Monday, September 17, 2018

You Can't Handle the Truth!

Or so says Jack Nicholson as Col. Jessep in the movie A Few Good Men. Oh, but I disagree Col. J! I think we writers can handle the truth just fine, thank you very much.

Hmm, okay, maybe not. But at least we can handle these "25 Truths About the Work of Writing" written by Greer Macallister over at Writer Unboxed.

Like the first two:

1. Writing is the easiest work you'll ever do, more joy than labor, a flurry of words pouring from your fingers onto the page so beautifully and smoothly you're more witness than worker. Some days.

2. On the other days, it's so hard and slow and, yes, laborious, that you feel you must be doing it wrong because if it's this hard how could anyone possibly force themselves to do it?

My favorites:

16. Everyone works differently. You don't have to write every day or write what you know or stick to any other particular process that happens to work for other people. Even if it works for a lot of other people. All that matters is whether it works for you.

22. How you feel about the work of writing will change over time because you change over time. Don't be afraid to change your process or your goals. Something that worked for you 10 years ago may not work anymore. Explore. 

But the truest truth of them all?

7. It's work and it's magic and it's a mad alchemy.


*****

Do any of these truths - or others from the full post - ring true for you? (I'm smack in the middle of Number 22 myself. This is one of the reasons I'm now keeping a looser blogging schedule.) How is your writing - or other creative work - going?

32 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'm stuck on number two right now.

Maria Zannini said...

Definitely #7 for me. It's like pulling a rabbit out of a hat and being surprised that you pulled off the trick. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm right there with you, Alex.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Kind of like "How did that rabbit get in there??!!" :)

Sarah Foster said...

I was actually enjoying #1 for once for the past few days! I'll probably be stuck on #2 again now. The magic never lasts forever.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Hang on to that magic for as long as you can, Sarah!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Lucky #7. My fave is your fave too.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Yes! :)

Chrys Fey said...

Oh yes to #1 and #2. Writing can be joyful, but for me, lately, isn't been tough. I did get some writing down last week and this past weekend, which was a lovely blessing.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Glad to hear you got some writing done, Chrys. I know I always feel better when I do, even when it's stinky.

Anonymous said...

I like number 16 a lot, too. It's usually a bit of advice I give when asked.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm learning not to beat myself up over how I work, if that changes from project to project, from year to year. I'm trying to go with that creative flow! :)

Cynthia said...

I agree that everyone works differently. I don't work on my fiction every day. Sometimes I need time to just let ideas brew in my head.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I find the creative process fascinating, especially how it varies from writer to writer, from artist to artist, etc. We can learn so much! Even pick up ways to make our own process better. :)

Lee Lowery said...

My truths du jour are 2, 4, 5, and 6. And not for the first time. Probably not the last.

Rebecca M. Douglass said...

I love it! Those are all true, and great reminders. Heck, the process changes for me day by day--no need to wait 10 years to find something no longer works :p

emaginette said...

I've been bouncing around between "I don't suck" and "What was I thinking." So the writing life--submitting--is tough for me, and I need to hunker down and start typing. :-)

Anna from elements of emaginette

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Many of the truths in the article are so spot on. Nice to know we're not alone, huh? :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Ha! :)

Unfortunately, I'm so stubborn that it often does take me that long to figure out something isn't working as well it could/should.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Submitting our work is so hard - you're not alone in those feelings. Hang in there, keep at it, and know we all have your back. :)

Loni Townsend said...

Yep! Those are definitely the truth! I'm seeing a lot of change in myself as I pull up work from five years ago.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

When I look at some of my older work - the pieces that never saw the light of day! - the energy was often there in the storytelling, but the skill/craft left something to be desired. :)

Julie Flanders said...

First off - congratulations on your winning story in Janet Reid's contest! Just read the entries and your story was so fantastic as always.
I'm at #22 in this list too! Here's hoping the new things I'm trying work.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Thanks so much, Julie!

It feels a lot like #22 gives me - us - permission to change and grow. Not that we needed it, of course, but it still feels kind of good. :)

The Cynical Sailor said...

#16 really resonates with me. I used to feel like I was doing it wrong because my process didn't resemble that of all of those successful people out there. I've started to embrace my own creative process more these days.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

Good for you! I'm getting there myself. :)

Melissa said...

They all have at one point or another. Great post!

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I hear that! Glad you enjoyed the post.

Christine Rains said...

Love these! And it does change over time. Sometimes that's hard to deal with, but it's a good thing. :)

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

I'm usually not good with change, but I'm trying to get better at it, to go with the flow a little more.

J.H. Moncrieff said...

I feel SO guilty about how my writing has been neglected lately! There are good reasons for it, and I know I'll get back to it, but it's an ever-present guilt trip.

Madeline Mora-Summonte said...

If you've got good reasons for it, and you know you'll get back to it then give yourself a break! Guilt is not going to help anything. Or so I tell myself after I eat too many cookies. :)