|Lyrics Booklet for LowCountry, EOTC|
This piece of lyrical gold came through my door this morning, which made me smile. I know, I'm being out of date because this band stopped existing months ago. But I'll still be listening to the music they made, and I'll still be marvelling at the lyrical genius contained in this booklet. I thought they might have sold out, but was pleasantly surprised.
I hesitated before writing here again. I wondered if I've posted too much. But then I thought, whatever, because this is a writing journal, and I'm speaking about writing. It just so happens that I have ridiculous amounts of time on my hands.
Anyway. The point. My word count remains the same as yesterday, unfortunately. However, I wrote 2,300ish words the day before, which I thought was good. I've been working on the ending again, and it's coming together quite nicely. November 30th still looking possible.
But, I have a confession. That little niggling doubt is creeping in once again. Who on Earth would want to read this thing I'm referring to as a 'novel', when what I mean by that is the record of pretend lives of fictional people who live in my head? Or, more to the point, even if people want to read it (and a few do, apparently), I'm seriously doubting whether they'll a) get through the whole thing without getting bored or b) finish reading it and not think of a million other things that deserved their time above it. And I'm worried that it's all very silly. I never used to take myself seriously as a writer. Call it humility or whatever, but I just took for granted the fact that there was no real skill beneath the scenes I concocted on a bright white computer screen.
However, since doing my course, I've kind of had to take my writing a little more seriously. And it's starting to scare the hell out of me, because I'm convinced that at the end of it all I'm going to end up looking like a pretentious git who can string some words together just like any literate graduate worth their salt. That's what I feel like right now. A pretentious git.
Because this all feels rather silly again. The thing I’m very aware of is that it’s easy to be optimistic before I’ve encountered The Industry, and while my only critic is my significant other who, to the point and ruthless as he is, loves me dearly and is invested in these characters because he’s invested in me. But I know, with absolutely no doubt in my mind, that if I am ever lucky enough to have an agent/publisher/editor read through my work, it’s going to be peeled back, stripped down, torn apart, rearranged, or even just laughed at.
And then what on Earth am I supposed to do with the knowledge that I’ve wasted four years of my life?
I suppose I've whined enough. I've been thinking about our use of words. And I speak for myself first and foremost; I think I have a habit of being over-enthusiastic in my use of adjectives. For example, using the word 'amazing', when I really mean, 'quite good', or perhaps some string of words that is more in-depth but less glorifying. I say this, because I am very much of the belief that words are important. We should dish them out with care.
If somebody says something I've done is 'amazing', and then in the same breath also comments that the price of milk has gone down, which is 'amazing', I'm unlikely to take their praise seriously.
My Grandfather was someone who had high standards in life, and as an artist was honest, critical and analytical. Often he would look at my work and tell me it was 'Ok'. Sometimes I managed a 'Good', and on rare occasions he said my work was 'Very Good'. When Granfer told me my work was 'Very Good,' I felt a genuine sense of achievement, because he really meant it when he said it. He was not the sort to dish out compliments for the sake of it.
And I like that. I would rather have got hundreds of 'Ok's with an explanation of why and how to improve, as he always did, than one 'amazing' that wasn't meant from the heart.
And I don't mean we should never respect little things that may not be perfect. I'm all for appreciating little things in life that make us smile. But perhaps our standards for dishing out words like 'amazing' should be kept respectfully high, just so we can give to others that same sense of achievement that Granfer gave to me.