Judgment Day

Friday, October 13, 2006

You don't say, "I've done it!" You come, with a kind of horrible desperation, to realize that this will do.
Anthony Burgess

A friend of mine was telling me why several of the projects around their house were not completed. I started thinking about all of the writing projects I have in progress and my equivalent issue with getting most of them done. (For the moment, we'll ignore the concept that "Nothing motivates like a good deadline".)

I'm currently a bit blocked on the current chapter I'm writing for "Battlefield", so was considering working on one of the other projects. Of course, the Virgo part of me protested, "No! You must finish what you start! Stick with it!" The muse, on the other hand, just pleaded, "Don't listen to him. Just write something!"

It did get me thinking about what happens when you finish a writing project. Once you're done, that's the point where someone else usually gets to read it. That's the point in the process where your work gets judged. It's very difficult to throw something out there that you've spent days, weeks—or even years—working on and then wait for it be ravaged by family and friends.

I was thinking about two short stories I wrote recently. One was written for what I knew would be an appreciative audience. The other was intended really as just an exercise and never meant to be shared immediately (but possibly scavenged later, if needed). I blew right through the writing, finishing each in a matter of days. In both cases, I had no fear of judgment, so my internal editor was basically silent, and the writing got done.

So, I realized that I need to find a way to tell myself that my work will find only an appreciative audience--and not that no one will ever read it! I will imagine that audience is waiting anxiously to see it. That just might help me get these projects finished.

Of course, if I never finish it, then it never gets judged and critiqued. But if I never finish it, it's never going to get published. That is the goal, after all. Right?

  1. Anonymous

    Yup, scary stuff indeed. Me, I just faced up to the fact that getting published means that ANYONE can read and judge what I write, whether I value their opinion or not.

    The horror! The horror!

    On the other hand ... hell, frak 'em. I like these flashing eyes and this floating hair, even if it's not a fashionable cut.

    //Isy (sans blogspot password)