Coming Clean

While I have been editing, work has been eating my brain. I’m up for a new job, but the stress and angst associated with it have been playing havoc with my creativity. I’ve also been going through a sort of transition about my thoughts in regard to writing and creativity.

So, as I’ve been writing, editing, and becoming more familiar with the life of published authors, I’ve learned a few useful things:

1. This is a hard, old lonely road these folks are walking. A lot of them spend time angsting and unhappy.
2. Don’t quit your day job (subsistence living is also a hard road)
3. Deadlines give them much creative angst.

Hrm. Okay, so after some thought…

Yup, still gonna write, and try to publish, but I really don’t want to get on that hamster wheel. Someone I know signed a three contract book deal, and has written two of the books. She’s making progress on the next book, but is having some depression issues and self-doubt issues. Well, she’s entitled. She just cranked out two books in two years, and during one of those years, she worked full time! Man, that’s harsh! OF COURSE you’re going to feel less than peak! Of course your brain will rebel! No longer art, the book’s become a product. Do I want that? She doesn’t, but she’s on the wheel.

What I’m saying is that I like my life, even though the administration of my school has been yanking me around a bit. 🙂 It’s not that I’m choosing teaching over writing. I am a writer and a teacher. So, what am I saying?

What writing means to me isn’t so much publicity, or so many deadlines. It’s not even necessarily getting my work published, although I most certainly will try. It’s leaving something I’ve said after me. It’s doing art. Doing important art. Tolkien took 30 years to write an important story. Well, why not? I have my mad money, my bills covered, and my insurance. So why not take the time the story needs? Surprisingly, I’m not an attention whore (no one more surprised than me there), especially now that I’m in fan fiction recovery. So why not take the time the story needs? I have folks who know the work, and more will come to read the work as I get the word out, and I won’t write crap, or compromise my quality of living to write for money hungry publishers who would break you on the Wheel of Pain (TM). Yeah. Gross overgeneralization. Not everyone believes in the hamster wheel. But you know, I’ve just seen a lot of angst and anger recently, and I’m just not gonna go there. I’m not doing that to myself.

Blah, blah, blah, idealized, unrealistic picture in today’s world, if you don’t sell, you’ll never keep your work out there, blah, blah, blah.

Well, big feckin’ deal. If I can’t get in the Publishing Door, there’s got to be some way to get your work out there, leave it for people who want to read it. Who knows? We might be able to do something cool and innovative. We are a pretty creative bunch.

I’ll keep at it, and I’ll knock on the conventional doors first. I just want to keep my soul. The special work that lasts seems to come from authors who keep their souls.

As a result of these thoughts, I’m going to return to my writing this week, but I’m going to try and let it come more naturally, and worry about it less. I want to have a separate life from writing, to have something to write about, and rather worry about publication, a book a year, or something, I’m going to try to let the book decide when it’s done.

Not a good idea for a procrastinator, but since that’s not my natural habitat, I should be fine.

At any rate, I hope to have that outtake scene done by the end of this week.

Wish me luck, and less angst.


Author: Catherine Schaff-Stump

Catherine Schaff-Stump writes fiction for children and young adults. Her most recent book, The Vessel of Ra, is the first book in the Klaereon Scroll series. She is currently working on its sequel, as well as penning the middle grade adventures of Abigail Rath, monster hunter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.