Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Don't Let it Get Ya Down...

Mes Amis

I think there are times when we all wonder what we're doing. I kinda had one of those today, but its been a cumulative thing. Without going into specifics, there was something I was waiting on and found out third hand that it wasn't the best news I could have hoped for. No biggie, but it was the fact that I was still hoping against hope to pull it off. This last year hasn't been great for me sales wise. I haven't been writing as good shorts as I should have and this latest one really clinched it for me. I think what makes it even worse is that, as I say, I really think this rejection (or lack thereof as I was never formally turned down) was down to the fact that my submission was possibly warmed over shite. Would have been nice to know, though.

Which is fair enough in a way (everyone writes bad stuff) but I do have this feeling like my wheels are spinning just a little lately. And the reason is that I've been worried because people are noticing what I'm doing. I've been getting self conscious. The four AHMM stories were written when no one knew about me. Through them I've got to meet some great people and they have given me more connections based on that. But as I say this last year, few sales and just continuous redrafts on the novel. And those shorts I have written have been very awkward because suddenly people have expectations. Which is a worrying prospect.

Its a matter of returning to the joie-de-vivre of what made me write in the first place. In my attempts to start moving ahead maybe I've become too serious. Or maybe I just had a bad year.

In any case no point in getting down about it. James Lee Burke published his first few novels then went fourteen years in the non published wilderness before he came storming back. I've had one year of slow motion. I can kick it back together.

And I know what it is. Its about quitting worrying what other folks think and just writing what I love once more. No one said writing would be easy and no one said it would get any easier. And this particular thing that brought it all to a head has been preying on my mind for months now.

But this is not a negative post. This is about learning lessons. Once you can start to see where you're going wrong you can move to fix it. And by God, if there's only one thing I know: I want to do this. I want to write. And I'll make mistakes along the way, but I'm never going down without a fight.

So on that note, its off to the keyboard.

Au revoir



Sandra Ruttan said...

That is not a negative post! Actually, a very encouraging one!

Because one of the hardest things is just buckling down and doing what you love and forgetting expectations. It's hard. But important.

Russel said...

Although learning that did cost me a market I'd have quite like to have sneaked into... Ah, c'est la vie!

Hardluck Writer said...

4 stories in AHMM is something to be pretty damn proud of. Just keep at it.

Steven said...

You're one of the most talented writers I've had the pleasure of reading in the past year. There's a reason why people like your stuff...because it's YOURS. Keeping bringing the stories out of your experience, out of your interests. Forget expectations. Keep writing what calls out to you to be written. Trust me, my friend, it has worked well for you so far.

that girl said...

Russ, if I was there I'd give you a cuddle. And you'd get awkward and fall over the couch.
Sometimes its hard to see the wood for the trees and you are so harsh on yourself generally. Kick back with a coffee and have a look out the window at your tree.
I am so proud you got this far buddy. xxx

Charlie Williams said...

Russel, I was going to write something lofty and wise, but fuck that - just get pissed.

Gary Smith said...

Chin up!
You've done brilliantly to get this far and I'm sure big things are just around the corner.
Hardluck writer is right, 4 stories in AHMM is not something to be sneezed at.

Have a coffee/ame/bud and just relax for a while. I know from trying to write these darn PhD chapters that you just have to persevere. The results are usually worth it :)

Stuart MacBride said...

Seems to be something going round at the moment. I've had the same thing myself.

I died my hair and it seemed to work.

You know you can write, and you've got a plan to get back on the pony. And this year is going to be a good one for you!

And Charlie's right: go get pished.

Bryon Quertermous said...

If you're looking to unload some warmed over shite there's this magazine called DEMOLITION that seems to take just about anything.

John R. said...

Don't take any advice from Stuart about "getting back on the pony". I did that once, and the bastard threatened to sell the video to the press if I didn't... well, you don't want to know what he asked for.

Suffice it to say, the whole affair is the reason I'll never be invited to another St Catherine's School For Girls Gymkhana.