I mentioned a few blogs back that I’m working once again on a novel I initially started about ten years ago. How that passage of time occurred, or where I was while it unfolded, I truly cannot say. It’s rather eye-opening to think how much productive time I lost by avoiding the pain of really buckling down. Had I worked out the kinks in the manuscript back then, the story could have more quickly resembled something close to the state it’s in now, lo these many years later.
What’s most humbling to me, however, is the idea of how much I absolutely did not know about writing a novel ten years ago, but was thoroughly convinced that I did.
The difference between the opinion that I held of my writing back then, as opposed to what I think about it now, is the acquisition of knowledge. Specifically, knowledge about the art of writing. More simply put is to say that I have recently decided to dive deeply and take the time to hone my craft. Now that I have started in earnest, I can confidently say that I’ve begun to accomplish a whole new level of writing.
It’s not that I became a better writer. Perhaps I did not. ‘Better’ is a subjective term. It is only that I became a more involved writer. What does that mean? Mostly that I am now aware of many more components of writing. This awarenesss, while wonderful to be sure, is also perhaps responsible for the anxiety that more intensely accompanies my efforts. The devil is in the details. More details, more devil. Damn!
The same question that surely must have always been there in my mind, even as I was only beginning to understand what it means to pick up a pen and write, now cries out in a voice that is deafening – Am I getting it right? The worry, the stress that I feel now is surely more intense than it was when I didn’t know what I didn’t know.
And certainly I’m not suggesting that I’m done with the honing. No no…the self-flagellation shall continue. So the future surely carries only one message for me: be prepared for more suffering. Oh, what misery have I wrought?
This must be why the saying Ignorance is Bliss feels comfortable sliding in here, since it seems so appropriate to express such sentiments. Knowledge is power? Maybe. But be prepared to acknowledge that, the more you know, perhaps the more you don’t want to know.
To hone your craft can only mean one thing-you will become much more unhappy as a result. But maybe, it might also mean that you will one day achieve literary greatness. Hmm…
Better keep writing, anyway, you wretched, miserable soul!