More Truths : On Writing ...
I have finally been able to reconcile this issue with myself about writing.
It took me a while to really analyze exactly what was wrong with me lately ... but I think I have it figured out.
The short of it is: I'm not a writer.
There ... I've said it.
It's not as if I have never said that before. I have been claiming that for a long time and everyone has been responding in a variety of ways along the lines of "Oh don't say that, I love your writing" or "You write amazing poetry and your drama reviews are so elaborate" etc etc ... Even when I was growing up people were constantly encouraging me but I think that encouragement gave me a false sense of reality. As one of the Penny Arcade comic states ... sometimes you need someone to tell you that you suck balls.
I have had a few professional writers tell me that I have no talent for writing, but that's not entirely accurate either. I do have a talent for writing - I just don't have a talent for writing fiction. That's the real issue. I write poetry well, I write essays well, I write research and technical papers well, and - as everyone already knows - I write lectures and reviews EXTREMELY well. The reason for this is that it's in my voice. Fiction, is not really in the author's voice unless it's first person narrative - which going through the education system you are taught is a no-no in writing. Of course, half the world has written a book in first person these days so most of what I learned is bullshit I know. Fiction, in the third-person narrative, is not my voice; it's the voice of the character or characters or even the narrator - which is also not me. Writing in another person's voice is difficult for me and that becomes a major block.
In this area of writing fiction, I really suck balls. There are huge, sweaty, hairy balls all up in my mouth. That's how bad it is. And I can admit that.
I need to admit that or else I will keep getting hung up on the fact that somehow, because I happen to have some minimal talent in writing papers, poetry, and lectures, that that automatically means somehow I should magically be able to churn out the next great scifi novel. It doesn't mean that at all. In fact, my minimal talent for writing certain types of material has ZERO bearing on me wanting to write fiction. That's not even accurate to say ... want. I don't WANT to write this. This book is like pulling teeth and all it does is make me feel bad about myself. All it does, all it has done for most of my life, is make me feel like a failure. All it has done is make me feel like that one thing that I believe I honestly should have been able to accomplish, I haven't accomplished. The story is in my head, in my dreams ... it has been ever since junior high and it becomes more and more of a nagging feeling like "You need to write this. You need to get this story out. You need to do this. Why aren't you writing? Shouldn't you be writing?" ... and honestly, I don't WANT to write something that I clearly have no talent or skill for. Why me? Why not someone who actually writes FICTION? Why grace some techical writer with a scifi novel idea? Does that make any sense? That's like asking a drummer to pick up a guitar just because they have the musical talent for drums. IT'S NOT THE SAME THING.
The Powers That Be annoy the shit out of me and all the Universe does is ask for impossible things ... And when you cannot accomplish these impossible things you feel like a failure and like your life has had no meaning ... Is that helpful for human development? HIGHLY DOUBTFUL.
Now that I have come to this understanding about myself ... and about this wretched blessing of a ridiculously complex story ... I feel like I might be able to enjoy trying to create something from it. I don't expect it to be good. I don't expect it to even resemble a story in a traditional sense. I have always said that my goal is to do my best to get the idea down in some format either notes, outlines, character outlines and ideas, etc and hopefully, someday after I am dead and gone, someone with a real talent for writing can pick it up and turn it into what I couldn't. That has got to be my ultimate goal. If I keep stressing and trying to write some book ... it will never happen ... at least not before I kill myself. I need to refocus my direction on just getting as much of the idea together with the intention that someone else will be able to make sense of it. Like drawing a map to buried treasure when I have no boat in which to sail across the ocean to retrieve it.
I know most of you will disagree with my mentality but I speak the truth. It's not about pessimism or doubting my talent. I am well aware - and often egotistical - about my skill sets. I do very FEW things well, but the things that I do well, I do extremely well. I am big enough to admit where I have, not only shortcomings, but absolute failures. Writing fiction is an absolute epic fail for me and if I keep going into this expecting to end up with some novel, it will only be more and more of a stressor. I already feel so much pressure as it is. It's like when Misato tells Shinji "Get into it" when he first sees the Eva in Neon Genesis Evangelion. It's like excuse me? You want me to do what? I don't fucking think so.
All I can do is what I can do. This isn't a research paper and I can't write it like one. This isn't a review and I can't write it like one. This isn't a first-person narrative and I can't turn it into one (well, I could but I don't want the story to be like that). There is no way to bend the story into a style that I have a natural talent for writing in. I have been thinking about it and thinking about it for months and I just really don't think it's possible.
All I can do is what I can do ...Mmmm ... these balls are tasty ...