Staring at a Blank Page

There’s a great comic strip from The Oatmeal about creativity.  Rachael often likes to quote from it when she’s having one of her “I’m a hack!” days (“creativity is a river”).  Typically, I’m okay with not having to remind myself of that, because I’m not making a serious effort to break into a writing market.  I write when I feel like writing, and I’m usually content with whatever I produce.  Sometimes I go for weeks or even months without doing any new fiction or looking at my old work, and that doesn’t usually bother me.

Fiction Stacks

Look at all that glorious fiction. (Photo credit: chelmsfordpubliclibrary)

Today I felt a little different.

See, Rachael’s having a lot of success with her writing recently, what with getting several nanofictions and a microfiction produced on The Drabblecast, and she’s also turned out some stellar longer pieces recently (she’s not published them yet, so I can’t tell you about them, but I think they’re awesome and have a great, green envy monster hanging over my shoulder when I read them).  I’m incredibly happy for her, and I love that she’s seeing some success.  For me though, I feel a little bit unimpressive by comparison.

I haven’t published anything except what I post on my blog.  I don’t devote sizable portions of my free time to practicing with new pieces of fiction.  I don’t even tinker with stuff that I’ve already written.  Though I claim the writer label, I’m not a very good practitioner of the art form.

Keep in mind that I’m talking mostly about fiction here; my blog’s been a great outlet for writing nonfiction, but that usually boils down to expressing my opinion, which I’ve been doing for about twenty-five years in one form or another.  It doesn’t really take the same kind of effort as fiction writing.

So coming back to today.

That flash fiction contest that I mentioned I had entered has been going along great for about a week now.  There’ve been a lot of really good stories posted, and I’ve gotten a kick out of reading and commenting on them over at the Escape Artists forums (a side note: you’ll have to register and comment once in the forums before you can view the stories).  The only thing is that my submission’s not doing as well as I would have liked (I can’t say hoped, because my entry was very much a last minute thing that I did one rewrite on before submitting it), and it’s left me feeling less than confident in my fiction skillz.

My feelings on the matter really are stupid though, because I know full well that I didn’t put in very much effort in the first place.

Still, I’m left with this feeling that I need to justify myself as a fiction writer, but I’m at a loss for ideas.  Creativity is a river, but mine feels like a dried up bed.  So here I sit, staring at a blank page, wanting to make something up, but feeling like all I can do is give you my opinion.

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One thought on “Staring at a Blank Page

  1. Pingback: Victory Lap! | Catchy Title Goes Here

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