Kicking a Gift Horse in the MouthPosted: August 13, 2012
The title says it all. I just spent the last 9 years or so repeatedly kicking a gift horse. In the mouth.
Why would I do such a thing? I can think of a zillion words that describe my writing journey. And knowing that each one somehow belongs to me makes me feel more than a little ashamed of myself. Let’s give it a go, shall we: apathetic, detached, indifferent, remote, withdrawn, lackadaisical. I think you get the picture. BUT…there’s a big but. The actual BIC writing time—I am always serious, always attempting to do my best. I don’t slouch when it comes to the writing. That’s the part that allows me to escape. I have always honoured it as much as I could.
But, ACK, the business end. The getting things done end. I’ve been so weak. So nonchalant. Ooh, there’s another good word I must claim. No more, though. I’ve come to a point in my writing life where I feel I have to force myself to connect, to stop detaching. To own my writing and respect it…to see where it will go beyond me. The first couple of novels I wrote…I’d get some kind of extreme pleasure deleting them. It was the writing I longed for, not the result. It took a long time for the result to mean anything. It just felt like I was done, once I got the story out.
With two books published, I’m finding a small bit of confidence I never in a million years imagined I would have. With seven or eight more finished novels on my PC, I have come to a point where I feel I should stop kicking that horse. I need to take this more seriously. I need to edit, revise, respect—those manuscripts can sit there rotting, or I can give them the time they deserve and clean them up and send them along their merry way. What’s the worst that can happen?
A vow to myself. Respect the hours of hard work that I put in…by taking the next step when I have a completed manuscript. See things through. Stop detaching from everything. Writing has been very very good to me. It’s time to take the foot out of the horse’s face and give it a little pet. Horses won’t stand there forever and allow a person to keep kicking them. Sooner or later, the horse is gonna say, “Screw it!” I don’t want it to come to that. I want an amicable relationship with this horse. Time to put my foot down and get down to business!