I had to chuckle over the weekend when I showed someone a project I was doing, one I was pretty proud of. From her queries, it became clear to me that what I had thought was what I wanted to do, clearly didn’t turn out that way when a third person had a look at it! I was very grumpy about it, driving home. Later, I started switching things around.
Voila, the project came alive to what my original heart’s desire had been. I marvel at how we obfuscate what we are doing merely by the act of trying to please others. The first version was set up to appeal to a bunch of potential readers. I find that’s the biggest trap for me as a writer. To have an imaginary handful of readers in my mind’s eye, and to write something that I would want to read if I were in their place.
That’s the joke on me, though. When I am being myself, I am not able to be in their place because they’re them and I’m me. Duh!
So, the only person I can be sure to please when I write or create things is. . . myself. I suspect there might also be something Asian about this kind of deferral from myself. That is, trying to make sure that everyone else is pleased before I figure out what it is that would please me. Or, maybe it’s just being female. Or being a mother. GAG–is there no way out of this trap?
I’m pretty clear about what I want most of the time. At least I used to think so. Now, I’m not so sure but I’m not that upset about it either. This was a very good lesson. Please myself first with what I create. And don’t worry so much about others.
P.S. I’m going to join Nanowrimo too–national novel writing month–because I think it will be a lot of fun and also funny to write 50,000 words in the month of November along with a bunch of strangers who keep track of one another’s progress online. Why take it so seriously? Just learn something and keep on doing things, willya?