I’m trying too hard.
This, I imagine, is not uncommon among writers, especially ones like me who wish to actually start and finish their first work. The desire to write sometimes runs smack against wanting to write something important, something enlightening,something in which we can take pride, even if it isn’t anything we’d ever read ourselves.
The last part of that is what I’m running into now. I want to write a so-called serious, literary work, but I don’t read those. I don’t enjoy them. (Unless said work by Margaret Atwood. The lady can write.) I read horror and true crime, exposes of corporate stupidity (such as Conspiracy of Fools, an Enron study written by Kurt Eichenwald). I read collections of reviews of movies so stupid, it’s a wonder they were ever made. I don’t read literary fiction.
So why am I trying to write it? I’m not getting anywhere except frustrated.
There’s nothing wrong about writing non-literary fiction. If there was, if there was some social stigmata attached, hardly anyone would dare pick up a pen, or turn on their computer. Stephen King would not be so revered. He’s a horror author, not a literary fiction author. Although some of his works certainly come close to the classics in terms of length (and in many cases surpass them).
(Dear Mr. King: I’m teasing you, sir. I love your writing, and have been a big fan ever since I was a kid.)
So I’m going to, at least for the time being, give up trying to craft something terribly important, and just write what actually comes to mind, what flows, what is fun. I know, perish the thought. Writing what’s fun? Pfffft.
Once I let go of this idea — once I realized I was (again) trying too hard — I relaxed, about my NaNoWriMo project this year, and about writing in general. And appropriately enough, I then had an idea that would be fun to do, and fairly simple to boot!
I’m going to get started.