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Friday, March 13, 2015

Work in Progress Friday: Matt Summell Explains Why Writing Is Hard

In a post from a member of the Insecure Writers Support Group, I found this post by author Matt Sumell. I feel this one. I plot and plan now more than I used to, and I'm on my third draft of anything I'm writing the first time my fingers touch keyboard keys to record my ideas. Draft three rarely bares more than slight resemblance to draft one. I spend so much time recovering from memories -- putting experiences into useable art -- and keep my fingers busy without being productive. It happens.

The road not taken is not the road forgotten. [MorgueFile]

And it's never the big scary or sad memories. It's the description of someone's hair that reminds me of someone I used to know. It's the color of the sky that I never quite get on paper because it takes me to a different place and time. I get lost there. It's the reason I remember the (really, it's not) silent letter C -- because an ex used to tease me about it -- and other grammar rules that are deeply embedded in my daily usage. It doesn't matter who dumped whom or what the circumstances were. Even the worst date had something funny: the purpose of some lives IS to serve as warnings to others. Looking back, many of my warnings were hilarious.

And then there's the moments where I can't breathe. And it's all these teeny straws that just can't be explained to someone who wasn't there back then. The camel's back is broken, but each little piece of hay seems insignificant for explaining the memory. These little straws have me running for covers and my couch -- or wide awake at 3am, reminding myself to breathe.

And like this blogger, it's why I can say sincerely that although I might have drawn upon some experience in creating my fiction, no character is ME. I mean, they're all me. Jagged pieces of me.


Phyl Campbell writes fiction, non-fiction, and pretty much whatever floats her boat. She's struggling to finish editing a book of grammar, which just exacerbates all her typographic fears!!