“An author is a fool who, not content with boring those he lives with, insists on boring future generations.”
– Charles de Montesquieu
Uh-oh…my worst fear is happening right now, so I have to take a break from my story. And yes, I’m sure you have guessed it: I’M BORED. Not with writing it (though that sometimes happens, too), but in rereading it. Yet I can’t figure out if I’m getting bored because I’ve already reread and revised these same parts several times before or because these are just genuinely boring scenes that readers would get even more bored with.
Is it bad that my first instinct is to get up and walk away for the night rather than keep plugging through? I mean, it’s not like I’m a published author against a deadline, after all…yet I know that real writers do not wait for inspiration to write; it’s a discipline, and part of that discipline is trudging through when the going is difficult. That said, I’ve been looking at it for hours now, so if I mentally step away to dash off this post right now and then go crack open someone else’s novel to read, that’s also an investment in my writing future, no? And to continue over-rationalizing for myself, life has to exist outside of the storyworld as well if we’re to accumulate any authentic experience and emotion to be able to draw on for those stories—living life, versus only writing about it, is how we get our ideas (consider this post of inadvertent character-finding in “Of Characters and Other Weirdos” from the Write in Berlin blog).
“Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing.”
– Ben Franklin
I hear you, Ben, and will try my best to make the most of this night if I do, in fact, shut down the computer until tomorrow. And when I do revisit this little yawn-factory that is the last quarter of my story, I will be refreshed and ready to infuse some oomph into it. And I think corresponding with this boredom is my great knack for comparing myself to others’ writing again. And if the latter is the case, then maybe I need to adopt this mentality and just get over myself:
“My books are water; those of the great geniuses are wine. Everybody drinks water.”
– Mark Twain (1835-1910)
Well, hopefully I can work on becoming water and not the sleeping pill the water is washing down. Okay then, I’m off to get my sight back. If you ever encounter this same feeling, please cure my boredom with your comments!