Okay, so this probably doesn’t count as an “official” IWSG post, since it was supposed to go up on Wednesday and today’s, y’know, Sunday (and late Sunday at that) but…
I can’t believe I forgot about the first IWSG post of the year. That’s not a very good omen.
On the other hand, in my own defense, I started the year by promptly getting food poisoning. And then I was working on Wednesday, and so I had to go without food so I wouldn’t be running back and forth to the bathroom all day. So, yeah, I was distracted.
Uh, anyway, on the actual topic of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group…I actually am feeling surprisingly less insecure than usual about my writing.
It’s hard to be “insecure” when you feel like you really understand where you stand. I mean, my writing sucks. But I know it sucks, and I’ve come to accept that. I long ago gave up any pretensions of ever being able to publish it, after all. (In fact, I don’t even want to.) And having returned to fanfic, at least I’m writing things that a few people are reading. Not many, but more than will ever read anything original I’ve written, or might write in the future.
It might be argued that my feelings about my writing abilities aren’t “healthy,” but I see realism as being healthy, personally. Better to understand my lack of ability than to delude myself into thinking I have talent. (And while some of my writing’s flaws could be fixed with time and hard work, most of them are inherent in my self. For example, I don’t think visually, so I can’t possibly write descriptions, because I don’t actually know what anything I’m writing about looks like.)
So that brings me, in a round-about way, to the month’s topic question, about what writing rule you wish you’d never heard. I’ve seen other people post about “only write what you know” and “show, don’t tell” and I have to agree that I detest both of those maxims, largely because of my inability to put them to any kind of use. (If I only wrote what I know…yikes. A pathetic protagonist with no friends or other social life, and little to no knowledge of most basic life experiences; a quirky, pedantic character who is utterly immature and hides away from the world. Not someone you’d want to read about. Especially since, if I was to stick to what I know, she wouldn’t actually do anything.)
What bothers me, though, isn’t a writing “rule” as such. More of a…conventional perception, I guess?
It’s the notion — held especially by non-writers, in my experience — that there’s no point in writing if you’re not planning on publishing. The idea that any writing that isn’t intended to turn a profit is a waste of time.
I hate that.
Especially because it feels like the same people who tell me I’m wasting my time in writing something I don’t plan on publishing are the same people who sit around for hours every day just watching television. Because that’s really such a good use of time. If I enjoy writing a story, even though I don’t intend to show it to anyone else, how is that a “waste” of my time? I can’t imagine any way that sitting like a lump and watching TV would be a better use of time.