I’m falling out of love with YA fiction lately (temporarily I hope?) and in dire need of a good book to fall into. I just spent over an hour at the library today and left with a few non-fiction books to browse, but no fiction.
Am I taking this writing thing too seriously? Getting too snarky of my own process, my own “prose” then being hyper-critical of everything I read? I need some perspective.
In my feedly today, I found a post by Kristen Lamb1 discussing the three phases of becoming a writer (she says Master, but I’ll be stingy/self-critical/melodramatically despondent and say Writer to mean the same thing). My reading malaise places me slogging through phase two, likely near the beginning: “During the early parts of this phase, books likely will no longer be fun.”
In the outdoors, I’m something of a masochist. I love bushwhacking (think hiking, take away the trail, and add a 3d mesh of forest thicker than any jungle scene you’ve ever seen in the movies — bushwhacking with scratch, bruise and sometimes require cat-like weaving multiple meters off the ground — totally awesome). I should love this stage (love is a strong word… hate is too… I’m somewhere in stage 2 between the two?). At least it’s progress. My friend Dan tells me it takes ten thousand hours2 to become an expert at anything (apparently he was quoting Malcolm Gladwell); I’ve read it takes a million words of crap to write something beautiful. Currently, I’m still working on them. Hopefully, I can break for enjoyable reading before they’re through.
Thank you Kristen for your timely post.
1. In Kristen’s blog, she is generously offering a draw for a critique. An extra ballot is earned for mentioning her book, but I think, given the topic of the blog post, I can’t offer a fair referral or appraisal right now. I’ll have to check it out later.