it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken
matociquala

i hate to see a friend go down in flames without a song

I used to like my work a lot more than I do now when it was a lot worse than it is now.

I used to really enjoy the stuff I wrote. And it was pretty much grade-A ass. These days, I suspect it's probably pretty good, and I'm never happy with it at all.

I suspect that's a corrolary to the thing where the way a reader approaches a text is often more revealing of the reader than the text. For example (speaking entirely in generalities) it is my observation that critics tend to approach a work in terms of what they percieve it is attempting to do, and how successful it is in accomplishing those goals. Accomplished writers tend to approach it in terms of the choices the author made, and why he made those choices, and whether or not they were the best choices by which to do what he needed done.

And apprentice writers tend to approach it in terms of what they would have done. Which seems to be a vital part of the learning process, and is probably why copying and changing, or pastiche, is such an effective learning tool.

What's interesting to me is that as I have gotten more tools into my artistic toolkit, as it were, I become more and more aware of the fact that I am making choices, that there are multiple ways to accomplish the same goal. When I began writing, I did what I did because it was the only way I could figure out how to do it. Later on, I got to a point where I could make more conscious and careful choices.

Now? Well, you know. I am starting to feel like I actually know what I'm doing. Of course, everything I write these days appears really pedestrian to me, and I can see all its flaws in stark relief, and how my skills are really inadequate to my purposes. But I guess it's better to be skilled and doubtful than unskilled and certain. ;-)
Tags: writing craft wank
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