Well I made a big effort and finally overcame Legion, completing the rewrite in two days. Some of the new material will need another layer of polish, but it’s gone back to First Readers now. I really made every scene sharp eventually. It felt good to push my limits, to be faced with serious problems. Elements of dialogue got moved from the back to the front, from the front to the middle, broken up and stuck back together. One odd thing that occurs is that, well, the characters come across as a little crazier in this new version, somehow faintly manic. I do usually write about insane people, but these two characters were about as normal as my characters get. Maybe that was their weakness? It’s made me consider if unhinged characters are what I do well, I should consider that a strength and work to use it. I’ll need to make sure every story I produce is at least at this quality level. This process has to become a new standard.
The day after, I returned to story 8, Grandfather, also known as Cenobite. I hit that sucker with a herculean effort, forging 1800 words of fresh material and planning out plenty more. I’ll do a bit more before I sleep tonight. I’ve hit a cycle of producing new written material every day. I was watching TV afterwards and actually had to keep pausing it to write new lines that came to me. The production of writing as an involuntary compulsion. Its the pure form I aspire to, and it’s what brought me here.
At the risk of sounding morose, something brought back memories of the way I left university today, and it got me thinking about my self esteem. I don’t have any doubts about my personal style and value anymore, but I do consider myself a failure. You can be great and still be a failure, one is a mark of quality, the other of achievement. I was very committed, and it hurt a lot to be ultimately defeated, as I was in my degree. I’ve realised before I’ll always feel like a failure, until I get published, till I have a new achievement with which I can dismiss those years. On that date, I think a lot of sadness will be erased. There’s only one way to get there, and it never stops.