Monday, July 4, 2016

The Next Problem and Then the Next...

I had a film professor in school that told me "film making is problem solving." At the time, I was relieved to hear it, because I could solve problems, but I couldn't set proper lighting or hold a steady camera shot to save my life (or grade). I also didn't know at the time just how right he was. I encounter it everyday in my professional life. It's one problem, or challenge, or change that requires a solution, fix, or adjustment after another. 

I was watching The Martian last night (Hey, Matt Damon! I see you boo!) and in addition to the obvious theme that Matt Damon is perfect and can do anything, it too approaches the idea that life is solving a succession of problems. 

How do I apply this idea to writing? I'm constantly overwhelmed by the process. I think about writing all the time, but I do it sporadically. It's not because I don't have anything to say or because I'm lazy. I start thinking about all of the things that go into writing and freeze to complete inaction. You don't have to just write a freaking novel, which ha ha ha, is sort of the easy part. (Not easy, but the one thing in this whole process that's entirely yours, at least to start.) Then you edit. Then you get critiques. Then you edit again. Then you query, and query, and query some more. Also, let us not forget the all important "platform" that you're supposed to cultivate along with writing a FREAKING NOVEL. No, ok, I'm not getting revved up, but this is a never ending "no win" when you start putting it all together. 

So, I'm going to Watney this bitch. My biggest problem right now is that I need an agent for my first novel. My solution is to query five agents per week. That's a reasonable, non threatening number.That's one problem and one way of finding the solution. I'm going to let that be enough for now. 

#Truth: This post carried on for several more paragraphs all to explore the next issues and possible solutions. By the time I'd finished writing that draft, I was back to being a ball of anxiety who wanted to quit and just turn on the television. This "one at a time" method is going to be harder than I thought. 

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