Have any of you heard of the “in between“? It works like this (if I’ve got it right). As you enter any doorway you leave the room, but until you passed to the other room, you haven’t left nor arrived. It is the place of in between. Some say it’s where the magical world meets ours.
So far, not much magic.
I have no idea when I arrived and no idea how long I’m staying, but I found myself in the in between during SiWC16. Being a newbie was comforting. I could make mistakes and fumble around occasionally finding a golden idea. No one, including me, expected any success.
But what happens when a writer becomes moderately skilled?
I’m not sure, but I’m here. As the workshop presenters spoke about their topics, I thought: I do that, or I know that. Where’s the nugget? Where’s that special bit of info I’ve being dying to learn?
For the record there was always a nugget. I was just impatient. It occurred to me that understanding the different aspects of the writing craft did not mean I did them well. I still needed to practice and improve one word at a time. At this point I see where I should go and it is a far way off.
Why does this bother me?
I met incredible writers and their skill sets out classed me. I didn’t say a word about how their work blew me away or that speaking with them filled me to bursting with admiration. Because of these random meetings, I’ve discovered a new internal drive to improve and seek out my own nuggets of truth.
To strive for perfection in myself and hoping that I can get close enough to feel success has me a little crazy. My only compensation is what one person said during a panel. It went something like this:
The writer makes their work as good as possible. Then the agent helps them improve it further and once it’s accepted by a publisher, the editor helps bump it even more. The original work, which the public never sees, doesn’t look like the final copy.
Have you ever been in the in between? What got/is getting you through?