I confess, sometimes I don’t feel I’m doing the best as a writer of fiction. I’m constantly being reminded that I have a gift for humor. Sometimes I’ve noticed I’ve stripped out the humor in my work. I’d like to keep the humor. It’s my hope that someone will read this post and draw some inspiration from it. If not it was a good exercise for me to think about how I write and how to improve myself.
I noticed, on many occasions, when I write fiction, it’s far too uptight. The uptightness is reflection of my state of mind at the time. I get uptight, worried, and try to make the material the best thing you can read. It makes the material overworked and thus stripped of enjoyment of writing, and reading. I firmly believe that if a story is excruciating to write, then it’s excruciating to read.
There are a couple of paradoxes that I’ve noticed in my writing techniques that I want to address and adjust. First, I labor too hard on some of the material. I have no issue with rewriting any of my prose, screenplays or poetry. However, rewriting is not the issue. The issue is when I write, and I have this anxiety over making sure every word is perfect, nuanced, intelligent, and rethought. I do this all the time. And sometimes what’s funny in the material gets sanitized and dry. Let me restate that this is not editing. Editing is revising for clarity. Fussing over material is me thinking it’s not good enough.
Second, I have, in the past, written for friends, and I didn’t put too much thought behind the process. I simply wrote out what came to mind. I didn’t see myself as funny. I just saw myself is capable of writing a story with a beginning middle and end. I was being playful, carefree, goofy, and anxiety didn’t have a time to grow. Friends who read the material, told me the enjoyed reading what I wrote. It made them laugh, and in turn it made me feel good. That was me being me. Humor must be zen-like. If I don’t attach my anxiety, hopes and aspirations to the material I get positive results.
Maybe I need to create with the focus that I’m writing for friends. That may allow me to think as the carefree, goofy guy who happens to write, and not as the guy who has too many chapter one starts for his novel.
This doesn’t mean all my writing has to be funny. I’d like to think that if I have a strength in writing, I need to explore that talent. There are somethings I need to contemplate and improve.
As always, happy creative endeavors.