Seems a little quiet around here

Yes, I’ve been a little quiet here on the blog lately. In part that is due to the mundane fact that I haven’t had much going on. I’m slogging my way through the rewrite of my novel draft. I’m nearly half way through it, but there’s not a lot of excitement to report. I do think I’m getting more comfortable writing with the third person narrator — not that I was uncomfortable with it. Most of my fiction has been written with a third-person narrator. It’s more that I have a story that I hear in my head in first person and I must force fit it into the third — trust me; it’s necessary for the telling of the tale.

But there is another reason why I’ve had so little to say here in recent weeks: I don’t want to tilt at windmills any longer. There are plenty of writing blogs out there, and most of them, in my humble opinion, are dreadful. (Not yours, of course!) I see many by folks who have had one or two minor commercial novels published who then set themselves up as authorities on writing or publishing or both and who spew all sorts of cliched, commonplace, obvious advice as though they are revealing arcane and absolute truths to which all aspiring authors ought to adhere. And most of the advice, once again in my humble (or perhaps not so humble) opinion, is shite, at least from a creative writing perspective. It’s the kind of advice you might give a high school student learning to write a term paper. The universal adherence to the “rules” of grammar is one that particularly bugs me and that I’ve spouted about here far too much recently. It’s not that I don’t see the point of grammar; it has its uses. But the unconsidered, absolutist, and almost fawning admonitions that writers must cleave to these rules without exception strike me as being favored by those who don’t really give a lot of careful thought to their creative process or even the needs of their stories. And so I go to these “writing” blogs and make contradictory (and perhaps even mocking) comments and release a torrent of angry responses by the wounded blog writer and his or her fans, and no one is happy, no points are appreciated.

There are a number of these sites that I simply don’t visit anymore. (Once again, yours is the exception.) Or if I visit them, I find I have little to say. Several in particular I’ve banned myself from because they are so disappointing, one even infuriating.

And because I don’t want to fall into that mold, or become a scold, I’ve found myself not writing posts here that seem more designed for picking fights than elucidating my thoughts. I guess I am self censoring, which seems to be something a lot of other blog writers (again, not you) would benefit from (though even a statement like that risks making me become what I despise).

Well, I apologize for this rant. I really intended it more as an explanation of my state of mind than as yet another pontification about the perceived failings of others (but not you). More than anything, though, I’ve learned that I must go my own way in my creative writing, and in some cases that means I have to ignore and avoid what others have to say, and to keep myself mentally healthy, I have to stop fuming about what they say when I do encounter it. Thus the comparative quiet here. But if I may be permitted one more little observation, the blogs I admire don’t tend to make frequent posts; the ones I dislike seem to post daily. I’ve always favored quality over quantity.

Thanks for your indulgence.

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One Comment on “Seems a little quiet around here”

  1. rachel Says:

    strong opinions attract readers… we shouldn’t be afraid of them. of course, I censor myself ruthlessly. i need to be more courageous.


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