"In these pages many mysteries are hinted at.
What if you come to understand one of them?"

"Words let water from an unseen, infinite ocean
Come into this place as energy for the dying and even the dead."

"Bored onlookers, but with such Light in our eyes!
As we read this book, the jewel-lights intensify."

- Rumi

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hubris and the Inner Editor

I've been working on a separate blog post for a few hours, following up on where I left of last time.  Lost in a train of though, I went back to review what I'd already written, and wow I think I sound pretty arrogant.  Here I am, pontification on what makes good fantasy and bad fantasy and how we can relate that to how people play their characters in role playing games - all with only a piddly little short term contract with a gaming company for four tiny 500 word stories.  "My, oh my," I thought to myself, "what the hell am I doing?"

My inner editor kicked in, and I started thinking about the reactions people might have over that.  I saved that post and immediately brought up a new post to work though that here.  We writers are fragile gods.  Fragile gods.... I really like that, especially as a term to describe writers.

We craft whole new worlds, either alternate versions of earth or other planets entirely, populated with people who only exist in the ether of the imagination.  We play with these worlds, creating and destroying on a whim, at least in the  first draft; in future drafts creation and destruction are usually very calculate.  I am writer, how like a god!  Then I think about it a bit too long.  Someone says the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong moment.  I read something about craft and technique from one of my heroes.  And it all goes to crap.  I suck.  Why am I even trying?

This is the roller coaster that is my writing mind.  From what I've read about and heard about other writers, I'm not alone in this tumultuous love affair with writing.  Why must it be so?  Why oh why can't I be a Heinlein  or a Silverberg or and Ellison, though I suspect that they to have had moments of doubt.  Well, maybe not Ellison, or not that he'd admit in public.

That moment, although I've had many such moments in my life, made me realize that I've lived most of my writing career -- career in the sense of engaging in the act of writing, rather than in the sense of getting paid for what I've written -- in the state of being fragile; I need to really try and grab onto that god part more often.

Writers are such fragile gods.

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