Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My writing career and personal laziness problem

Well, I'm not a lazy as I once thought I was. I am ill, chronically, and I've learned to be kinder to myself and appreciate the moments when I must rest as much as the moments when I'm feeling better and bouncing off the walls with fun projects.

However, I often take on projects that seem exciting, only to burn out after a few weeks and quit. Or spend the next years complaining until I'm released. I'm a true idiot. I never think ahead to "this will involve some effort" I think "oh, that sounds fun." or "what a good idea, you're right, I would be perfect for that."

I'm not vain, it's usually something I can do, like oh, make great cinnamon rolls. I wouldn't say "I'm perfect" for most of the stuff I'm not talented at, which I'm not talented at much.

But I can write a damn good nasty letter and I write a column for the paper which, when some of my fellow bloggers have read, doesn't "sound like me at all." For the paper, I write with a more reasonable tone and I have a bit of dignity. I do not cuss or go off on people. You would be proud of me, also surprised.

I write a column once a month as part of a writers group. We don't get paid, although I think we should be, but there is a certain amount of glory that goes with it and I have to think most writers love the glory more than the compensation.

However, the last couple of months have just been overwhelming to me in terms of writing. I was researching a local judge to write an op-ed piece. He's widely perceived as soft on defendants and I wanted to get at the truth. In the course of my research, I stumbled onto facts and experiences that made it fodder for a bigger story, news. The paper asked me to continue investigating and told me as soon as they hire a new bureau chief for our town, they would put me with a reporter.

I was fine with this, excited. Maybe I could be an investigative journalist! Well. Investigative journalism sucks. You wouldn't believe how hard work it is. I've spent literally hours and days at the courthouse looking up cases. Questions beget answers that have begot more questions. And I've been obsessed at getting to the bottom of the issue.

I interviewed the judge, who was really gracious about this novice who was out to expose him. Perhaps he saw the stupidity behind my facade.

I stumbled onto another story, that I've posted about on MM, which has just depressed the heck out of me.

So now, I'm tired, I don't want to be an investigative journalist, it was fun for the first two weeks and now it's work.

And I just don't think I'm cut out to be a writer because it involves an immense amount of work. I have so much respect for anybody who writes a book because how boring is that? It's work, I tell you, work.

I'm finding a new hobby.


Barb said...

I really admire people who blog on a fairly regular to regular basis. :)

What you said about the tiring research reminds me of a comment that my News Writing and Reporting teacher said in regards to the movie on the Watergate Scandal with Dustin Hoffman and Robert Redford and how you could see that there was a lot of tedious leg work. It is not all glamour.

I do think that people label things as laziness oftentimes that has other root causes.

I do have friends that seem to love to write. I do like to write short nonfiction pieces, but not so much for public display.

Ann said...

There is a thing that happens in November, "NaNoWriMo." National Novel Writing Month. I know I couple of people who have done it, and it's a very cool idea. But for us underachievers, NaBloPoMo is good enough: National Blog Posting Month.

The hard part about going into something that turns out to be not much fun after a few weeks is getting out of it without thinking "I suck." Really, it's not you that sucks. It's the thing that sucks.

You're allowed to quit. Nobody is paying you, and it's not putting food on the table.