I’m writing this exclusively for me. I needed to explain myself, to myself. I don’t care if anyone reads it or gets where I’m coming from. I care even less if I’m understood, or my writing is something anyone can comprehend. I’m truly writing for the remnant of readers who will find me. If you can hear me, see me, get what I mean—that is all the reward I could ever ask for. My goal is to speak to your hearts, not your minds…
I’m in the middle of a huge edit. It’s my first ‘real’ edit by a professional. It’s telling me I kinda suck as a writer. In her opinion I suck as a storyteller as well. Which I don’t believe I do. I have no pride in my academics. How can I? Since I have none. I have life experience. I even have some attributes others do not possess, or are not in tune with inside themselves.
Am I doubting myself and this new series of books I’ve already written? Hell yes! Will I quit and give up? Hell no! What I’ve decided is, I’m not for everyone. My writing isn’t for everyone—or anyone for that matter. I don’t find life full of conflict or drama—unless it’s fabricated. Rarely is there a threat in our lives which propels us forward. Rarely is something or someone endangered and we must fight past or through a foe to come out the other side as victor. Rarely is the plot of life driven by anything other than the mundane. What will I eat for dinner? isn’t really much of a threat to drive the plot along.
There are formulas for writing books. Same for making movies. Things which will make the readers want to turn the page or pay the big bucks to see a movie in the theater. There are rules to do and not to do. Here is where the rub comes in. I don’t do formula anything. I don’t live a normal life, nor do I tell a normal story. If you are reading my work and there is a moment that drags. Guess what? My character is more than likely feeling that same exact way, and I want you to feel it too. What if the conflict is simply within? You know, like real life?
I’m an indie author and self-published. I even do my own covers and up till now, all my own editing. Along the way I’ve grown, and now I turn out a more polished manuscript. This one I’m working on, is in fact, the very first story I put to paper. My first book. My baby. My name. Me as the heroine. Is there internal conflict? Yes! Is there external? No. Not much. My editor wants more. I am unwilling to put it in at this phase. There is lots more later in book two and three, (yes, those are already written.) My editor says nobody will read the second book and more than likely won’t get through the first. Sigh.
I’m not writing to make a living. It’s painfully clear that won’t happen for me. In fact, I currently work hard at other jobs to pay for said edits and later on, narration and maybe a professional cover here and there. Advertising hasn’t even come up. Why would I advertise something I’m fairly confident only a handful of readers will like and understand? No, I write to tell a story from a perspective I’ve not heard—ever!
I don’t seek a real publisher, or even a much larger audience. If I did, I would be setting myself up for the judgement of others. The harsh criticism they feel I’ve asked for. Yes, I asked for this edit. Yes, I will learn what I can from it in as far as execution and academics go. But, I can’t prescribe to the formula arching storyline. I just can’t alter it that much. Or rather, I won’t.
If that means I lose the chance at fame-dom and overflowing success. So be it. I love my stuff to sell. I love to get a good review. I however am old enough to take it all with a grain of salt. If they love you too much, they will feel the need to tear you down at some point. Some are already there with my other self-published titles. Again I can only sigh.
Writing is hard work. No, correction, it is painful, cathartic, mentally ill, and incredibly time consuming, torturous work. There is nothing fun about it. It’s exhausting. There are no rewards that I’ve found thus far, unless it’s the killing time thing—you know, something to do while I wait to die? I have more stories inside of me, but I continually doubt if I should continue. I probably won’t. I have to get my series finished. I have to release at least four more titles since I’ve set up the continuation in all my books, and I refuse to leave something undone. But after that? I don’t see the point.
Over the last two weeks I’ve continually seen a meme which simply states, write what you want to read. I don’t read much because I am so fucking sick of the formula arching stories. It’s all so predictable and boring and there is no insight into the characters’. Yes, lots of action and lots of threats and drama. Contrived love because of rescues which all stemmed from imagined dangers. What about the torture of living a real life and attempting to keep it drama free? What about that numb and dead feeling which invariably happens when we hit middle age and have been there, done that? What about the ache deep in the pit of our stomachs to feel something? Anything! I just want to feel alive for a few minutes. Is that possible without drama, turmoil, dangers and arching plot threats?
So, as I try and polish this turd of a manuscript, and I wonder if it’s worthless. I have to remind myself I don’t do the Earth program. I don’t do this matrix. I don’t even do any of the religions or theologies on this planet. I don’t do blue-pill. I don’t do normal. I don’t do the expected or the preached. I don’t care about the universal downloads into humanities sieve like brains.
I mock everything and everyone. I find humor in the humorless and crazy. I see death as a gift and escape. I think love is hollow when it comes from empty vessels. The word means so little. I seek time and to marinate with another. Who gives that now days? In my story, I soak with my characters. There really isn’t much of a destination—it’s all journey—like real life. After all, death is the destination for all of us.
My story is more about dwelling within the now. Always be in the present moment and never be anxious for what is next. If you are? If you’re only waiting for the threat to appear to motivate the characters, then how can you learn to dwell within the allow?
I’m writing what I want to read. I’m writing a few sermon like excerpts spoken from a heavenly being. Don’t you want to hear what the aliens have to say? How they think? How they react to our undeveloped, individual personalities? To me as a middle aged and searching human, this is what fascinates me. So, this is what I write about. And this is what my entire first book in the, AdventuresinPayne Series, is about. It’s titled Remnant for a reason. There is no outside threat to their love. It’s a sort of homecoming after eons of dangers. It’s about how survival on this planet means the loss of our true illumination.
It’s that and so much more, and I’m leaving it intact. It is just the beginning of an epic journey.