One minute: “Oh, I love this.”
Next minute: “Ugh… this is utter crap.”
Three minutes later: “Wait, maybe it’s not too bad.”
Six minutes after that: *Crumbles paper and throws it across the room* OR *Delete… Delete… Delete…*
Every single writer I know has had this moment a few hundred thousand times, if not more. It’s exhausting to question every word we write. It can be excruciating. I tend to pace the floor as I talk out loud (or scream) at my characters, while pulling my hair out at the root.
Pace… pace… pace… scream.
Yes, I know if I chill out, not force it, the words will work themselves out, but of course, it takes me going through the screaming and pacing drama to get me to the other side.
Thankfully, I have random days when it seems all the stars are in alignment, and the rays of writerly-love shine upon me, at the perfect angle, and every word that pours from my fingers is pure gold. Those are the days I do a snoopy dance and sing the love of words loud and proud for everyone to hear.
Boom… Boom… Boom… here they come. From a distance, almost as soon as I catch my breath from dancing, I can hear the rumble of their feet. Remember those doubt demons I spoke about in a post a few months ago? They creep up on me and loom overhead like storm clouds.
Then, the trigger–the one thing that sends me spiraling down, down, down, from my high of golden words.
Why did I have to get online and see that post where someone shares their complex, deep, dark, words–the ones that blow my words right out of the water and makes them seem menial and small? Then, I see someone boast about how their writing IS NOT simple and, “how dare someone tell me I write in such a way!”
Here I am, staring at my story in all its simplicity.
Is this such a horrible writing crime? Is simple shameful?
I face-plant the computer keyboard. Now… cue the tears and wails. Well, that’s a little overboard, but you get my drift.
After a few moments (probably more like hours or maybe even a few days) of self-deprecating arguments with myself, I put on my writing armor and fight my way back to the love of my story… my simple, yet engaging, story.
Does a story have to be complex, dark, deep and/or use large intertwined words to be called “fabulous”, “great”, “fantastic”, and all those other phenomenal descriptions?
In my opinion, no. I know there are those who disagree with me and that’s okay. To each their own, right?
I like to read a well-written, simple story. To me, it’s enjoyable. Does that make me less of a reader? Absolutely not! Don’t get me wrong, I also love a well-written, complex story. The key obviously being “well-written”. When done right, simple AND complex, have their place in this large world of words.
If that’s the case, why do I beat myself up for writing simply? Why do I let other people’s complex work stab the innermost, vulnerable part of who I am? Is it because those are the books that seem to get the most press? The most mentions? Or am I just being mean to myself and allowing the doubt demons have their way with me? Could it be plain ol’ insecurity? Yeah, probably all of the above.
I need to remind myself that simple writing doesn’t mean generic, unoriginal, or lacking in depth. Simple can be great. Simple can be big. Simple can reach millions of people and be loved by the same.
Okay, with all of that being said, it’s time for me to make myself perfectly clear:
I am damn proud of the stories I’m working on– I mean super-duper, hold my head high, proud. I love the storylines, the characters, the settings. I refuse to let what I read on social media, or elsewhere, bring me down and make me feel less of a writer because it’s not a “certain way”. I look forward to interacting with the readers who fall in love with the stories and characters just as I’ve written them. They are penned from a genuine heart that thoroughly enjoys the process, even the difficult, disheartening parts.
I say, let us not put down the simple or the complex. Let’s just all get along and praise the time, the heart, the love, the sweat, and the tears that go into each and every word bound by the spine of authorship.
Until next time…
Love life. Be Kind. Be genuine. Eliminate the negative, false, and vain. Peace, love, and happiness to all.