Mood: Frustrated

Currently Listening to: Come on Get Higher by Matt Nathanson

So, I’m in the midst of an artistic crisis. I feel like I’m being subjected to constant crap. Is there any quality out there anymore? Seriously! I know exactly what, rather who, to blame for my current mood. In my writing class we are now workshopping out first 20-pages. I went first last week, so essentially, I’m done with the class. Except I have to critique all my fellow classmates work for the duration. So, the first one wasn’t bad. The writer was actually decent and I could see merit. Then last night I started to read the next two. My first mistake was reading them before I went to bed. My second mistake was staying awake till 2 AM to finish them because I just wanted to get it the hell over with. I’m sorry, I try to find the positive in people’s work, but I’m really struggling to find ANYTHING positive to say. I’m mean we’re talking absolute drivel. Admittedly, one of the submissions was better than the other…marginally. The somewhat better one at least had some form of a plot and somewhat defined characters that weren’t cliched, even if they were lacking in development. But overall, the setting was not clearly defined and the time period was all over the place. One minute the characters are walking on cobblestone, lantern lined streets wearing chainmail, evoking images of 18th century England. The next their wearing rubber soled shoes and eating pancakes topped with strawberries. I’m sorry, but do your fucking research. Get the details right. I don’t care if it’s a draft. The second submission is from someone in my class who I’ve already clashed with (and who the instructor has also clashed with). I can leave my personal feelings aside when critiquing. So, regardless of what I think of him as a person or his intelligence, there is absolutely NOTHING redeemable about what he’s written. It’s overwriiten. His word choice is horrid. In the first chapter the main character is portrayed as this bitch, and then in the 2nd chapter I’m supposed to believe that she’s compassionate and willing to share her trials and tribulations with a co-worker. In addition, in the 21-pages presented, there is no actual action. As one of my classmates already pointed out, the main character goes to pick up her car from having repairs, goes into work, talks with a coworker, talks about some scientific/technical project using jargon, and then transfers some files to a computer and deliberately deletes one of them. Yeah…so…umm…I’m supposed to want to continue reading this? Because I don’t. It’s absolutely dreadful. And I love how the “writer” (and I must use that word lightly) says in his email sending it out that he’s not aspiring to “literary” fiction, but “genre” fiction. I don’t know that I’ve really read “genre” fiction (unless Harry Potter counts), but I’m assuming it still requires decent writing, well-developed characters, and a strong plot.

The fact that I have 3 more weeks, and 6 more submissions to get through of this class is really starting to get to me. All this morning I’ve been thinking how much I just want to drop the class. But I’m not one to quit and I’m not taking a failing grade, even if it doesn’t really count for anything. But I really really hate it now.

If there’s anything good to come of this, it’s making me realize that I’m a decent writer and I do need to move forward with my WIP. I don’t mean to be full of myself, but seriously, there’s no comparison.

It really didn’t help that I saw Ironman yesterday. I was dragged. It’s not good when I start counting how many seats are in the movie theater. I was SOOOO bored. How the hell was it #1? So, seeing that, then reading those submissions, and then seeing a clip of Usher on SNL from Saturday night (I’m not a fan, but I watched because people were citing it for how dreadful it was), I feel like I’m being overwhelmed by CRAP!!! I’m craving something good–to read, to listen to, to watch. It’s just amazing how much crap there is these days in terms of entertainment, and by extension art. I want to overwhelmed in a good way…and it’s been a LONG time since that’s happened. Maybe if I’d been able to see the full (infamous) Radiohead show in VA last Sunday, instead of just the last 45-minutes after sitting in a car for 3-hours to drive 2-miles in the pouring rain, I would have had something enjoyable to block out all the other crap. But alas, the 45-minutes of the encore (while good), are not enough. Besides, I’m still bitter that it took me 3-hours to drive 2-miles to get into a show to only see 45-minutes. (And tell me…I know it’s been said before…but how is 1000’s of cars idling for 3-hours environmentally friendly Thom York??? Seriously, suck it up and play the Verizon Center in DC where people can be environmentally responsible and take public transportation!) Ok, digression over….

So, moving on. My writing buddy and I have started a new writing challenge–35K by June 21. So, essentially 1000-words a day. Not bad. Yes, I’m already 2,000 words behind, but catching up is not so daunting, and 1,000-words a day is completely feasible. I’m already close with just this post, and I did a 2,000+ critique for my class earlier. Now if only I could channel that writing energy into my own stuff. See, all this crap is getting in the way and zapping my energy.

Ok, must find something to watch or listen to or read that’s good to clean out my head, otherwise I’m going to keep drowning in these feelings.