Saturday, July 12, 2014

are you in over your head?

This couldn't have crossed my desk at a better time. I so'o'o needed to hear this. It's from "The Mindful Writer" by Dinty Moore:

"If you don't feel that you are possibly on
the edge of humiliating yourself,
of losing control of the whole thing,
then probably what you're doing isn't very vital.
If you don't feel like you are writing
somewhat over your head, why do it?

If you don't have some doubt of your
authority to tell this story,
then you are not trying to tell enough."
                 ~~John Irving~~

John Irving

Moore goes on to say:
"The true work of the writer is the true work of all artists: to take risks, to lean far out over the edge
of the accepted truth, to see what can only be seen from that vantage point.
Ask yourself every once in a while: Am I in over my head? Am I posing questions in my work to which there can never be satisfying answers? Am I trying to tackle a project here that is well beyond my capacity as a writer? Am I just a little afraid of the direction that all of this is going?
If the answer to each of these questions is yes, then you are heading in the right direction."
Dinty Moore
 Whew! That's really good news. For a while there I was worried.
What worries you about your WIP?



  1. The fantasy manuscript I'm working on worries me a little. I can't decide on the fate of the main characters. Should I take a chance on a darker ending or not?

    1. I'm working on the problem of suffering and faith in God...waaay over my head.

  2. Hmmm, I don't know. I'm not entirely convinced that the only purpose of writing is to push envelopes and court controversy. Sometimes I write as a rejoice-- and invite others to do the same. Sometimes I just have a wonderful story that may heal some lost soul out there. Other times, I want to explore the numinous...

    1. True...but then, those are men speaking. It's just that right now, I am struggling and it's good to hear that that's OK, too. Writing is all about joy and mystery.