Bleeder

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There are three kinds of writers. There are “sprinters”: people who write projects in a hurry and fix the typos later. There are “plodders”: people who write in a disciplined, steadfast way and always meet deadlines.

I am what’s known in the writing business as a “bleeder.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean that I write with my heart on my sleeve (even though I know I do, occasionally). It means I am distracted by my own grammatical and syntactical mistakes. I have ludicrously high expectations for myself. I am surrounded by distractions that are not necessarily under my control. I am mortally afraid of failure.  

As a result, I write very, very slowly.

I expect myself to be the next Flannery O’Connor. The next Ray Bradbury. The next O. Henry. I expect my writing to be deep and intricate and to plumb the depths of human nature, yet to come out smiling.

I am incapable of these things. I am not a brilliant writer because I do not practice. I do not practice because I get swallowed alive by a thousand duties that I neglect my duty as a writer to do what I am. I set out to write stories, but have written precious few, and none worth mentioning.

I am not Flannery O’Connor. I’m Stephanie Meyer.

But then again, maybe it’s asking too much of myself to become a Flannery O’Connor unless I let myself start as a Stephanie Meyer. If I never start, I’ll never improve. No matter how poor the start, there’s nothing that won’t improve with practice.

And I can’t expect to write like anyone but me.

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3 responses »

  1. Your conclusions are absolutely correct! You must write …. like Ms Rambler, not anyone else. You do have talent–and lots of it!–but you must find your own voice, which I think you’re well on your way to doing. You have something important to say, so….. say it! 🙂

  2. Hmm…I hear the discouraged tone of a writer in the midst of a project.

    If I may be of any encouragement, please let me start with…Oh my goodness! You are NOT Stephanie Meyer. You are Risabella Rambler, a writer with your own unique and imaginative ideas and stories to tell. And honestly, I highly prefer both your stories and your style to that of Ms. Meyer. If for no other reason, your grammar usage is vastly superior. 😉 🙂

    But seriously, this blog itself is amazing practice for many techniques you need as a writer. In it, you take one idea and craft it in a few, well-chosen words. You’ve told stories here. You’ve analyzed issues here. And you’ve done it in an entertaining and focused manner. For a blog called the “Risible Rambler,” you do not ramble in your posts. The topics vary from time to time, but you have shown a strength for focus and coherency. Embrace it!

    And to quote the song out of context, “Say what you want to say. And let the words flow out. Honestly, I want to see you be brave!” (Brave by Sara Bareilles)

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