Peeling Back the Layers

Since June, I’ve battled myself trying to figure out what the hell I’m doing. I’ve contemplated giving up this writing path I’ve chosen because honestly, who’s reading? Who cares? Am I any good? Am I another screaming mouth in a cacophony of unintelligible noise?

It’s been frustrating. All writers fall into this pit at times–I think. It’s not a fun place to be.

I’ve tried “faking it till I make it,” manufacturing enthusiasm for my work. I’ve started writing challenges, mostly for myself, to push me forward. It’s been a half-assed effort on my part. I want to succeed more than anything. I think about what I should be doing all the time. Then when I have the time after work or on the weekend what do I do? Not enough.

It’s like my give-a-damn has left, taken a vacation or something. I’ve been seeking it, hoping to corral it again, make it behave, make it submit to my will. Instead, it’s on the run like a fugitive leaving me taunting notes and thumbing its non-existent nose at me. I swear if I catch it, it will pay dearly for its behavior.

I’ve been struggling with who I am as a writer. Am I a genre writer? What the hell does that mean anyway? What qualifies me as a writer? Do I have the right skills? Am I a fraud? At a recent event I had an older guy (one who drank a bit too much) ask me “What qualifies you as an author?” I’ll be honest, his question stopped me in my tracks.

Just because I put words on a screen or paid to have them printed on paper with a colorful cover, did that make me an author? Anyone can do that. Is it because I revised and edited and revised my work again? Who declared me “Jason J. Nugent – Author” other than myself? Do I need someone else to say it for it to be real? If so then I’m judging my entire writing career on the approval of someone else.

But what I write, I do for myself. The stories I create, the worlds I visit, the characters I interact with–I do that for me because I love it. I do it because I enjoy escaping to my worlds, my people, and my imagination. I suppose if I want to be successful I have to keep the reader in mind, and I do, but ultimately what fuels me is creation. My ability to craft stories I’ll enjoy leads me to eventually share them with others and build that same level of enthusiasm.

So why tell you this? Why whine about it to you my dear reader? Cause I can. Cause maybe out of the few that care, you’ll understand and not judge me too harshly. And mostly because I need to vent. I don’t normally share these kinds of internal thoughts and figured “what can I lose?”

It’s been difficult but those that have stayed with me over the years and even recent converts–THANK YOU! Writing is lonely but it’s awesome when you jump on board with me. I hope you’ll stay and find something valuable in what I do. If so, let me know!

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2 thoughts on “Peeling Back the Layers”

  1. Wow, Jason! I could have written this myself on any given down day. We just have to keep slogging along. For me, it’s a much more miserable feeling to NOT be writing anything. I start to feel guilty for cutting of the only voice my characters will ever have. If I don’t let them tell me their stories so I can tell others, who will? No one. Crazy as it sounds, every fiber of my being feels obligated to keep going. Why? I really don’t know. I just know it’s how I’m wired and what I’m supposed to be doing with my life. Write on!

    Liked by 1 person

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