It’s my turn at the wheel of the Saturday Writers bus. Which way do I go? Left? Right? Straight ahead? How about I back it up and try again, on second thought let’s just go around the block. Everyone who knows me knows I have a lousy sense of direction. I could get lost in my own house. I damn sure get lost every time I venture out unless I have a set plan, street address and landmarks to follow.
So why is I don’t use this same strategy with my writing? Wouldn’t it be easier than cruising the tangled web of my mind? There are signs pointing in all directions, but some point me down the wrong route. Interesting and fun places not always pertinent to this story, but some deserve a revisited in the future.
I pause to ask characters directions, big mistake. Sometimes it’s like having too many backseat drivers, all wanting to go in different directions. Other times it’s like having someone as clueless as myself guiding me. You can never tell if they really don’t know or if they are just unwilling to share.
Why don’t I just ask my SW buddies? Hmm, good question. Probably because they are all busy with their own projects, but most likely because I don’t know how to put into words what I need help with. Whoa, back up the bus. A writer who doesn’t know how to put her needs and thoughts into words, that’s a scary thought.
It’s true. I’m a lousy communicator when it comes to things involving me. Maybe it’s the whole asking for help thing. I rarely do it and when I do you know I’m in big trouble.
I’m not afraid that they won’t like what I wrote. Not every story or genre is for everyone and I’m cool with that. I’m not afraid they will find mistakes, there are plenty of them and I’d rather they were pointed out before I hand it over to the professionals.
What I don’t need is someone trying to wrestle the wheel away from me; this is MY twisted little journey. I don’t need someone telling me what I’ve done is wrong no ifs, ands or buts about it. I don’t need or want someone to write it for me. That’s my job. Its bad enough I’ve got characters playing backseat driver. I’m easily confuzzled and too many people telling me what to do just overloads the system.
In the end I’m the only one who can ‘tell’ this story. I just need to learn to ask for directions when needed, but keep my hands tightly on the wheel.