I am never happy with my writing and I consider that a very healthy mindset to have.
I want to forget about past books, destroy old short stories, and hang my head in shame over screenplays. This does not mean I think the work is bad, far from it. It’s just I am always a different writer in a different “place” when I look back at past work, and that old writer who slaved over those chapters or scenes… well… he ain’t in this house anymore, and the new tenant isn’t into it.
In my last writing editorial (“Leave Home“), I discussed some of the pluses and minuses around most writers being introverts. The dangerous fact for writers is introverts like to be in a rut.
A rut is safe.
There are no surprises in a rut.
And for a writer that means genres, characters, scenes, plots, dialogue, expressions, and even favorite words may find their way again and again into “new” works. These ruts are like a warm blanket on a cold winter evening, why would you want to go get out from underneath all that security? (And if you are lucky enough to make actual money off your writing, it makes it that much more difficult.)
Some might find offense in my saying all this, but frankly, the answer to that question in my opinion is the difference between being just a writer and being an author. Continue reading