Wednesday, April 21, 2010

ON: Failure, Frustration, and Finding My Feet Again

The pieces I have been writing of late have, for the main, included a raft of social issues dressed up as spec.

Of course I didn't think tackling social aspects would be easy, or I would get them right first draft. I am more frustrated at myself that I haven't been able to articulate the nuances of issues and character first time, then revisit them.

Then I have to remind myself I've only reintroduced myself to writing a few short weeks ago. It's not flowing smoothly, but like every skill I just need to keep plugging away at it. I gotta practise those characters, gotta practise getting the language right, gotta train my brain to express nuance.

Of course, my frustration at Failure on the First Pass is leading to a little frustration at my motivation. I now have two spec pieces that need a complete overhaul, and I'm having trouble getting motivated to tackle them again. I'm supposed to be perfect first time! I don't fail.

Sheeeeyeah right.

I lectured myself about expecting failure at the beginning of this endeavour, but that was about expecting rejection from publications, not failing at actually writing something near decent. So ok, mental shift: expect to fail at writing something I actually think I know something about, or am passionate about.

And there it is - a good example that the writing skill is 10% talent and 90% perseverance. Failure is an excellent opportunity to learn from your mistakes. I have to learn to not take failure and criticism so personally. If I want to be taken seriously as a credible writer, I have to practise these nuances.

Perhaps I need to insert time for rewrites into my schedule. I'm adamant that Writer Mondays are New Writing days - something fresh has got to be put down those days. So, to find some time for revisits - once a week, every two weeks, every month? Do I let the first (horrible) drafts all pile up, then I pick and choose what has the most potential? Do I let it simmer for longer, or attack it straight away?

Here is Kristine Kathryn Rusch's "Freelancers Guide" to Failure - it articulates a lot of my feelings, and got me thinking about writing this post.

I've said it before - I'm going to admit my failures, luxuriate in them, so that when the bigger trip-ups happen they're not going to hurt as much. Failure is good. Failure is a teaching tool. I'm gonna make Failure my middle name!

No comments:

Post a Comment