There are lots of things I love about writing but the feeling of late night drelation (that’s a mix of dread and elation) when you’ve completed something new is one of the best.
I’m talking purely from a short story standpoint so I can only imagine the amplification that happens for a novel, but even on a 1000 words piece it’s a fun mix of emotions. The elation comes purely from that moment where you infer a childlike The End and sit back from the screen/page/typewriter/stone tablet. The dread follows swiftly thereafter.
What should I call it? Will anyone like it? Is it good enough to submit somewhere? Is it is as good as my best stories?
I’m just paraphrasing from a long, personal list. You probably have your own.
I finished a new story tonight that I quite like. The whole liking thing is probably a bad sign already. I’m not sure what to call it and I’m not (yet) sure if it’s up to submission standard anywhere but it’s real, it’s been sent to my faithful/brutal pre-submission readership and for my part I’m now going to ignore it for at least 24 hours.
The more stories I’ve written, the better (I believe) I’ve become at producing work with less errors in the initial draft. Regardless, I still have to go through the ritual of leaving it for a day or two, editing it, checking it, printing it out, reading it out loud, re-editing…and so on. I’m sure you all (those who write anyway) have your own ritual.
When it comes to the science/art/magic of writing I’m hopelessly out of my depth. My biggest fear is to one day have some actual success and then get asked a question that involves some kind of knowledge of writing in order to answer. That said, I do have one, unwavering stance when it comes to any form of writing – you have to make it the best that you can make it. Whether it’s a blog post, a scribble on the back of a napkin or a novel you should always strive to make it as good as you can make it. As someone who now reads a lot of short stories in his spare time there is nothing that pisses me off more than a decent story that has glaring errors. It feels to me as if the author has said great, cool I’m done – sod the mistakes – that’s what the editors of a short story site can sort out now that are lucky enough to have me entering their world.
Right, I’m off to lie awake agonising over my new story.
And the spelling mistakes that I missed in this blog…