>to publish or to perish?
>or, what in the world am I doing with this writing thing anyway…
or, aren’t there any other options?
or, why does that question make me feel like an imposter?
What it comes down to is a threat. Starting out with an assumption that I’m going to promote and sell a product threatens that part of me that is in this for the play and the fun, the beauty and the discovery of creating. It’s pressure, to have in the back of my mind that I’m supposed to be promoting myself, that I’m supposed to have a “platform” and that I have to be thinking with the market in mind. Even as I typed that sentence, I sighed and rolled my eyes at least twice. And I thought, “oh, eww.”
I must be such a luddite, so behind the times, such a contrarian. I’m a publisher’s worst nightmare before I even get a word written.
Lately I’ve been debating (with myself, of course, as I’m the only one I talk to) about why exactly I blog and why I blog anonymously, about why exactly I write but don’t desire to put my name out there, about why I’m not writing and submitting. Is it that I’m a coward? If I don’t commit with my name, then I’m not putting the chips in the pot, I’m not ready to play with the “big boys,” right? Is it that I have some stupid notion of artistic purity? Is it that I’m just looking for excuses to be lazy? Is it that I haven’t found a single example of how to make the system work in a way that makes me comfortable and so I assume the only option is to not engage the system at all?
This, above all my other excuses, is why I balk at writing, why I don’t get writing done. At least, saving grace, the projects I’m working on are all embedded in a process that at this point doesn’t involve writing (I’m only planning and revising right now). If I had to just sit down and try to write something, I’d be frozen with the whole tangled mess hanging over my head, pretending to be a motivating factor. Maybe it’s a motivating factor for some folks, but I’m seriously deviant from some folks. Well, I take it back, I do get some writing done, a few small things, but definitely, the fact that this is supposed to be the end-all, be-all of motivators has me pussyfooting around my work desk, casting suspicious glances at my notebooks, darting off to the other room to miserably dawdle at the housecleaning.
I’ll let you know when I find an answer to it. I’d love to hear from anybody in the universe who has an even remotely similar sense of hesitation, and whether or not overcoming it or not overcoming it proved to be a good decision in the end.
obviously, not a new topic for me.