“I will work on Jerry’s novel when I take vacation in July.”
Nope. I spent a lot of time not working on it, but I also spent time thinking about why I’m not working on it.
I have determined that I need to recalibrate my expectations to line up with my other artistic efforts.
If you ask me if I can paint, or play the guitar, I would say, “I’m learning how to paint,” or “I’m learning how to play the guitar.” But who says, “I’m learning how to write fiction?” No one. No one says that. Yoda says the opposite.
Well, I defy Yoda. I say “Try or Try not. There is no do.” I think that’s essential for me - if I were to present something to others and say “I paint,” they would look at what I painted at any point and say, “No, you don’t.”
But were I to say, “I am learning to paint,” then they might say, yes, you are.
Early Portrait of the Artist as an International Toe Porn Superstar:
Later Portrait of the Artist as an International Toe Porn Superstar:
So, that’s the trick: do this for my own amusement and neural growth, not for any audience. It’s odd to think of a novel that way, because I would think that compared to painting or guitar a novel would be more communicative and less expressive. Don’t you need a reader to have a novel, and don’t you need to consider them over yourself while you are writing a novel?
Perhaps not for the first draft. Perhaps that’s what I need to get started. So that’s my new plan. I give myself permission to write a novel no one will read, a novel that is awful, a novel that just gives me practice writing a novel. I’ll be working on it forever, so when I die look on the cloud for a novel that is not about 1930s oil fields, but about space politics in the year 3535.
And hush, I know this is all the opposite of what I said last month, how I can’t get started because I don’t have an end point. Shhhhh. It’s part of the learning process, and the process is what’s beautiful.