  "You can't write metrical rhymed poetry, and therefore you can't make this work."  (the part about not being able to write metrical rhymed poetry is right, the part about making it work isn't)

The easy thing is to close the computer, and knit a blanket for my brother's grand-daughter.  And then knit something else.  And call a friend, and offer writing advice to a newbie.  None of those are negative things but they can ALL be avoidance, giving in to the despairing messages.

It would be so easy, so terrifyingly easy, to just forget the whole thing, write it off as a bad experiment, and go back to faffing about with words for fun.

I don't want to do the easy thing.

4 comments:

Marj Drury said...

Susan
Please don't settle for easy. So easy to write those words...so difficult to live out, but I have tackled a few "impossible dreams" in my time, and with the Father's strength and my husband's solid support, I have actually achieved a few. But, just now I have bitten off quite a bit more than I feel I can reasonably chew...learning to speak Italian, not just be vaguely understood, in less than the 20 months I have left. In my good moments, I am determined to add this to the list of things I did that I thought I would never do. So...how about we strike up a deal on this...I won't quit studying Italian if you don't quit fine tuning! Looking forward to that book of yours someday...even if it's not domani.

Krista said...

Quote I read the other day that has helped push me towards fulfilling my own 'impossible' dreams and to strive for excellence:

"If it is important, you will find a way. If it's not, you will find excuses."

I believe you will find a way!

Kay Day said...

Does it have to be Metrical Rhymed? Can't it just be poetry? It is your world after all. Maybe they hate rhyme.

But either way You can do this! It's easy! (Say that every time)

rachel said...

Go you!!!

Novels are slow. And hard. There's no getting around that. I have a quote for you too, from Neil Gaiman: "You never learn how to write a novel. You only learn how to write THIS novel."

Er. I found that encouraging, anyway, as I struggle with the second one, thinking, "Shouldn't I be better at this by now?"