“The most essential gift for a good writer is a built-in, shockproof shit detector. This is the writer’s radar and all great writers have had it.” -Ernest Hemingway.
Searching for a quote this morning because my brain feels far too dull to come up with anything creative to post today (although that should change in about half an hour, because I did pick up a new coffee maker!), I came across this little jewel and had to laugh. I’m finding that one of the hardest things about putting together all of my short stories and sprucing them up for a collection is that my own internal shit radar goes off the charts. Okay, there are parts of my short stories that I really enjoy, but, as a whole, I’m feeling fairly disenchanted with my ability to write well enough to have something ready and presentable by March. The temptation to just scrap all the old stuff and just pull a bunch of new stuff out of a hat is strong, but the new stuff is almost as bad, if not worse. What’s a writer to do?
But it did get me thinking that perhaps one’s shit radar, for some people, is calibrated a little too tightly for our own work. I’m sure there are some writers out there who can put crap on a paper and think it’s the best thing ever written, but, in my experience, most of us authors are a modest bunch, a self-depreciating bunch. We are our own worst critics. So, while I know my shit radar is a valuable tool and I know I’ll use it quite liberally when encountering other works, I’m going to go ahead and ignore it for the time being. I’ll trust in the shit radar of my fellow authors to let me know what works and what doesn’t, rather than letting myself boot them out of the running before they even see the light of day.
Having a shit radar is nice and all, but what I’d say is even more valuable are friends and associates with their own finely-tuned shit radar and a nice whopping dose of truthfulness.
I’d also like to thank Subhakar Das for following the blog! Welcome aboard! I’m looking forward to reading your posts, too!
Happy Saturday, everyone! Here’s to hoping that my workday is Not That Bad.