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bear by san

March 2017



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rengeek superbard! _ strangepowers

Auctorial inadequacy, the ongoing saga.

You know, for me, the hardest thing about writing is my ongoing suspicion that everything I write is not very good. (And, you know, this is not a request for everybody to come flock and reassure me. Honest. I have people I pay to do that.) What happens is that by the time I am done working on something, all I can see is what's wrong with it that I have no idea how to fix. La. Sometimes, I suspect my brain invents problems so it will have something to whine about.

I miss being in the headspace where writing was fun, and I enjoyed going to live with the characters for a while and learn about their adventures. All the thrashing is not joyful.

Book # 89: Amanda Downum, The Drowning City (in draft)

Fabulous. Complete with canals, Daring Hexcapes, volcanos, jungles, mer-things, bloodthirsty ghosts, and Tim-Powers-level protagonist abuse. Somebody had better buy this when she's done revising it, so I can crow about it more publicly.


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I'm going through that with my teaching just now. (This is me, failing epically.) It's still what I want to do, but every so often I wonder whether I shouldn't just go sell insurance or something.

Maybe SU is what you need to bring back the delight? From this side of the computer, you seem Gleeful.
Oh, trust me. I can see nothing good about my contributions to that, either, but for some reason, three much better writers remain willing to put up with me.
Sometimes, I suspect my brain invents problems so it will have something to whine about.

Heh. I was very recently diagnosed with degenerative joint disease in both knees. I've had problems with them for a while, the right one in particular, and had rather begun to despair of resolution, so in fact having (1) a diagnosis of something (2) that is treatable is good news rather than not. What struck me most, on getting said news, was how nonplussed I was that said knee problems turn out not to be blamable on my character/upbringing/personality/etc. in any way. Apparently I had something vested in having my pain be my fault. Odd, the games the brain plays, eh?

For me, that would be a control issue, I think. And I do the same things.

It's very hard to let go of the idea that everything that is wrong with one is a character flaw.
Hmmm, how do I apply for the job of reassuring you? How well does it pay?
Not. Nearly. Enough.

Hey! I do that too.

Except, of course, that it's not writing for me. Or at least not fiction writing. It's the whole lawyer thing, which realistically I know I'm pretty good at, but I'm beginning to have a sneaking suspicion that I don't actually enjoy.

Re: Hey! I do that too.

Imposter syndrome! It's what's for dinner!
No, I know. It's--I just said this upstream--conscious incompetence. I would just like it to back of a little.
"the hardest thing about writing is my ongoing suspicion that everything I write is not very good."

You're definitely not alone there, hon. I think that may be an intrinsic part of being a writer, because every other writer I know feels the same way.
Escept the ones who think they're God's Gift.

And we know where that ends.
This is not gratuitous ego-boo in response to this post. I was going to find some post of yours and leave an OT comment to it anyway, because I just finished Hammered/Scardown/Worldwired, and I adored it like a mad book-loving thing. It made me snerk out loud, and squeal "This book is so damn cool!", and chew my nails, and then chew them some more to avoid giving my daughter too many spoilers, because she just started Hammered too. Plus which, it has one of the most realistic descriptions of poly I've ever seen in sf/f, with 2 people circling each other with their skins twitching like strange cats before they finally decide it's ok to curl up on the sofa together and nap. Thank you, thank you, thank you. It's the best damn trilogy I've read in years, and I mean it.
Well, thank you.

I will now sit on my hands so I don't have to try and tell you all the things I wish I had done better....
"Complete with canals, Daring Hexcapes, volcanos, jungles, mer-things, bloodthirsty ghosts.."

Wow! I hope someone buys this, too! Sounds awesome... *g*
It totally is.

Somebody needs to love and buy this book. *g*
Every time I go to a conference or submit an article for publication, I worry that the real experts will come down on my head and show what a charlatan I really am. I think that almost everybody who does any kind of creative or thoughtful work feels that way, and I think that the fact that you feel that way is part of what keeps you up to the mark.

Thanks, but I really wasn't looking for reassurance.

And no, actually, my b&@k hate is getting to the point where it's a serious problem.
Friend of mine said he had dreams in which he got a phone call from his agent, who said "They found out you're not a real author, and we're going to have to give all the money back."
Eek! I have dreams in which I have to do my comps over.
Would this be an apropos time to point out to you that I pretty much mainlined Dust earlier today and that I now feel rather as if a medium-large hole had been kicked in my chest, only in a good way?

So, you know, from here you're doing okay.
Did she leave you your heart, at least? She always rips mine out. (In an artistically necessary way, of course.)
It gives me a strange amount of pleasure too know that even published writers aren't very confident about what they write. Which is to say, I take pleasure from your pain. Sorry?
Schadenfreude is why I do it. ;-)
I've always suffered this. Has made me put off writing my stories for 20 years, but I realised 2 things

1) I'm not getting any younger (or wiser) and there's an awful lot of stories I want to tell. And even then I could be struck down with a disease or disability... so I better get on with it.
2) I realised I am a charlatan. I mean I know I write OK but maybe not good enough to be published. And the chances I'll ever get this novel published are so slim, and my ideas are so way out (almost ludicrous) they'll be laughed at, and the book will be too long and too complex to be commercially viable, and it also doesn't sit nicely within genres.... so even if I write a work of art, no-one is ever gonna publish it, and no-one will ever love it but me... so I might as well just write it as well as I can now , so I can get it sent off to publishers and agents, so they can all reject it and we can all get on with our lives.

It's very freeing, and I'm enjoying being crap to the extent some of the work I'm turning out is almost bearable
Congratulations! You have mastered the Zen of the crappy draft.
>> [not-good-enoughenosity]

We say things to ourselves about ourselves which, if someone said them about our friends, would stop promptly with a bloody floor and spare teeth.

Not intended as a reassurance. Just stating a fact.
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