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Question Everything

05/04/11

  07:16:45 am, by Nic Wilson   , 487 words  
Categories: Blog

Question Everything

Allow me a moment?s indulgence; I swear this will get to publishing in a moment, but I grew up in a Christian home. I?m not exactly what you?d call devout, these days, and I remember quite clearly the day I realized the church wasn?t for me. An older man in the church, one I?d known my whole life, a family friend, approached me, and said I was too analytical. I questioned too much. I know what he was trying to say about faith, but at the very core of me I disagree.

 

Because even if we accept the caveat that there is a God, who says it?s the Christian one? Or even if it?s the Christian one, who says it?s this branch?s? And even if this branch, how about this particular church?s version of this branch of Christianity?

 

Barring prophetic angel conversations, I could safely say, even then, that I didn?t know. Couldn?t know. No one could. So the only way to know if what I was doing was right, if how I was living my life was right, was to analyze it.

 

And the same is true of a writing career (see, not that much of a stretch). Not every marketing strategy is going to work. Hell, not every writing project is going to work. But time is precious. Time spent marketing, or writing, things that aren?t going to help your career, is utterly wasted, and something you can never get back; as an aside I?ll concede that sometimes it?s good to write things you may never intend to publish, as part of learning to write better, and move on from there.

 

This is why it?s essential to find people to critique your work. I recently finished a writing class. I wasn?t certain it would be helpful, because I?ve taken similar classes before that devolved into a literary drum circle of happy vibrations and good times. And being able to share is great; being able to be critiqued, and more importantly questioned, is better. Because someone coming to your work with fresh eyes can tell you how someone who isn?t you views your work. They can ask questions, sometimes uncomfortable ones, you don?t have an answer to, and get you to ask questions you wouldn?t have otherwise.

 

Because I?m questioning again, I realize that I?m not as far along in my writing as I thought, or even as I wanted to be. That, objectively, I can now say I?ve developed some proclivities in my writing that have to be hacked out (with a spoon- so it?ll hurt more). If I hadn?t grown complacent, if I hadn?t gotten comfortable believing that I knew what the hell I was doing, I might even be closer to publishing Dag (but let?s stop before I start self-flagellating, lest this post become too religious).

 

My point is this: question everything, most importantly of all, yourself.

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