I mention Jon Acuff quite often in my Facebook posts and Twitter Tweets. I find him down-in-the-soul funny and always look forward to his posts and insights. Yesterday, however, I re-posted his entry inquiring about writers of which he might not be aware and asked his reading audience to suggest some names.
I was amazed to read his comments throughout the day and to see my name pop up occasionally. Seriously people, you are ridiculously nice. The things you said…. I mean, wow.
Here are 15 truths about writers (which applies from the aspiring novice to the John Steinbeck’s of the world):
1. Every idea we write about, must first go through a red pen hacking stage
2. Then it is trashed as the most asinine idea we have ever had – What was I thinking?!
3. Then we look at it, lying there at the bottom of the trashcan and we…well, we kind of miss it
4. There’s a process to ironing out a crinkled, wadded up piece of paper
5. Deep breath
6. Try to re-write it (which 95.7% of the time takes a completely different turn than originally planned)
7. Undercurrents of self-okayness begins to emerge
8. I think this might be pretty good. Yes, YES!, it IS pretty good. I think I will publish it.
9. Publish button pushed.
10. 5 minutes pass and no one comments
11. Maybe I shouldn’t have included that personal part in paragraph two. That probably turned off the reader.
12. …….Refresh the screen
13. Why did I think I could write? Who am I fooling?!
14. I need to go back to retail work. Clearly writing is not for me.
15. Not only can I not write. I just pretty much suck as a human being.
I’m not kidding. Every time something comes out of my fingertips and into the public’s eye, this self-brutalization cycle is experienced.
Blogging is particularly difficult because it feels like you’re just talking to yourself most of the time. It’s not like having a conversation with someone across the table where they are under more societal pressure to respond when you say something.
So to read your comments yesterday on Acuff’s blog….wow. And I have to admit – I went through another process yesterday too:
1. See a comment about my blog
2. Ctrl Copy. Ctrl Paste into a Word document.
3. Think about the person that wrote it
4. Be completely amazed and honored they took the time to write down something you had no idea they even thought in the first place (refer to #15 above: I suck as a human being)
5. Make a mental note to be best friends with that person for the rest of our lives.
Thank you for making me step out of my WMP (Writer’s Morose Process) for a few moments yesterday and kind of believe I had a general sense of okayness about my writing.
I appreciated it much more than you could ever imagine.