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I've had a quote rolling around my head today. I think I read it somewhere online recently. Roughly: "It's hell writing, and it's hell not writing. The only tolerable state of being is just having written." I'll look up the source and precise wording when I get home.

But there's something about that line that really, really resonates. Writing makes me miserable in its way. It's hard, draining and exhausting, and gruelling for the self-esteem. The only thing worse of course is wanting to write and being unable to. And I seem to have settled on the worst format for my temperament: one-shots mostly that always seem a bit too short for readers' tastes and take forever to percolate from a story idea to something with a definite shape. I'm not complaining, though I do wish I could manage proper novels or at least longer stories. I've tried; my brain insists on imagining the full world and then distilling it to a single moment that captures its essence like a well-framed photo. Which is hard and time-consuming and gives me a slow (some would say plodding) style. How much of that is actual method and how much is laziness, I'm actually not sure. But writing a story leaves me feeling incompetent until the moment the story comes together and it doesn't feel that way anymore. And not writing, that choked off feeling is much, much worse. Honestly, the only tolerable state of being is just having written.

I've hinted at it, but I am finally writing again. It's John's POV while Sherlock is in hospital, but it's more about Project Lazarus than Mary. (It was inspired by a challenge over at Tumblr that vulgarweed told me about, to write the deleted scene from the DVD.) And it stinks, so very badly, but I've managed 900 words so far, so... Yeah. Not quite the only tolerable state, but a step in that direction. And just writing even if it's bad is a relief because I have beta notes from both dioscureantwins and sjames_centre, and I do want to polish them off very badly.

In the mean time I've really liked reading and writing reviews. Its really nice to be reading and reacting substantively to good fic in a way I haven't since the MEFAs wound down. Speaking of, I've been wanting to read more non-pairing fiction so if you have any recommendations for genfic, in Tolkien or Sherlock or anything else you know I read, please feel free to share.

*ETA: Per Goodreads, the full quote is “It's hell writing and it's hell not writing. The only tolerable state is having just written.” Penned by Robert Haas. I can only hope he wrote it (or something similar) recently enough that he can have a bit of piece.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
shadowfireflame
Sep. 10th, 2014 12:32 am (UTC)
Aww, leaving reviews on fics is so much fun!

Ooh, for Sherlock genfic I can heartily recommend anything by awanderingbard (fics here). Their Abbyverse, Trioverse, and my favorite Cabin Fever are all excellent.

For a longer casefic series, I love The Baker Street series by magicbunni. :)
marta_bee
Sep. 10th, 2014 02:43 am (UTC)
It's even better than that. I write not just comments but pages-long discussions, as in the critical genre you'd see in the Times Literary Supplement or some such thing (though not that well-established or with the framework of course. Since there is a critical element I contact authors before posting when I can to get their permission, which means I meet new people and give them a meaty discussion of their work (which I'd love) and also get to introduce others to stories I like enough to want to invest that kind of time. It's actually really nice and has let me meet some fabulous people and make their day a bit better.

But I do miss writing. Oh, how I miss being able to write steadily and easily. It's a nice feeling.

Will check out those recs! Thank'ee kindly.
sjames_centre
Sep. 10th, 2014 01:22 am (UTC)
Perfect quote. Especially as I sit down to write my next bit.
marta_bee
Sep. 10th, 2014 02:44 am (UTC)
How is it going, btw? I know I've not been much help recently, but I've been hoping you've been making progress and am glad to hear you're writing. Do let me know if I can be useful. (Privately, if you prefer, and only if you prefer - don't feel obligated out of friendship or anything.)

I'm glad this quote could inspire you in any case!
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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