Monday, May 7, 2012

Clueless


Monday: May I tell you something about writing?

I have a writing confession.

I have no idea what I'm doing.


I've been staring at this open window trying to come up with some writing tip or pearl of wisdom to share with all of you, but the truth of the matter is, I have no effing idea what I'm talking about. I'm not trying to be all cute and self-deprecating here or anything. I truly have no idea what I'm doing when it comes to writing.

On any given day when I open up my document and try to write, I have no idea if anything is going to actually come out. And when it does, I have no idea how it got there or if it is any good. What worked for me yesterday doesn't work for me today, and both of those things are different from what worked last week. It's a wonder every day I get words on the page that actually make sense.

I scroll through my reader and see all of these writers blogging all about writing advice. Every day a new piece of advice, a new tip to share with the crowd. You may notice that this isn't that kind of blog. I have no advice to give because I have no idea what I'm doing. If there is one thing you don't want, it is advice from the clueless.

So, I'm owning my cluelessness, and I encourage you to do the same thing.

Don't feel like you have to be some sort of expert on writing. Don't feel like you need every blog post to be some sort of metaphor about writing. (You know the ones. I was walking my dog/skydiving/being abducted by an alien and I realized it was just like writing a novel! Let me explain the comparison to you!) Don't feel like you need to know what you are doing.

Don't feel like there is something wrong with you if you can't come up with a single piece of writing advice to share on a blog post.

We're learning as we go along, and that's okay. We may have been doing this for several years now, but we still have most of it to figure out. I'm a teacher in my day job, but here in writing land I am still VERY much a student, and I'm good with that. I like learning.

(I guess that's the key...I may not know what I'm doing, but I don't give up. I keep trying to find the answer, even though it's hard. You can't use cluelessness as an excuse. You have to try to get a clue.)

Am I the only one who still feels a little a lot clueless?

35 comments:

  1. Nope, I'm right there with you. :)

    Really enjoyed this post!

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    1. I'll make room for you in the Clueless Boat. It's nice in here. :-)

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  2. Love that movie. I tend to feel even more clueless aft reading an amazing book...

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    1. Oh yeah...that's the worst. I'm like, "okay, I'm going to just quit now."

      I get over it eventually, but, yeah...that kills me.

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  3. Love this! I too feel a lot clueless most of the time. I try to remind myself that failure is mandatory if you want to make your way to success...everybody is just trying to find their way, whatever their passion.

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    1. SO TRUE. You need to fail before you can succeed. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.

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  4. The idea of giving writing advice gives me anxiety. I doubt you're as clueless as you think but it does feel that way when you're sitting in front of a blank page, doesn't it? And I love that movie.

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    1. Clueless is the BEST. I remember seeing it in the theater. :-)

      Yeah, that blank page is so dang intimidating, isn't it?

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  5. Oh I feel clueless all the time when it comes to writing, even though I am a copywriter and a journalist, which both include a lot of writing. A lot of people think writing is so easy, but we all know it isn't!

    I love Clueless. One of my all time favorite movies!

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    1. I get so stabby when people act like writing is easy. But those are generally people who have never done it, so they have no idea.

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  6. Thanks Jess. :)

    I've always felt this way, but especially so this month. Why am I even doing this? What do I know? How am I qualified?? I'm totally not. But I don't really know what else to do with all my crazy but throw it at a blank page and see what happens.

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  7. I love this. I'm so clueless, too. All we can hope is that we have good stories in there somewhere and then try to bring them out. Maybe. I'm not sure. You know, clueless.

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    1. We can do it! It just takes a lot of work...and hope that we will become less clueless eventually. :-)

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  8. I completely agree. Every day I sit down I just hope there are words there. Some days I can write ten pages, others I'm lucky if I squeak out a paragraph, and some days I'm tidying up the mess of words I've left behind from previous days. :) I try and look at it as no matter how much or little I write, it's words that weren't on the page the day before, even if it amounts to one kickass sentence. Sign me up for Club Clueless too.

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    1. So true...something on the page is better than nothing on the page!

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  9. I also reside in clueless-land and am just doing my best to muddle along and persevere. I think this is exactly why cultivating supportive, honest writing friends is so helpful. Helping each other figure out obstacles as we come upon them is such a great way to learn and grow as writers!

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    1. YES. I would be nowhere without our group. NOWHERE!

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  10. I hate those metaphor-writing posts!

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    1. Your comment about not liking those metaphor posts reminds me a lot of writing...

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  11. Confession: I've written some of those metaphor writing posts, but only because they apply to me and what I'm doing. But in reality, I do the same thing - read all those awesome posts for writing and wonder why I can't come up with something worthy to say about writing. I don't claim to be an expert...EVER (math teacher, here), but I do share what works for me. So, yeah. I feel clueless most of the time, but I enjoy what I do and I like to write about it.

    btw - I don't think you're clueless (even though I understand the feeling). I learn A LOT from just reading your posts. :)

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    1. I can't even share what works for me because I DON'T KNOW what works for me! D: Maybe one day I'll figure it out.

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  12. Nope, I am TOTALLY clueless. Thankfully, I'm so "new" to this writing thing that even if I thought I had a piece of wisdom to share, people would be smart enough to not take it seriously.

    As for metaphors on writing, however... I feel like I could write one of those. Metaphor du jour: writing is like building a house. You can't go right to decorating and moving you. You have to understand the foundation. Or something profound like that.

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    1. Haha...that's why I don't share tips. I wouldn't want anyone to actually listen to them and take them seriously!

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  13. There's nothing more humbling than an honest critique of one's writing, or a craft book that highlights just how green you are. I've been there! But the important piece is the journey; we learn something new every time we dive in and explore just how much we don't know what we're doing.

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    1. Oh man, I have learned so much on the journey. SO MUCH. I guess it's all so personal to me...not anything I feel would apply to anyone else, you know?

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  14. Oh, please. My middle name is Clueless. I'm embracing it, though. There's nowhere to go but UP from here! :)

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  15. Clueless McWingingit right here. I have no idea what I'm doing, I just know that it feels awesome when I'm doing it. Until it's tragic and full of angst and self doubt, but then, it gets awesome again.

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    1. It's such a freaking Rollercoaster of Cluelessness

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  16. Hey now: you may feel clueless, but at least you're actually writing! I am clueless, for sure, and I am also really not in a writing routine yet. (That was my post today.) But thank you for writing so honestly about this--I've been minorly anxious about this Monday topic and it's nice to see someone else feeling the same.

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  17. You may feel like you don't know what you're doing--but whatever you're doing is working! But I totally hear you. I'm always clueless. And any "real" advice I'd have to give is pretty cliched.

    I feel clueless pretty much everyday. And, um, not just about writing. ;-)

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    1. Haha...yeah, me too. It's a wonder I make it through the day sometimes.

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  18. Not giving up is a great advice Jess! Especially as we all have days where we wonder what the heck we´re doing :D
    (I love CLUELESS :D)

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