Today is one of those days when I need to get away from myself. In my normal day-to-day life I’ve started cleaning more and more on days like that, but today that won’t work for various reasons. So I packed up my laptop and fled to Panera Bread. I thought I’d work on my WIP but it turns out I need to download an updated version of the Scrivener beta before I can even open my project file. So I’m abusing the Panera Bread wifi and trying to find other amusments.
Last night, I finished reading a novel I quite enjoyed, The Demon’s Lexicon. Today I got a bit of writing feedback that was not particularly positive. Welcome, invited, but not positive. The combination of the two events has me feeling unbalanced. Critical feedback is always vaguely annoying, even when it’s welcome. Paired with reading a novel that I would personally have been very satisfied to have written makes me uncertain about my own prospects.
If you’re still reading, I bet you’re wondering what the connection is. Me too! My self-esteem as a writer is always wobbly. I think I’m a pretty good writer, at least in terms of using written English language, and I’ve worked hard rectifying my flaws as a written storyteller. What I’d like to do now is find that set of people who would enjoy my stories. I think it must exist, even if it probably isn’t a very large set.
I read The Demon’s Lexicon and it feels right to me. I’ve tried to tell similar stories– mostly when I was much younger, admittedly– and it hit almost all the notes I try to hit. It manifests the same values I cherish, when it comes to stories and the characters and relationships in them. So I wonder: would the people who enjoy The Demon’s Lexicon like my work? I’d like to think so, but I don’t know how I’ll ever find out. So much seems to rely on luck, being the right story at the right place at the right time.
I always say one can achieve luck by rolling the dice enough times– work hard, submit enough and luck will find you. That inevitably drives me to my keyboard to keep rolling some dice. But… the download time on Scrivener has tripled! I think Panera Bread is throttling my connection because it’s peak usage time for a while yet.
OK, so some more random thoughts on random things:
[deleted material whining about critique groups and publishing and possible motivations for rejecting my story that don’t involve my story sucking] It always seems safest to assume it’s my writing that needs work. Being a terrible writer is presumably something I can fix! Although sometimes, after spending at least a decade consciously striving to do just that, I do wonder.
OK, I’ve apparently killed all the time I get to kill right now. I’ll have to download my writing tool over a different network, and maybe while I’m doing that I’ll do some kind of random non-introspective-blog writing.