Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Confessions of a Wannabe Intellectual

I like to pretend I'm reasonably bright. Feeling smart must be akin to the high people get from some illicit drugs - it's intoxicating and addictive. I intimate that I've not tried recreational drugs because a single shot of epinephrine as an 11 year old impressed upon me in a dramatic way that not being able to temper my physical and emotional responses to a drug equaled very bad trip. Long way of saying I'm a coward. Though, truth be told, it's possible I repackaged that as 'too smart to make that mistake' while I was an insufferable high schooler. Surprise, surprise, being a judgemental ass didn't contribute to my popularity.

Regardless. My point was that somewhere along the line, someone told me I was clever and I got hooked on the feeling. I want my writing to be intelligent, not just intelligible. I want my characters to be smart. But as it happens, writing a book that someone says is cerebral and subsequently trying to write such a book again? Two excrutiatingly different things. Trying to write something intelligent turned into the most constipated, dead sounding prose imaginable. The word count went no where.

What's an addict to do? Hard to prove you're brilliant when you can't string four words together on a WIP. Finally, a daily wordcount challenge put forth by Laura Bickle and Jeffe Kennedy (ostensibly to get Laura going on her WIP - it did - she's kicking our butts) forced me to concede two things.
  1. I could make wordcount or I could pretend to be smart. I could not simultaneously do both.
  2. I had to accept that the inside of my head is a very messy place.
Word count has begun to accummulate again and, boy, those words are a trainwreck. Twisted, convoluted, shattered metaphors, similes strewn all over, that might even be a body over there in the corner of that last page...But writing is happening.

Maybe I don't want to write smart. Maybe I want to just write and save the dulled blade of intellect for fixing the mess I've made.

1 comment:

  1. A wordcount challenge sounds like a really good plan to get writing.