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23 October 2010 @ 08:41 pm
I've just had a realisation. I'm sitting here, busy-bee trying to get everything in my life done or started or moved along, and wondering why I feel so drained by the idea of writing when it was once my coping method.

The lesser realisation was that I now associate writing with deadlines (Yuletide, hoggywarty - although that less so, etc.), which I never did before. I probably have to work on my mind with that association for a while because writing used to be my coping method and now it's something that I'm afraid to do - deadlines will do that to me. It also means I'm afraid of things like National Novel Writing Month, when previously I would join up no matter WHAT ridiculous and time-consuming stuff was going on in my life. I wrote a novel in three days once. What happened to THAT girl? I want to fix all of this.

The primary realisation was that it isn't fic or fandom that has drained me; it's my lack of genfic or gen-writing at all.

My two favourite stories to write were In Memoriam and Postscript. At first I thought it was just because they were centred around the same characters, the same plot point, the same atmosphere. Now I realise that they're my favourites because I got to write gen and focus on the intricate relationships between these characters and their lives, rather than just the (rather limited, for me) realm of romance. Since those two I've written three 'ship' stories that included smut.

On the one level I'm displeased because I'm not impressed with them, but on another I'm displeased because they simply weren't as fun for me. It isn't as interesting for me to get into the collective 'mind' of romance and sex - the subjects don't interest me as much. I don't like dashing it altogether - as, indeed, my gen stories included romance and more - I just can't find myself as interested when that's the main focal matter. Yet it seems that the occasion to write genfic is very rare compared to that of 'ship' material - rarer still than 'rarepair' ship stories, perhaps!

I guess what I'm saying is that I've seen springgen, but where is the autumngen, the wintergen, the summergen...?

(This should have dawned on me sooner.)
kellychambliss: MinGifMauvekellychambliss on October 23rd, 2010 08:01 pm (UTC)
Well, I think one of the things that happened to the mad-novel-writing girl is that she got a lot better at the craft. My experience is that the more you learn about writing, the more aware you are of what you're doing, the less spontaneous it is. It's a tradeoff -- increased expertise and ability in exchange for losing some of the blissful ignorance of how hard writing is.

As for the genfic revelation -- well, it does take time to learn what you like, I think. I love good genfic (just look at yesterday's minerva_fest entry, for instance), but I think I'm better able to write shippy stuff. Just a matter of preference -- neither is automatically better than the other. So yeah, write what you love.

You're stuck with smut for Yule Balls, I'm afraid, but for hoggywarty, write all the gen you want; that's an "anything goes" fest. Then you've got Springtime Gen to look forward to. It doesn't look as if HP Holiday Gen is going to happen this year, but next summer, you ought to consider signing up for femgenficathon. You'd be great. And you don't have to write explicit stuff for Beholder, either. There have been several excellent stories there that do have pairings but that I'd call mostly gen.
Kiwi Crocus: Nature || Rain woman.cranky__crocus on October 23rd, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your words.

For fanfic, I think your first paragraph is absolutely correct. Although in the end for me it is harder in those non-writing moments that still involve writing - the nail-biting 'I have to start this', planning, re-reading and editing stages. During the actual writing I still entirely lose myself and it's glorious.

What I'd like to fix is my mindset about writing. In high school I used to sit down for at least fifteen minutes every day (without it being a conscious habit) and just write, even though I knew most of it was crap and indeed, most of it has not surfaced to others' eyes. I was coping with life. I can feel that need within me presently yet all the muddled thoughts in my head about writing prevent me from sitting down and writing the 'crap' I really need to write.

I'm trying to prod my brain into understanding that I don't need the mad-novel-writing girl for the product, I need her for the process - for what I entered into writing for in the first place. I'm trying to separate the idea of writing to create something writing to create - the verb itself, rather than the noun it will produce. My silly adult brain is scrambling up all this stuff I inherently understood as a child! Rather frustrating.

I apologise if my post came off as belittling ship stories in any way - I adore your shippy stories, and shippy stories in general. Beyond that, reading smut has been one of my hobbies since I was 14. I definitely appreciate what these other writers create and don't at all view it as lesser!

I'm trying to find that place between writing what I love and writing new things - and not completely parallel, but writing what's comfortable and writing what stretches me.

Thank you for your fest ideas as well. I will keep them in mind.

(I thought this year would be just about learning how to get through a university year with a dissertation on top of the regular course load. I suppose another thing for me to learn is never to be surprised when the Universe decides it has so much more to teach me at any given time.)

(I'm sorry my comments are always so long!)
Minerva McGonagall Fest Modsminervafestmods on October 23rd, 2010 08:33 pm (UTC)
I apologise if my post came off as belittling ship stories in any way

Oh, no, not at all -- I worried that you thought you ought to be writing shippy stuff or that people would look down on genfic. And I just wanted to assure you that no, they're both equally worthwhile and fun to read/write; it's just a matter of what you prefer.

And I love your long comments /g/
kellychamblisskellychambliss on October 23rd, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
Oops -- sorry -- That's me (Kelly) above; I forgot I was signed in on the Minerva Fest Mods account.
therealsnape: it unscrewstherealsnape on October 23rd, 2010 08:05 pm (UTC)
My dear, feel perfectly free to write Hoggywarty!Gen. Your gen-stories are wonderful. And if you can't make it, or if you need extensions, just tell me. You know it isn't a fest ...

And if you want to whinge about Writer's Insecurity, or anything else that's keeping you from having fun with your story, just mail as well.

And have a biscuit.
Kiwi Crocus: Nature || Daisies.cranky__crocus on October 23rd, 2010 08:26 pm (UTC)
Thank you! (: I'm sure I'll make it. I always make it for the actual deadline - they just scare me to death in the process, laughter.

Oh, Writer's Insecurity. I am one big ball of Writer's Insecurity, always. The voice, it never stops! 'You're 20 - what are you doing writing with all these wonderful mature women who know other language and how to tell alcoholic beverages apart and how to walk in heels and how to be sexy and a whole number of things you don't know?' Ah, that brain of mine, always comparing, endlessly contrasting...

I'm okay with my mind getting buggered up with fanfic writing. What isn't okay is that it's all going into my 'general' writing mind, and that now I'm afraid of original fic. I've always been able to balance my original fic and fanfic, been able to write both, been able to keep my insecurities with one away from the other...

What concerns me is that that seems to have ended, and I have to re-learn that skill that I don't recall having 'learned', just known...

Thank you for the biscuit. (:

Oh, RealSnape, what would I do without you?!
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Kiwi Crocuscranky__crocus on December 2nd, 2010 06:28 pm (UTC)
Your comment is perfect. I've re-read it a few times now. I think I feel most comfortable in the gen-femslash border as well. I suppose I'm getting the knack for writing sex, but I like to limit it and I certainly don't have fun writing PWP. I have certainly been pushing myself! I think it's time for a little break from the pushing.