Saturday, March 5, 2016

Saturday Blues...

Today was just boring. Nothing to do. I suppose I could have done laundry or tidied up a little, but I didn't. I just sat here being bored, played some Batman for a while, and watched two episodes of Transparent.

It worries me a little. This is what I felt like every day when I was on Prozac. It turned me into a zombie. This was just one day, but I guess it was productive in one small sense.

Tomorrow, I'm going to finish putting the studio back together. If I'm really lucky and everything works like it's supposed to, I'll do a show tomorrow night. It's time and I'm ready.

Another thing I decided today is that it's time to quit smoking (again). The Wellbutrin is finally starting to have an effect on my desire to smoke, so I cut back severely today and only smoked about half of what I normally do.

Also, I made one other decision today, maybe the most important one of all: It's time to start writing again.

I don't mean here or my column. Those are givens. I've got two unfinished books and I want to get them done. I may get really busy soon, but I've got the time right now so it's time to do it.

The first is my memoir. That's about half done, or at least the basic story structure is anyway. I need to finish that and then go back and flesh it out, make it more readable as well as fill in important parts of the story with more detail. I'm long overdue on this.

Then there's my other book, a novel. That one's further along, but I seem to have written myself into a dead end storywise. I need to reread the entire thing and then decide if I want to go back, rewrite a few chapters, and take the story in a different direction, if I want to try to continue working with what I have and try to write myself out of where I am, or maybe a little of both. This is a tough decision, because I'm very happy with the overall concept and the character development. I really don't want to mess with either but I'm just not sure the actual story is as good as it could be.

Obviously, I have some thinking ahead of me, but it's time to do that thinking and start acting on it. I've been avoiding it for too long.

I think part of the reason is that I'm afraid I'll discover that all that work has just created a big steaming pile of crap, or two piles as the case may be. I've always had trouble judging my own work objectively, and the closer I get to finishing these books, and the point at which it would be time to let others read them and judge for themselves, the more apprehensive I become.

It's kind of weird when you think about it. I mean, I'm a paid columnist for a commercial LGBT newspaper, sometimes more than one at the same time. I know I'm a good writer. Maybe not a great writer, but at least a good one, with perhaps occasional flashes of brilliance, or so I've been told.

The question I keep asking myself is am I a good enough writer to get people to actually plunk down real money to read an entire book I've written? Am I that good of a writer? The truth is that while of course I'd like to think so, I really won't know until I have something published and see how people react. Of course, as long as those books remain unfinished, I'll never have to face the answer to that question.

So yeah, that last decision is kind of a big deal. It's not just about doing the actual writing, it's about putting myself out there in a way I never have before. Asking people to stay with you for 800 or 1000 words is one thing, asking them to hang in there for 350 or so pages is quite another thing entirely. A good book writer has to be able to keep her reader engaged for a long time, several hours, and I just don't know if what I'm creating here can do that. I certainly think it's possible or I wouldn't even be bothering in the first place, but until I put it out there I really just can't be sure.

I suppose I'm just afraid I'll find out that I'm really just not as good at this as I like to think I am, and I think maybe that scares me, just a little.