Tuesday, February 4, 2014

My Solution to Being a Perfectionist - Day 3

My Solution to Being a Perfectionist - Day 3

I feel better about my writing today.  I wrote in my journal until my fountain pen ran out - that was several pages, and its a big journal...
While I was writing I thought about a conversation my husband and I had about 'truth in writing'.  And I realized I disliked so much of my writing because frankly there was little truth in it.  As a singer I am kinda good at telling the truth in song.  Technically I may be shady, but I know the value of  authentically communicating the story or emotion behind a song. I don't sing often, but when I do - its a song I personally connect with.  My standard for success is if I felt the audience "get it".  If I feel them with me as I sing.  

But as storyteller - I've lost it a bit.  Today while writing in my journal I wondered why I was writing about a depressed rich divorcee who had moved to the East Coast from LA.  What the hell do I know about having a jerk for a husband and moving across the country alone and depressed.  Now, I believe that if you are skilled enough, you can write a story about anything and make it authentic enough that the reader "gets it". Think about the plots of Harry Potter or The Wizard of Oz.  Its the skill of the writer that makes you believe. But the story has to ring true regardless of the plot. 

I realized there was nothing faulty with my plot.  It's just that nothing rang true.  So I started over.  I am making no plans, except to write everyday, so I granted myself the allowance to start my story over.  I'm not doing any research this go around and since I am not writing for anyone except myself I decided to write from a place I know well.  On some level a writer should want to to tell the story they are writing.So I restarted my story basing my characters on people I know well in situations and environments I know well. It made the writing easier and (dare I say it?) better.  Sounds logical to write what you know.  However, I am sure I am not the only writer who has forgotten that element of wisdom while caught up in the wonder of spinning a tale.  Don't get me wrong, my story is still ludicrous and far fetched. But at least its a lunacy rooted in what I know.

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