Listening to the Silence

Is it because writing is such a solitary vice that writers struggle so with belief in their own abilities?

It occurred to me while locked in an ego battle with my muse (best summarized as: “I’m tired of writing just to entertain myself”), that while the writing process—or the creation of most art, I suppose—is generally a solitary act, it relies on some level of interaction with an audience to inform the writer whether or not they have succeeded in their intent.

I’m not sure what the right answer is in achieving this. I’ve tried Creative Writing classes, but my experience has been either that most instructors and students are too caught up in what I term the “literary” qualities of stories rather than the fundamentals of just telling a good story. Only one instructor I’ve had so far has even been open to the idea of genre. (One was downright hostile about it.) The few writing groups I’ve tried has tended to turn combative or fizzle out. (Probably due to the nature of writers in general, I suspect.)

I do my best to try to create characters, universes, and situations that can lead to what I hope to interesting stories. They seem interesting to me, but I don’t plan to be the sole purchaser of my own books.

As the method acting saying goes, “What is my motivation?”

To tell a good story: certainly. To have an audience who wants more: definitely.

Maybe that’s enough. Are you out there?

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