Recently I reimmersed myself in the generous pages of Patrick Rothfuss’ book, “The Name of The Wind”, a book you must read if you haven’t already. By the way, the sullen guy in the picture is Kvothe, the protagonist of the story. Upon my second read, Mr Rothfuss was able to wrench from me the deep emotions one can expect from a first read. This, I think, is a true mark of excellence, that it can get to me this way on a second read when I should by all rights expect the curveballs he throws.
Well, this isn’t really the point of the blog; it was more to discuss why am I reading instead of writing. I’m supposed to be writing my first grimdark fantasy to blow the socks off all you readers–filled with grit and magic and an alternate reality beyond belief–but… well… instead I find myself procrastinating, wasting hours on Wattpad and other social media, and reading great books like “The Name of The Wind” again. And, to make things worse, the inevitable result of reading something as amazing as that is more procrastination and sullen feelings of less than worthiness in the wake of such a glorious work of perfection (don’t argue with me on that. It. Is. Brilliant. Okay? – take your trollery elsewhere). I’ve found when you read something this good you either feel inspired to excrete similar wonders from your brain juices, or you wallow in feelings of desperate hopelessness knowing you can never reach such glorious standards.
My battle is to stay in the first camp, to remember that drafting and rewriting is key for any successful writer. Of course, finding someone who wants to publish your stuff is great too, and I’m working on that. I need a draft good enough to send off to them… something I’m predicting may take me more than a couple years (sighs).
I’m envious of the writers who live in the utopian valley of “I can write all day” whilst I slog away at my day job and the other hobbies inbetween bringing in enough funds to feed my daughter (shakes fist at fate).
And so on to the actual point of this post, if there is really one. Why do I find myself reading good stuff instead of writing? Because writing a novel is terrifying overwhelming stuff, and its easier not to do it than to push through. No matter what my excuses are, that is the truth. Facebook is not THAT alluring. Here’s another blog post by Chuck Wendig that helps clear up the why, or at least might give you more insight into the emotional ups and downs of writing and why I find myself on social media instead of writing. Read it, it’s funny. The Emotional Ups and Downs of Writing A Novel: A Handy Guide.
Wattpad readers, my deepest apologies for the weeks between updates–I have no good excuse besides my tardiness. All the writers and wannabee novelists like me out there, what do you do to inspire yourself to keep writing when that procrastination bug bites? (if it does, but I mean come on, be honest. It does.)
image by MattRhodesArt