It occurred to me today that I am a sort of everyman, workaday version of a writer. I understand stories, and enjoy them. Read them and tell them. I don’t really write fictional ones, though. I write to communicate, to explain, to describe, to analyze and to predict things.
I write to understand the world and to understand myself.
I am satisfied with every part of my writing life except my fiction. My fiction is not really improving, and it is because I am not producing it and I am not secure enough to let people read it when I do produce it. I told that to a class of college seniors yesterday, right after I told them writing is hard for everyone but everyone can get better. I used it as an analogy to explain the importance of finding someone to read your work and give you feedback.
The reason there’s been so little posting here, and Sourcerer’s content has drifted the way it has this week is because I had to put the time and energy that I would normally spend on four or five blog posts into presentation materials.
Those presentation materials are designed to teach practical writing and research skills. The presentations went well, and the feedback allowed me to see what I need to do with them. I’ll work on them through the Spring, have a dozen or so smart and caring people workshop them over the summer. By fall I will have five or six presentations I can use to do some good to help people along, and they will be suitable for 1- or 2-hour meetings.
Probably not keeping my New Year’s resolution, then. I doubt I’m producing thousands of words of fiction this year. I just have too much other stuff to write. But hopefully I will live long enough to produce one kick-ass fantasy epic. If I manage to do that, I will consider myself a successful fiction writer.
Helping less-experienced people along is important. Most of the blogs I frequent are either run by more experienced bloggers who are helping me along, or less experienced ones that I am doing the same for.