Friday, June 1

Your Writing is Not Your Baby

If I treated a baby the way I treat my writing...I would be tossed in gaol. I neglect it, get angry with it and try to alter it. It's okay to be that crazy with a product of your imagination. The same is not applicable for good child care.

Parallel to this is treating your writing like it's a baby you birthed. I don't know how many writers who claim this connection with one of their stories have children but...it's creepy.

It is one thing to love the act of writing. You need to be passionate and emotionally invested if you are going to succeed. That doesn't mean that you should sew your emotions so closely to the text that any upset toward your writing feels like stitches being ripped from your chest.

If you write the first draft of your story and think, 'This is perfect. This is the best thing I have ever done...' then you are delusional and a potential book-baby gusher.

More signs that you are treating your writing like a baby:

1. You fantasize about your novel or screenplay winning stellar awards and being adored by everyone. You are invested in making this happen at all costs.

2. Someone criticizes your writing or shows a lack of interest. You take it as a personal comment on your worth and cast them off as a horrible person.

3. You fail to get your book published and give up on writing. You don't want to have to suffer through that hard work, pain and rejection again.

There should be a rehabilitation center for writers who think they can't carry on unless a specific projects of theirs succeeds. Fall in love with your writing but don't cling to one story until you reach a moment of irreversible despair.

Have a few flings, lose a few loves but don't have a literary baby.

Do you think there is a sane point between coddling your crazy and neglecting your passion?

*Inspired by Beth Revis' post, 'The Book of My Heart.'

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