I sat with my head in my hands thinking about what I was doing. I keep writing short stories and I have no idea if they are good or bad.
I met an academic and he told me that I had an ‘’instinctual’’ style of writing, but in terms of anything of substance, he hated to say it but I was ‘’lacking.’’
I talked with a woman of letters I respect and she went into a long lecture about making sure key elements were covered off in my stories. She said ‘’Alan, I’ve read your work, but there always seems to be continuity and a story arch missing. That’s not to say your writing is bad, but perhaps you should take a different approach. I would suggest you do a draft, leave it for a few days, come back and either rewrite it, or buff it up. The idea of just throwing it out there for the world to see could be counterproductive.’’
I sat down with an individual who is very honest, and read her a couple of my short stories. The first thing she said when I was done was ‘’What’s the point? Why are you writing these stories? Are you getting well compensated, because if you’re not I don’t think you should spend much time writing. Are you getting thousands of readers? I understand that it’s a hobby, but why do you get so caught up in it? Maybe you should leave the writing to professionals.’’ I have to admit the last shot was a blow to my ego.
I tried to write a story the day after it was suggested that I leave the writing to ‘’professionals’’ and I couldn’t do it. I had a mental block that was massive and oppressive.
Every day for a week I sat down in front of my laptop and nada, nothing was clicking or happening. I’d start a story and hear a voice saying ‘’do it as a draft and come back to it.’’ All of a sudden I wasn’t having fun and I worried about ever being able to write again.
I was in the car coming back from the supermarket when I heard the song, ‘’Sing, Sing A Song’’. It was the lyrics ‘’Don’t worry that it’s not Good enough for anyone Else to hear Just sing, sing a song’’ that woke me up.
Writing is my escape from nonsense. When pressure mounts and things don’t go exactly as I’d like I can escape to my own Universe. When people don’t like what you’ve written that’s not your problem.
I realize that I have a need to write and I can’t worry about story structure or doing drafts, I just have to release my thoughts. As a matter of fact, as soon as I publish this story I’m going to write one about a celebrity who slid into my Direct Messages on Instagram. I am completely ready to get back to doing what I love to do.
Writing is my passion and in many ways my life. To those who enjoy reading my stories, Thank You. When I was a little boy my Dad always taught me that it was easier to be destructive than productive. I have always chosen and tried to follow the productive route.