Jackpot

Bloggity blog blog time.

Man, these classes I am taking are a lot more time consuming than I thought they’d be. Here I thought I was going to be taking some easy A’s, you know? Just something that would let me bank some G.I. Bill money and have time to scribble down some words for a book. Instead, I end up spending hours trying to hammer out fake proposals for an IT business that doesn’t exist and having zero time to work on fiction writing.

Somebody call the Wahhhhmbulance.

All whining aside, I did recently get a great idea for a story that I am going to work on tonight. I guess I should be thankful that even when I’m not writing as much as I would like to, I still think up a decent amount of ideas for short fiction. Plus, I still have the next installment of this novel series figured out so it’s not like I am totally stagnating.

Speaking of a writing idea, I have had an interesting experience lately talking with my wife about writing. She is enrolled in two writing classes right now and one of the things she keeps coming up against is lack of ideas that turn into anything worth writing. Man, can I empathize with that! I have a folder on my computer that is jammed with “dead” stories — tales that began as something that seemed pretty cool but went absolutely nowhere. Now in her writing classes she’d been getting a whole lot of experience with just this sort of thing.

Talking to her about it made me think about how much of my writing turns out to be crap and how frustrating it can be. I’ll start a story, hammer away at it for a while, and then find it has died somewhere between my brain and my fingertips. It’s times like those that make me want to slam the laptop shut and give up writing. Reruns of Law & Order on Netflix never seem so appealing as they do right then.

The thing is, experience has taught me that this is just another part of writing. In some ways writing it’s analogous to a slot machine that I’ve plunking quarters into for a while. There’s something about the way I drop in the coin, or how hard I pull down the arm that’s going to make the dough start plopping out. For me, every coin I put in is like my time. Whenever I write I’m choosing to spend a little bit of my finite life in the pursuit of that jackpot. I know that I can hit the jackpot because I’ve done it before, but I’m not entirely sure when it’s going to happen next. The one thing I know for sure though is that the moment I give up is the moment I have decided that I am not going to be a writer. And me, I really want to be a writer.

Hopefully the whole “slot machine” analogy made some sense to someone. If not, oh well. I’ve got to get going, but I am going to work on something new that’s been bouncing around in my head the past few days.

Time to drop the quarter in and see if I can get the thing to pay out.

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