My present worry is that SammyJay polar bear is merely floating on a glacier mint with no hidden depths whatsoever
You're a writer? You are compelled to write? Then kid you got hidden depths, they come with the kit. But remember depths ain't necessarily beneath you. You could be at the bottom and they could be on top. If you can't find what you are looking in for in one direction look somewhere else.
Try going somewhere you have never been before and look closely, then go somewhere you know intimately and again look closely. Don't be surprised by how much you have missed.
Come back in a week and tell me how shallow you are.
Thanks Prosp. Better get my ski goggles on and go lookin'...
All this talk of icebergs reminds me of an old colleague who did a great line in unintentinal mixed metaphors. One of his most famous was, "We're just scratching the tip of the iceberg here." I know that's not relevant, but what the hell.
I heard one yesterday:
‘He jumped in at the deep end and got his fingers burned.’
My favourite mixed metaphor of all time, from a political party activist:
There is an army of strange bedfellows jumping on the bandwagon
You say that you 'might not have the talent/genes/motivation/ bonr structure for this writing lark.'
If you mean this as a serious question then it could be that you are absolutely right.
The desire, the need to write comes from within oneself and it is not subject to any maybe or perhaps. It is a driving force and part of you as a person.
All writers go through bad patches, but if you call yourself a writer then, you may question your work, your standard, your ability but never question nor deny the fundamental part of you that forces you to write.
You may be a lousy writer or a budding genius or anything in between... but you are a writer. If you don't be;ieve this then - yes - give it up.
Bit harsh, perhaps? I question my abilities often -I don't think that means I'm not a 'proper' writer. Isn't that just part of being human - to have self-doubt?
Re mixed metaphors, I still treasure a remark made years ago by a work colleague - "We're really flogging our heads against a dead wall here."
I think questioning your abilities is the natural result of knowing something about writing. I'm not sure being driven means you're a good writer. Any CW teacher will tell you that the truly terrible writers are the ones who don't
know it, but they can still be driven to express themselves in that way. You do need to be driven to become really good, I think, because it takes so much bloody hard work. Good writers know at some level that they are good - that they fundamentally can do it - and yet that doesn't stop them questioning their abilities all the time, even when they see their work in print, because they're more aware than anyone of how much better they could be.
. Thanks for making me laugh.
I'm not sure being driven automatically
means you're a good writer
I have to say i found the interview with Susan Hill (long barn books) pretty harsh and it's not one to read if you have any self-doubts as a reader...'don't assume anyone will ever want to read your work', ' never say never give up' - yet later on she admits that her success is partly due to luck...
I suspect she is just being honest and saying what every literary agent thinks, in a Simon Cowell sort of way, but 'never say never give up'...i find that very negative.
OOps! i mean self-doubts as a WRITER
Not at all harsh, my friend, just expressing a strongly held opinion.
Of course, as human beings, we all have doubts but if you truly believe your third and fourth paragraphs then you might have to think again.
This may be a case of 'I think thou doth protest too much' but to call oneself a writer is to recognise that state within oneself. Once bitten it stays with you all your life, irrespective of the quality or quantity that flows from your pen.
I used to have a colleague who referred to sad events as 'heart-rendering'.
Thanks everyone for your support (and the mixed metaphors)
Just wanted to say, I have tried some of the tricks suggested- and very slowly, but surely, my character is coming to me. She's now a complication rather than a blank space.
Len, have to comment on your stern rap on the knuckles. I find writing difficult because I want to make it the best I possibly can. In my experience, this is a sentiment shared by many people who write (and who are far more talented than myself).
I'm also a runner. Some days I'll get up and run 10K no problem. Other days I can't bear to look at my trainers. Does this mean I don't really want to run? Sometimes, yes. But the pros I know feel exactly the same way. Yet we all ran together in a half marathon two weeks ago.
"Blocks", I realised, are part of the process, not proof the process isn't happening.
I'm little troubled by your desire to say "you can't be in our gang". Interestingly, some (fortunately not many) runners share your view: anyone who runs less than 30 miles a week isn't a runner. Well, you only get to 30 miles a week by running for a mile first. Maybe my process is to stumble through 50 words a day, but that doesn't mean I don't have a genuine desire to write.
I'm very interested in this ganging business in writing and running. Perhaps someone who is a "real" writer could write it for me ;-)
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Hey P.C. you can be in my gang or I'll come and join your gang. What the hell? I am always being told I am not this or I am that and I think to myself, 'That just goes to show you haven't a clue who I am.'
All I ask is that people let me be. I do it for others why can't they do it for me. I know why, but the explanation is quite a long one.
I get my stories published in e-zines and I get lovely comments from my peers in Flash 1 and 2. Nuff said.
The bottom line is to write what you want, the way that you want, when you want and let the doomsayers chew on their livers.