Writer Quotes: Plath.

“And by the way, everything in life is writable about if you have the outgoing guts to do it, and the imagination to improvise. The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt” -Sylvia Plath.

This quote from Sylvia Plath touched on two things I’ve been feeling a lot of recently. The first reminds me of the predicament I mentioned in yesterday’s post, regarding my inability to write the scene in which our heroine of Serpent in a Cage is tortured and abused. I sent out a call for opinions and got some really great food for thought, which basically boiled down to the fact that I should go ahead and try to write it. If it works, it’ll make the piece all the more powerful. If I can’t, then perhaps it wasn’t meant to be, but the point is that I won’t know unless I try. I just need to have the guts to do it, the imagination to improvise, and the willingness to push past my own comfort zone to really bring the story to life, even if part of that story is grisly and terrible.

Giving it some thought, I found it interesting that I have no trouble at all being graphic in the scene where Auferrix kills Olievere. Because in that scene, justice is being met, our heroine is being avenged, and the bad guy is getting his comeuppance. But the earlier scene has our heroine being abused by our villains, and our villains are getting satisfaction and victory from it, and I think that’s ultimately the real reason I have trouble writing it. I don’t want to give them that benefit, to supply those characters with anything from which they gain enjoyment. But I do feel if I’m able to stomach through it, then it will make Auferrix’s eventual triumph all the more powerful.

And then there’s that beautiful, striking second part of the quote that really stuck with me. With the arrival of NaNoWriMo, I’ve been feeling a little bit of self-doubt, because I feel like I’m just chugging away, almost mindlessly, at my WIPs, forcing out quantity over quality, and starting to feel that everything I’m producing right now is pure and utter crap. It’s enough to make me want to stop, which just shows the truth in Plath’s words. I remind myself that, true, this might not be my best work, but this is also not a final product. There is time, later, to take the words I’m pumping up now and give them the care and love and nurturing that they need to become a great and fantastic story. I’ve been having the doubt demon lurking around a lot lately, making me feel that it’s even useless to bother with the writing at all. There’s nothing special or interesting or even entertaining about any of it, it tells me, and that could ruin me if I bothered to lend a listening ear. But I’m not going to let my self-doubt be the enemy of my creativity. I’m going to have the guts and the imagination to rise above it and succeed.

And, last but not least, I’d like to thank Sharon Howard for the subscription! Welcome aboard! I’m looking forward to reading some of your stuff, too. I love how many new and interesting people RoW80 has led me to discovering!

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2 thoughts on “Writer Quotes: Plath.

  1. I’ve been feeling the exact same way, lately. I set a 4000 weekly goal and I’d say 3000 of those words are complete and utter crap. But I also know that if I take longer to edit, there’s a solid chance that I might never get to THE END. So I think we just both need to persevere – we can always fix it later!

  2. I also worry about writing crap. But when I’m drafting, many times I put quantity over quality just to get the words down on paper. The love and care comes later, as you say. Still, the doubt creeps in.

    Happy writing.

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