I had my mid-project review over the weekend. It was gently suggested that I might be on the wrong track, which I heard as, “You’ve left the track entirely and wandered away into the woods surrounding the track, naked and without a bag of breadcrumbs.” My brain is a serious paraphraser.
My mother taught me to read when I was two. She also taught me that sparrows were called California brown hopping birds, and that a lady never shows her emotions, so it was kind of a mixed bag. At any rate, I rocketed into kindergarten with some serious skills and I spent the next several years being gifted. It was my thing. It all exploded in the 9th grade when I discovered the emotional balm of drugs and boys, but that’s beside the point.
The point is that I’m not good at failure. And failure is an intrinsic part of a writer’s development. Sometimes you have to figure out what you are not in order to know what you are. It’s taken me years to learn that, and it hasn’t been painless.
Ouch: I’m setting aside a huge chunk of pages that simply aren’t working and I’m going to come at the process from another angle. I’ll talk about that in an upcoming blog post, because right now it feels fragile and undeveloped, like that mushy place on a baby’s head that takes months to fuse together. (Fourth-grade me wants you to know it’s called a fontanel. Fourth-grade me was kind of a pill.)
Right now, for your viewing pleasure, I present the first of Yuvi Zalkow’s hysterical, poignant, and very, very true animated series on being a failed writer. It’s long, but totally worth it. It’s the drugs and boys of my grown-up writer life.