Doubts and Distresses be Damned

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The difficulty of consistency in writing is greatly exacerbated by authors fearing that the situations and characters in their heads aren’t quite unique enough or imaginative enough. And this angst can effectively kill an author’s enjoyment of the daily work.

The mountain of their vision seems too high to climb.

Yet let them close their eyes to the hill and simply take in the next step–the single situation before them to be captured–and I would be willing to say there is no longer a problem.

No situation an author faces is any more difficult than this. And no scene is trite in itself, just as no author or story is uninteresting; there are only dull, unimaginative, and uncommitted authors.

No dilemma an author can write could possibly leave readers unmoved if it is fully and imaginatively presented.

And if an author has delighted readers once, she can do it again, doubts and distresses be damned. 

– adapted from Becoming a Writer by Dorthea Brande.

 

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11 thoughts on “Doubts and Distresses be Damned”

  1. Well aren’t you Mr. Prolific lately? Yeah, okay you didn’t write this … but it’s good. And very true. We are all scared witless of failing. (see what I did there? This is me behaving myself) But at some point, we have to throw caution to the wind and just get the thing done. Right? Yeah. You know. Right.
    “And if an author has delighted readers once, she can do it again, doubts and distresses be damned.”
    I’m framing this.

  2. dear mr. prolific, i am still wondering (oh me of little faith) if yu are working on yer magnicent novel or procrastinating by posting daily? i am just selfishly wanting more chapters you see….
    however, it is admirable that you are posting, it counts because you are WRITING :-)

    1. Hey, now. Procrastination is not necessarily the opposite of productivity, for any writer. If you set a reasonable deadline or word count and stick to it, include time to procrastinate. Yes, I’m writing, so I end up blogging more. But let’s see…who is procrastinating and leaving so many comments for readers to enjoy? :) Hey, nothing to be ashamed of. Just be sure you’re also committing yourself to produce a certain number of words per day. I’m reading Steinbeck’s “Working Days”–his journal for Grapes of Wrath. His goal was 2000 words/day. I’m more of a 500/day kind of guy. But 300 is doable for me. And that does include “procrastinating” by processing blog posts and such. ;) But thanks for the continual support, you two. Appreciate all you give.

  3. “No dilemma an author can write could possibly leave readers unmoved if it is fully and imaginatively presented.”

    Bingo.

    I’m thrilled that I’m at a place in my writing that I can feel that now. That there is more I can give to the story. That I can challenge myself more to make it better. Not settling just to get it done. No. To make sure it’s fully and imaginatively presented. What’s wonderful about this feeling is that it’s not one of pressure. Even when I can’t execute what I’m seeing in my head right now, I know with practice I will eventually and if not, then I’ll ask for help. But I refuse to settle with the story when I feel that it can be more.

  4. let’s see…procrastination = productivity
    i can go for that!
    really it’s all lovely isn’t it?
    and i super appreciate jenelle.m’s “No dilemma an author can write could possibly leave readers unmoved it if is fully and imaginatively presented.”
    that moves me!

    1. Jenelle rocks! She’s got it going on! I don’t think there’s a thing wrong with procrastination actually. Im president of the club.
      But sigh…that’s going to have to change fairly soon I do believe.
      What’s that they say – be careful what you wish for – HA! :)

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