Monday, September 8, 2014

More Knowledge=Worse Writing

When I first started writing, I was really good. I knew just what to say to captivate and enthrall every reader on the planet. And then something damnable happened: I learned more about writing. I took classes, analyzed what I read, participated in critique groups. Eventually, the inevitable happened...the quality of my words dwindled down to muck.

It's the same with parenting. Before having kids, I was the best mother who ever walked the human powered earth. What did a parent need to tell their monsters to get them to quit bawling at the restaurant table next to ours? Just ask me, I could have told them. How do you get your kids from playing too many video games? Heather Leigh knew. I knew it all.

Until, that is, I had kids. Now I know a mosquito brain sized amount about raising them the right way. The lucky rainbow that made my kids the awesome way they are now, is that they were born that way. Only the bad habits they have picked up come straight from my motherly failings.

Like blurting out to my youngest that I would love to be in the room the first time he got drunk, just to see how he would act. Now that definitely was not supposed to be said. Before I had kids, I would never have told him that.

Back to writing. So, the first of my stories were stupendous! Instant charmers that were written in a week. Everything from obvious setting, to strong characters, to intriguing plot, to showing over telling--I had it all.

Until I did not.

Where did I go wrong? Should I have stayed in my own little 'awesome author' viewpoint cave and never ventured out? I mean, if I thought I was great, would not the whole world agree? Why was I not a NY Times Best Selling Author with the magic that was strewing out of my keyboard flying fingers? Surely, it was the fault of someone else that I was not recognized for the wit and imagination that was so wholly apparent to me.

Why was I so stupid? The more I learned about writing stories, the more I realized how little I know. Is that what a negative correlation is? (I remember that big, ten-cent phrase from some Economics class in college--using it shows how smart I am)

I feel like Alice falling down the rabbit hole: the ground beneath me has given away to a never-ending pit. The only way to ever claw out is through the  publication of quality, award winning children's literature. But if my words are becoming more droll by the moment, how will I ever fight my way back to civilization again?

Gazing out in desperation at the palm tree fronds that flow constantly from the San Diego sea breeze, I receive no answers. No downloading of the book that will push Heather Leigh into a household name. The only hope I have is that I could fall off a roof, get a concussion, and have to re-learn the English language. Oh, this is a good idea. I will make an appointment with a lawyer today to have my wishes notarized: that if I have to start my writing skills all over again, don't let me ever learn about how to write better. Then, I will always be a great writer.

Best idea, EVER!

Heather Leigh

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