Fear and Loathing on the Internet.

I want to be a writer.

Wait, scratch that; I’m already a writer.

I want to be a published author. I don’t just want to tell my tales; I want to spread (a.k.a., sell) them to people in book form.

But I’ve found it’s amazingly easy to get discouraged as I pursue this dream. The discouragement can come in just about any form, from not having a good breakfast to having a frustrating argument with a stranger online.

Mostly, it comes from within myself. I’ll look at my writings some days, and think to myself, “Yeah, this is awesome! I can’t wait to find out what happens in the rest of this story!” Then, on other days, I think to myself, “Who am I kidding? I don’t want to be on the computer all day at work then sit in front of it AGAIN when I finally get home just to finish this stupid story!”

I also get intimidated by sites like SheWrites. SheWrites is a great and awesome site who’s purpose is to provide information and resources to (primarily) female writers.

The intimidation factor comes in when I look at the profiles and avatars of some of the members. These are go-getter women who know how to wear their make-up and their hair well, who know how to dress casually but still professionally, who have already published in a magazine or a book.

I’m a frizzy-haired girl with bright red (as in Manic Panic red) hair, feel about as capable of being professional as a frog is of being a man, and I have yet to actually publish anything in any form.

In times like this, I tend to retreat to my safe place online: DeviantART.

Ohh, DeviantART! You bastion of bad fan-art to incredible photographs! If any online site was to understand my pain, it would be you! You can supply me with animated gifs, MLP slash-fic, and exquisite drawings all on the same site! ❤

As such, I uploaded my latest, finished short story there for easy sharing. It was a story I’d started as an entry for a competition, but I never finished it before the competition was over. (It was just as well; it wasn’t until weeks later that I found an ending that fit well. 🙂 )

I’m very proud of myself for actually finishing something. I don’t know if it’s something anyone would enjoy or not, but I had fun writing it. I hope to see it published somewhere awesome some day.

But, here now is another fear yet! The fear of being in such a hurry to finish a thing that I don’t find the appropriate ending or middle or beginning for it.

My NaNo novel is awful, as far as continuity is concerned. It’s confusing, it’s weird, it’s overwhelming. I can’t really edit it because it’s such an explosion of different ideas. It would be like re-making a building from the blown-up parts, it’s that bad.

And part of me wonders if it was bad because it was rushed. If I could have taken the time to let things simmer, would at have been so bad, even for a rough draft? If I had taken the time to really think about the story, and reason out what would make sense and what wouldn’t, would it be such a ROUGH draft?

These days, there seems to be two kinds of writers. Those who want to live the Published Lifestyle, and those who want to live the Storyteller Lifestyle. It takes a unique person to be able to live both, and live it well.

In the Published Lifestyle, you aren’t as concerned about the story itself as you are about making money and a name for yourself off of the story. You churn out book after book because that’s your livelihood, and not always because you enjoy the book-writing process.

In the Storyteller Lifestyle, you write or tell or record your own stories all the time, whether there are people to listen or not. You care more about telling a good story than you do about fame or riches. You simply want to share what you have to say with the world, and you don’t worry about whether it will make you rich and famous.

I, and many writer hopefuls like me, are an eclectic mix of both, though I tend to feel I lean more to the Storyteller than the Published. I’ve been telling stories since I was a child, but I have absolutely no interest in fame. Getting out of the corporate world because I make enough through publishing would be super-awesome, but I also have no desire to get super-rich; I don’t know what I’d do with all that money if I had it.

Anyways, these are my thoughts and fears this Wednesday afternoon. I hope you are doing much, much better! 😀

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Categories: Contests, NaNo 2011, Short Stories, Writing Problems | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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