Monthly Archives: June 2015

Literary Merit

Many of the people I meet and have discussed writing with assume that I must write stories with literary merit. I’m not sure why they assume thing, but they do. To me literary merit involves symbolism, the literary devices learned about in English courses, and writing to hold a mirror up to society. This usually results in stories that make a person wonder what the character is living for. These stories are depressing and the author seems to want the reader to question why they would want to live. Also known as the great Canadian novel.

I don’t write those. I don’t usually like reading those, though occasionally I find one worth the read. The stories I write are not meant to have literary merit. If there is any in them it happened by mistake or accident. I accept that other writers add these things in deliberately, however I don’t see why they should assume I do as well.

I write solely for entertainment, whether it be mine or the reader’s. If you read my work and were entertained, I consider my job done. I don’t need to add in any underlying messages or deep life philosophies. With all the books out there that have literary merit, I don’t think mine need it.

So, if you’re a writer and you are talking to another writer, don’t assume they write poetic prose with literary merit unless they have said so or you have read it written by them. And if you are reading something I’ve written, I hope you were entertained.

2:00AM

At two o’clock in the morning, I would very much prefer to be in the deep oblivion known as sleep. Yet time after time I find myself awake and getting more done than I did the rest of the day. The rest of my body is tuned toward sleep, but my brain is busy. I get story ideas and the urge to work on them. Limericks flow without work. And reading seems like a good idea. But I really want to sleep.

I want to be able to do all these things during daylight hours when the rest of the world is also at work. I’m expected to do things during the day. Other people make noise as they daytime activities. And I try to move my natural schedule hours when the sun is up.

None of it helps. My brain claims to have no ability to work at any other times. We are at odds with each other as I want to sleep at night and work during the day and it only does things the other way around. Currently I have no way to work on its schedule, but sometimes I hope for a time when I can. Until then I have to either hope for some work time during the day or accept that I’m not going to get the recommended number of hours of sleep.

 

Waiting

I’m not good at waiting for things. Once I know something is coming I would rather skip the waiting and get on with it. Christmas, dentist appointments, birthdays, or needles, it doesn’t matter I don’t like the wait. I was supposed to pick someone up at the airport, but their schedule got mixed up and their noon flight was changed to coming in at midnight. The wait to hear what was happening was the worst part of the day.

When I can distract myself I don’t mind the wait. If you fill the December days with baking and shopping, Christmas comes much faster. Sometimes I can get so distracted I forget that I am waiting for something, but that is rare.

This dislike of waiting makes things frustrating at times. I get tired of writing the middle of the story and can’t wait to get to the end. Many times this leads to me either giving up in the middle or writing the ending before finishing the rest and not getting back to the rest.

I can also tell if the book I’m reading is really good by whether I get caught up in the story that waiting to read the ending is all right. Many times I skip to the last few pages and read them before getting through the middle of the book.

Lately it seems I’ve been doing a lot of waiting and lack the concentration to distract myself. Hopefully this period is over soon. Until then I’ll have to find myself something to make time go faster, like maybe a short story or two.