Chaos Theory

“Before the beginning of great brilliance, there must be chaos.  Before a brilliant person begins something great, they must look foolish to the crowd.” — I Ching

In that case, my novel will be AMAZING!  Ha!

One of the things I have had to work to overcome (and is this true for other writers, I wonder?) is the desire for praise/acceptance from people who are important in my life.  Case in point:  both of my older sisters will acknowledge (if they must) that I can write, but they both state they dislike what it is that I write, my subject matter.  That bothered me for awhile (I mean, hey, we all crave acceptance from our families, right?) until I realized that I had to view them as random readers, anyone who might pick up my work.  Some will like it, some won’t.  And that’s okay.  The important thing is that I like it.

Which, of course, leads me to that writer conundrum of never entirely being satisfied with a piece of work.  At which point do we say “Enough!” and stop tweaking it?  It becomes a case of gut-feel.  Even then, I have gone back to published work months or years later and cringed.  The itch develops in my fingers to rewrite, make tighter, do better.  Sometimes I indulge, although that can feel like beating a dead horse, as it were.  Better to take that desire to write tighter and better to the next piece of writing.  (Obviously if we’re talking about a piece that hasn’t yet been published, that’s a different kettle of spam.  If there’s hope left in a piece — and it isn’t total shite — work that sucker!  If nothing else, you’ll learn from the process.)


About Melissa Crandall

Longer ago than I care to admit--although I will--I cut my writing teeth on fanzines and media tie-in novels. Since then, I've moved on to narrative nonfiction, speculative fiction, and essays. I write to explore and understand the world around me, the things I see and experience nearby or from a distance. If I shake myself up, cool. If I shake you up, even better. Not gratuitously--what's the point in that?--but to set what I know, or think I know, on end and realize, "Well, doesn't it look different from this side!" My work is neither sexually explicit nor graphically violent. Let's face it - your imaginations will come up with things far worse than anything I could write, no matter how descriptive. Besides, it's just not my thing. I live in Connecticut with my supportive husband Ed, a cat named Ruby who might just think she's a dog, and an epileptic Australian shepherd named Holly who isn't quite certain anymore who she is, except she knows she loves her mommy.
This entry was posted in Connecticut, Darling Wendy, fantasy, Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mainstream Fiction, Melissa Crandall, Science fiction, Speculative Fiction, Writer, Writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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