Friday, June 14, 2019

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly of Writing

The Good

Getting to make stuff up. Getting to play God in my own private sandbox. When people in Real Life (TM) piss me off, I can smile and off them in horrifying ways in fiction. It's legal AND I get paid to do it. Some times, the reviews are even good. The moment a story comes to life - whether it's when the characters grab the reins from me or when, at that moment between waking and falling asleep, lightning strikes and I scramble up to madly scribble down the scene/dialogue/idea. It feels a little like the touch of the Divine. Or madness. Pick your poison.

The Bad
While I don't particularly want to wax idealistic about the whole tortured writer trope, because it's really, really tired, I admit that my process includes pieces of it. I recognize those pieces as an integral part of how books come together for me. While they aren't bad per se, they aren't pleasant places to linger, so we'll file them under 'Bad'. There's The Wall at about the 1/4-1/3 mark, where, despite a nice outline, I have no fucking clue what comes next. Once that's scaled, there's the Self-Doubt Swamp that coincides with what feels like a sagging middle. It consists of me wailing that nothing's happening! But it's a draft, right? So our emo heroine slogs onward through Wow, I Really Hate This Book (2/3 mark) and finally, finally, clears into How the Hell Do I Land This Thing?? at the climax. Then it all turns to good because somehow the story does get brought home and there it is. Shining and new and ready for edits. What? You thought I'd talk about rejection being bad? Nope. Rejection means I finished something and have a product to show for my efforts. That can only be a good thing. Even if everyone wants to tell me it's ugly. It may be ugly, but it exists. So there.

The Ugly
Maybe you saw my post Wednesday on Facebook. Maybe you didn't. It went something like this:
Hypothesis: The closer you are to a book deadline, the higher the likelihood your computer will go TU.
This, my friends, is the ugly part of writing. We're dependent on technology. It isn't that we can't work with pencil and paper - it's just so slow. Apparently, I am a product of my time. I adore my devices. But, Wednesday, my preferred device, my Surface Pro, decided to give up the ghost. It is in the care of professionals at the moment, who called me last night to say they couldn't save the current build and are going to have to reset the machine. <sob>
The Ugly: Potential for massive, morale and mental-health destroying data loss. BACK UP YER SHIT.
Or use cloud storage. I am in luck. Everything I write is saved to a cloud storage solution so I can access the most current file wherever I am on whatever device I happen to be using. You can't avoid the ugly, but you can mitigate the impact. Do that.


  1. I am glad you saved your work to the Cloud. Which reminds me to back up my pc! I have an external drive, but fail to do it monthly as suggested. Will schedule it to run ASAP. Thanks for the kick in the rump. Happy writing!!!

    1. PLEASE do back up!! Losing data is the kind of ugly cry no one wants to go through. :D