Anne B. Walsh - Do you believe in magic?

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Anne's Randomness

Here we go again

Life, it seems, is nothing more than finding new ways to start over. And over, and over. Which is frustrating, and exhausting, but nobody ever promised me a rose garden. Not that a few flowers would go amiss. Except that the dogs would knock them over, and the cats would try to eat them. Which would, at least, be amusing.
So far this new year hasn't exactly been helpful in encouraging writing. Encouraging cleaning, cooking, animal care, and self-care, yes. Writing, not so much. The story ideas fly thick and fast, including a couple based on Peter Pan (one crossed with the Dangerverse, one just a straight-up fan fiction), continuations of my other fan fictions, and one or two stories which are either fairy tale retellings or tales of my own invention in that style. The problem is, ideas are not words.
I sometimes feel like I've fought this battle a thousand times before, and it doesn't get easier with time. If anything, it gets harder, because I get more and more experience of just what it means to allow people to read my writing. It can be wonderful, but it can also be hideously painful, in so very many ways, and a very large part of me would like to avoid that pain by wishing my writing away altogether.
I'd love to thunder denunciations on that part of me, to claim that nothing will ever stop me from writing, not even me. But the courage I could muster to keep from being destroyed by the criticism or indifference of others isn't much help against the cool, dispassionate distaste of my own inner critic. Writing is all very well for a young person (it says). But you're getting a little old to play with dolls, don't you think? And if you must persist in such a foolish occupation, at least you should move beyond the crutch of magic and fantastic worlds. It only makes you look even more ridiculous.
No, this isn't a happy, cheerful post. You want Why Do I Work Here Wednesday for that. (Duck season! Wabbit season! Binder season! Coming soon to a blog near you!) But if you're wondering why you haven't heard from me lately, well, this is why. I want to not give up. I'm trying to not give up. But it's a little bit hard, when even my own self very often turns against me.
Thanks for reading. Hope I haven't scared everybody away. Regular silliness resumes on Wednesday.

8 Comments to Here we go again:

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Emilie on Monday, January 12, 2015 5:45 PM
I read a saying recently which says (more or less, I am trying to translate): "Don't give up, you might do it two seconds before the miracle occurs". So please don't give up, your writing is great and it will bring you somewhere soon. But then, give yourself a break if you feel like you need it, we want an happy author.
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Shield on Monday, January 12, 2015 5:54 PM
Anne, reading this I don't feel that "you should move beyond the crutch of magic and fantastic world". I rather feel that your guts are somehow telling you that you COULD do that. Honestly said, I believe you are able to do that, if you try. You're amazing at magic, fantastic at fan fiction (I've just reread Danger series last month, couldn't stop...). But this is not because you just know your playground and limit yourself to the ridiculous. Rather, it's because you have this power of observation and sensitivity to others' emotions, and your strength lies there. You are the last person in the world who should be told (by your inner critic or anybody), that life isn't a fairytale. What I know is that sometimes everyone needs a little fluff, some magic, cocoa or pasta with peanut butter sauce, and there is nothing wrong with that. BUT maybe, just maybe, your inner critic is telling you to spread your wings and try to leave your comfort zone. Which is always a good thing. And you should definitely watch "Whiplash". I was watching it the other night thinking about you (among other talented people I know).
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NotACat on Monday, January 12, 2015 6:10 PM
Thank you for your honesty, which actually is more helpful for those of us who struggle than you might think. If someone like you, with a proven track record of writing brilliantly and widely, can sometimes find it hard to figure out your next step, lesser mortals like myself who are still learning to crawl can feel just that tiny bit less ashamed! Virtual huggles are on their way through the usual channels ^_^
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Scott M on Monday, January 12, 2015 8:11 PM
Not much I can say to refute that - it seems like we all have those pesky inner critics, and sometimes they're even helpful, but much of the time it'd be nice if they'd go away. I very much enjoy reading your writing, regardless of setting, and I will continue to do so. Apart from that, I'm left with: *hug*
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Geoffrey on Monday, January 12, 2015 10:37 PM
Why would being an adult mean you stop believing in magic? Why does telling fairytales have to be ridiculous? I think successful writers (at least in these genres) embrace their inner-child. And there’s an audience: my youngest sister, for one, adores fairytales. She has a million different versions and retellings of hundreds of stories. Neil Gaiman, as respected a writer as they come, has made a career out of telling modern-day fairytales (Coraline, Startdust, Neverwhere, Anansi Boys… all fairytales). So your chosen genre is a good solid choice. There’s no reason to turn back now. As for criticism… even very accomplished writers say they have a hard time with it. So, don’t worry, Anne, about these things. Just keep going. Write the stories you want to write and let the rest tend to itself. Things will work out for the best.
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Steven Markwick on Monday, January 12, 2015 11:44 PM
Why no comments thus far? This post seems to gently request a little encouragement. How about this? - I'm on my third reading of the Dangerverse and enjoying it tremendously. As for my credentials as a critic, there is a master's degree in English and creative writing with my name on it on my wall. I genuinely hope that you will continue to exercise your skill as a writer and I'm sure that most of your readers feel the same way.
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Haminac on Tuesday, January 13, 2015 3:56 AM
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lilyginnyrose on Thursday, January 15, 2015 6:57 PM
If you decide to move on from magic, spread your wings as somebody else said, or no; Rowling said: "I don't believe in the kind of magic in my books. But I do believe something very magical can happen when you read a good book." And I agree. You have a gift, to make something magical happen, and you don't per se NEED magic to do that, it's just a comfortable background. there's a ton of crap-stories with magic, but also without magic in them. Yours wouldn't fall in either of those categories, whatever you decide to write, because your focus is on the people, not on the magic. I don't know if I'm expressing very well how I feel about this, but I want you to know. I, we, your fans, believe in you, and support whatever you decide to write.
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