Wednesday, November 18, 2020

What I've Learned (So Far) From Falling Repeatedly On My Face

If you've been following along, you probably have picked up on a pattern: I churn right along, blogging and redoubling my efforts and posting my progress, and then I go silent for a while, only to come back and apologize. And then I do it all over again. 

It's probably tiresome for you to read, but I've come around to the idea that this cycle is a notable piece of the concept behind this blog: What happens when a guy who wrote short non-fiction pieces for about a dozen years suddenly switches gears to long-form fiction?

I've recently come to understand that the answer has less to do with honing new writing techniques and more to do with what I get out of writing. 

When I used to review b-movies, I'd bang out a review in an evening and have it posted within days. And even if I didn't get many comments on that particular review, I had the satisfaction of checking off that box. There were times where it felt like punching a clock, sure, but it was still another movie I could cross off my list. I felt like I accomplished something. 

It's hard to get that feeling of accomplishment when writing long-form. Oh I've tried. The program to write 500 words a day make sense on paper -- it will certainly get you writing on a daily basis -- but many times I'll write 500-something words and look at what I've accomplished and... I've waded a bit further into a chapter? Got halfway through a conversation? There's nothing so tangible to cross off a list. Instead, it's more... well:


I almost fell into the same ol' pattern about a week ago: A few things hit me hard and fast all at once, and I felt demoralized and low and asked myself Why bother? So I did what any mature person would do in this day and age: Threw my despair into the Internets and Googled "why keep writing" because Google already knows everything else about me so what the hell. 

Unsurprisingly, I'm not the first writer to fell this way. There are a heap of articles on the subject, though the one that hit me most was Ruthanne Reid's "The Two Most Important Words for Writers" on The Write Place. If you've ever struggled to keep writing, I'd give this a read.

So I need to find a new way to think about my writing progress, a new way to measure my accomplishments (such as they are). I'm still working that out, and that's okay. In the meantime, I've bounced back off the ground much, much faster than normal, and am right back to writing. This book won't write itself, after all, so I got to keep on moving.


First Post: The Story So Far

Hallo. I’m Scot Nolan, though you might know me from reviewing and discussing bad movies over the past ten years as “Nolahn.” But this ...