After a good hour of typing away at my blog entry for this week, I clicked “Save” only to have it vanish into cyber-nothingness before my eyes. After the initial fury subsided, I was left with a queasy “maybe-somebody’s-trying-to-tell-me-something” feeling. While my blog-thoughts weren’t exactly original, they were what I’ve been pondering this week, but with my confidence shaken by the fateful “Invalid Entry” (the computer’s words, not mine), I’ll share only an abbreviated version of my original post.
South85 is honored to introduce our very first guest blogger. Rick Mulkey is the director of the low-residency MFA Creative Writing program and the BFA Writing program at Converse College in Spartanburg, SC. He is the author of four collections of poetry, including Toward Any Darkness and Before the Age of Reason.
Michio Kaku–”The mind of God is music resonating through ten dimensional hyperspace.”
I guess you could say some are born to write.
As a child, when other kids were outside playing kickball, I was holed up in some corner of the house reading the dictionary. Yes, reading the dictionary.
First drafts, even good ones, are terrible. It doesn’t matter if you are in your first workshop, writing your master’s thesis, or starting your three hundred and seventy-second novel, it will be bad. This is not a reflection of your skill as a writer, but rather a fundamental law. The E=mc^2 of writing, if you will.
Sometimes you realize that the story/chapter/poem/memoir/article that you’re writing is garbage. Not garbage in the sense that a few line edits might fix, but garbage as in this particular story/chapter/poem/memoir/article would be better if everyone involved just stopped what they were doing and took a nap. One of my stories (one I was particularly fond of) was completely torn apart after I sent it to an established writer for review. When I read this person’s suggestions (verbal beatings) I spent the rest of the day moping and feeling sorry for myself and realized my story was mostly garbage. A whole day later I sat back down, refreshed and determined to create anew and started to work on the story again. Only nothing would come out. The characters were bland, the plot was laughable at best, and all my words came out at a fourth grade level. Then my wife gave me some of the best advice I have been given as a writer to this day. She told me to give up on it (for a little while at least).