Thursday, January 27, 2011

i'm still a writer

so i didn't write a damn word for over a month. between holidays and family and traveling and getting the kids back into school, it fell right to the bottom of my priority list and stuck there. the funny thing is i didn't even feel bad about it. i used to always beat myself up when i let any of my regular activities drop. i replaced my writing with knitting, and spinning (oh i bought a lot of fibre on vacation. oh it's lovely, but that's besides the point). and one day i said 'gee, maybe i should start writing again.'

and i did.

and it sucks mostly. and i don't think that's actually a change from the usual. i know i'm capable of writing well, but my best stuff has either been heavily, heavily edited, or a product of some bizarre divine intervention or something. i have two pieces featured in an anthology put together by the Hong Kong writer's circle, ( there's a little bit of info on the publication there. i think it will be available to order internationally sometime soon.) and they are perfect examples of both. my longer piece was edited, peer reviewed, re-edited, and scrutinized to within an inch of its life, and i'm still not totally happy with it.

my second piece is all of 218 words, what they call postcard fiction. not because it at all resembles something you'd write on a postcard, but because you could fit the whole thing on one without any trouble. this piece i wrote at a workshop, longhand even, and i think i changed two whole words between the initial version and the final, published one. and it's still my favourite thing i've ever written. 218 fecking words.

i'm going to worry less about writing quality for a while. i'm also going to focus less on the length of the pieces, so i'm not obsessing over whether i'm writing something that could become a novel. i'm just spitting out ideas, and if one snowballs and turns into a story, then great. if that story could be expanded upon, also great.

i'm not setting myself any lofty goals. i'm just going to write. and i feel good about that.