This week has yielded very little by way of writing progress and a tremendous amount by way of existential crises. Admittedly the crises themselves have not particularly hindered the writing process, at least I don’t think they have, rather the necessity of the little one in spending his so-called nap time screaming has. That he is now doing this before bedtime as well has not done much for my sanity. Honestly, who can listen to a child scream/cry for more than an hour each day without feeling their sanity slip away if even just slightly? And, let’s face it, as an artist what sanity I have is precious little and hard won so it needs no encouragement to wander off and find better company. [So you can rest easy the little one gets checked on during these spells and all efforts are made to soothe.]
The crises I’ve been facing have been interesting and frustrating. There is emotional turmoil in dealing with some issues I had already thought dealt with (I really should know better than to take such things for granted) and then I began to question this notion of being a writer. Not just being a writer, but to what end I should pursue it. Concerns abound about marketability, success and what constitutes it, all play large parts in this. For several months I’ve been slaving over my wip and I have to be content in the knowledge that someday others will see it, that all this time and painstaking effort will not be in vein. While I don’t feel it’s quite a waste regardless of who sees it, the notion that this will disappear into the void truly upsets me.
You see, part of my emotional mishigas is the want and need of acceptance. Never one to move or change myself to achieve this I’ve demanded acceptance upon the grounds of who I am. Same goes for my work. Problem? It really hurts or upsets me when I’m not. To accept other people’s derision for doing nothing more than being me is a difficult path to walk upon especially as I refuse to change even if I know I’ll get that love, acceptance and possibly accolades as a result of doing so. I’ve asked myself why sixteen different ways from Tuesday and the answer always remains the same: If I change in the hopes of getting acceptance, have I not just affirmed that I am not worthy of being accepted? Besides, CHANGING to get said acceptance is not being accepted for who you are, but rather who you market yourself as thus not granting me the result I want anyway.
This may seem a bit off about my writing so let me bring it full circle so as to make sense. I want some commercial success and the best way to secure this seems through writing easily categorized genre material. While it’s true I initially thought to write romance I found rather quickly that my style and prose were simply not the best fit. Every time I turned around my style seemed more literary, more verbose, than most of the genre works currently out there. And so, succumbing to the idea in the back of my head for the last couple years, I began working on a dark dystopic tale that defies genre classification. It’s taking me longer to write as the language is more sophisticated and the flow is not quite conversational and has resulted in my frustration of not “producing”. I have even been asking friends who have read my completed manuscript (a single title romance for all intents and purposes) if I should take a machete to it and try and shop it around to the romance publishers. Make no mistake – it would take a machete.
The answers I keep getting is to continue working on what I care about and don’t get caught up on spending oodles of time editing a work that still might not get snatched up. There’s a great deal of truth to that sentiment, but there’s still this need within me to move forward in some discernible manner. As a result of that I’m thinking about working on multiple projects – one commercial, one the apple of my eye.
What about you? How did you decide to move forward with your current project? And, perhaps most importantly, how on Earth do you get a toddler to go down for nap/bed without screaming?!