Writing, Worth, and Purpose

Dying is easy. Or giving up is easy. The trouble is how to know when you’re wasting your time on something (even if it’s what you decided to do since you were ten) or whether you just need a good dose of focus and hard work.

That’s been my dilemma for years now. I’m at attempt #3 for finishing a few novels, connecting with other writers, connecting with others in general, connecting with the writing world, finding people to share my writing with –

(i.e. beta readers! Cause I realized that I can write easily; I can even see where and how my rough drafts need help, but I have the hardest time trying to 1. Figure out to actualize these changes, 2. Actually actualizing these changes, 3. Seeing how to alter and change content/plot/characterization/dialogue. Basically, I’ve been thinking I could benefit from another pair of eyes on my writing. But that’s really difficult because I could throw like 10 things at a beta reader: 5 novels, 2 novellas, and a sprinkling of short stories and snippets. And that’s just included finished rough drafts.)

Sorry. Got distracted.

So. It’s the eternal question. Why do I write? Also: is writing worth it? Or more precisely: is my writing worth it?

When I had the chance to work on it and when I actually had people read my stuff (I can’t now since I have to make sure it’s perfect before I share it + the novels are still from 4 to 7 years ago)… I’m not sure where I was going with that sentence.

I don’t know.

Why should I write? I’m not…the right kind of writer. Worse, as part of an assignment in a writing class I’m currently taking, I was supposed to make a list of the stories I would never write / most painful events and memories. I won’t go into the former, and all I’ll say about the latter is my belief that my worldbuilding is a burden on the people I share with AND that my writing is fundamental boring, bland, and hollow are both deeply imbedded in my identity as a writer.

There’s always been something wrong about my writing. Some of this is probably because I’m a terrible speller, I never comprehended basic sentence or story structure, I have trouble with grammar (i.e. I’ll forget words, such as “it”, “the”, “an” and mix up words – I really can’t think of any examples but they’re usually, I think, nouns in the places of prepositions or vice versa), and I’m more analytic than creative. Heck, my earliest story was more a list of facts than about characters or plot.

Also, y’know, vaguer characters are more interesting. That’s why myth and fairy tales are cool. At the same time, when I do write something that I feel has good characters and a good plot (and the idea that I could do that, if I just worked harder) is a really incredible feeling. The only downside is the lingering certainty that 1. No one else will ever care about my characters so why should I bother? (or why not let someone else write about them?), 2. I’m just fooling myself to think I can do this.

Not the actual doing it, either. I can write. I can take classes. I can join writing groups. I can have writing blogs (for what? For why??). But there’s always that little whisper: is this really what you should be doing? What about science!? You know, the thing that got you excited in school? Even that biology class you had to take in high school that was really hard? Like, you still love that kind of stuff me. Animals and nature and geography and stars and space! Remember when someone visited your high school and brought moon rocks!! And there’s visual art – like what’s with that? Why is it easier to conceptualize art and color? But you never went to school for art because it seemed like too much work and you didn’t want to make a living off art. Though it’s fun for a hobby. And then there’s the messy nexus of fairy tales, mythology, religion, ancient history, Classics, epics, theology, philosophy, translation history and where they intersect as literature, as historical context, and with each other.

The real problem is that some of those things (science!, art, and fairy-mythology-history-theology-philosophy) are kind of my inspiration for writing. Modern authors? Actual authors? What if scenarios? HA! Let’s mythologize fairy tale characters into Catholic style Saints! That’s interesting!! Or just science! as a source of inspiration: biology, geography, space, stars, botany, animal behaviorism, conservation, genetics, etc. You know. Fun stuff.

Heck, some of this is correlative to what I realized about how I conceptualize information and create in general. To me, it’s not about characters or stories; it’s about data. Data about chronology, characters, history. Fact recording. Basically, my mind is a very pedantic place. The trouble is that I’m not geared toward ~~creativity~~.

So, what do I do? Should I keep writing? Or am I fooling myself?

I could write more about this, but I feel blah.

(Actually another trouble with a blog or a place where I talk openly about my thoughts and feelings is that loads of it doesn’t make sense if you don’t have history behind what I’m talking about.)

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