Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What Do You WANT to Write?

It's actually kind of funny, because I've said, multiple times, that knowing the answer to this question is (and should be) one of the fundamental parts of writing. But when I sat down and asked myself, my answers were really pretty vague. I want to write something fun and beautiful, I want to write something of lasting quality. Statements like that mean only a little more than nothing.

The first things that come to mind are in terms of other people's fiction where I think "yeah, that's the sort of thing I'd like to write," rather than something really sui generis. For specific stories, I'll sometimes have a very clear picture of what I'm trying to achieve, but just as often I'll be flying be the seat of my pants, and vision is something that will come up int he rewrite. I don't think either is necessarily a bad way to work, but it has been weirding me out since I asked myself the question.

I'm also forced to admit that sometimes when I have a specific idea in mind for a story, particularly if it's ambitious or important to me, I start to slow down and fret every time the story veers away from living up to that expectation. I don't think goals are necessarily counterproductive- I tend to think you actually need them if you're going to right focused, directed fiction, but I also can't exactly ignore my own experiences with this pitfall.

So... all you out there in internet land- what is your relationship to goals writ large and for specific pieces of writing.

1 comment:

  1. Why yes, I distinctly remember you needling me about providing a similarly vague answer to the "What kind of thing do you want to write?" question. Feel my schadenfreude, bwahahaha!

    I find that what I value while reading and what I end up writing are often at odds. So, I'm happy to let others determine the vector and purpose of my writing for me as it arises from the text that actually ends up on the page. I have been told that this is because I am a literature major at heart, not a writer. That kind of thinking may or may not be bullshit, but it makes sense enough to me.