Idle Thoughts

Rants, Raves, and Revelations . . . oh my!

*Looks Sheepish* February 24, 2011

Filed under: Writing — idlethoughtsblog @ 2:56 pm
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

So the whole write-every-day thing has more than flopped.  I mean, I’ve been writing, but it’s all been homework, the likes of which no one outside of that class would want to read.  Recently, I’ve written a four-page paper analyzing Do Not Go Gently Into That Goodnight by Dylan Thomas, putting more thought into the piece than I’m sure Thomas did.  I’ve begun gearing up to write a five to seven page paper on a segment of Marjane Satrapi’s memoir Persepolis. I’ve written bits and pieces of news and five 500-word-plus analyses for feature articles.  I’ve completed French homework and worked on multimedia projects and done news editing worksheets.  None of which stands in as an acceptable excuse for not writing every day.


Was it not just last semester, when I was just as rushed, stressed, and harried, that I completed a novel in two months?  Just the rough draft, true, and one I realize needs an incredible amount of work (especially after a talk with my professor from that class, Cathy Day on Tuesday), but a novel nonetheless?  What’s happened to me?  I’m inclined to believe it has to do with the fact that I am no longer writing for a class and I am not receiving the same amount of encouragement I got from being in that class twice a week, but still.  Why isn’t my own need to write kicking in and making myself do it? Is it being squashed by all the academic writing I’ve been having to do?  And what can I do about that while remaining in school?

Currently, I’m in ENG 307, the class that was supposed to be a prerequisite to the novel-writing class.  We aren’t writing “Big Things” in 307, like last semester.  We’re writing little things — short stories, my take on which has baffled me since I started writing them.  Why is it that every time I sit down to write a short story, I head toward the surreal?  Right now, I should be marking up short stories by my fellow classmates for workshop tomorrow or working on my own piece — a story about a woman whose late grandmother’s garden is guarded by butterflies, which are really ghosts of dead ancestors (I promise it’s better than I’m making it sound).  Where on earth did this come from?  And is it going to sound like all I do is read/write/and watch sci-fi like some of the other writers I’ve read in that class?  Is it possible to write something resembling sci-fi and still be taken seriously by the world at large?  Is this really just a piece of crap that I should just give up on?  I mean, I don’t want to be read by just sci-fiers.  Is this just me wanting to be some great writer someday and not seeing reality for what it is?  I’m loathe to post more stuff on websites like because I’m paranoid and not very good at writing summaries, apparently, as I never got any hits in the past with places like that.  Also, there’s no guarantee that the people commenting have any idea what they’re talking about.  Do I have any idea what I’m talking about?  I know this blog has approximately zero readers, but I’ll pose the question anyway.  Aside from paid-for workshops, how can fledgling writers get real help with their work?


2 Responses to “*Looks Sheepish*”

  1. I’m not really into fiction writing, but whenever I sit down to write anything fictitious it ends up in the grotesque/horror realm. And my favorite color is pink. Go figure. I would read that short story though–it is more literary than sci-fi to me, and could only go campy if you took it there. I picture a beautiful and lush garden of greens with purple and turquoise and cerulean blue butterflies flitting around it and those glass jars in light pink and purple (where did that come from?). The point is I like the way it looks in my mind and I would read it if you posted it *hint hint*

    Also, don’t discount the motivation of other people–it’s sort of like when you meet people and they say “I don’t cook because I have nobody to cook for.” When someone’s encouraging and critiquing us, it’s motivating. When we’re swamped with other things, we tend to put the non-obligations to the back burner. Just write when you can–my cello teacher tells me if 15 minutes of practice a day is better than planning to practice for an hour and not ever actually doing it.

    • Thanks for stopping by! I’m not so sure about how exactly the story will turn out, but I’ll probably be posting the final version (after it’s peer edited and returned after grading) on here somewhere.

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