I've made a little progress this week on "Skull-face. . . ." I added another 500 words to it and I have a better grasp of what I want it to say. I also re-read "A Fine Day to Watch the Dragons Die," and finally got a few folks to beta-read it for me. Good responses, but it needs some serious redrafting. I was thinking of sending it out this week, but given what my readers have told me, it needs more work before I do that.
I was quite inspired by a long discussion over on John Scalzi's blog WHATEVER. The discussion was explicitly about payment for writing, but I found the ideas underneath that theme worth analyzing. I think Scalzi's idea of "Aspiring Writer Stockholm Syndrome" makes a lot of sense. I certainly suffered from that the first time I tried writing, and it helped make my writing suck even more.
The conversation got me to thinking about how I view myself as a writer, and what I think I am capable of as an artist. It first off reminds me that I need to think of myself as an artist. That is odd to me. There isn't a good reason why it is odd, but I find it hard to declare myself an artist out in the open. Maybe because I don't have a sufficient body of work, or don't feel I deserve the appellation. But after reading this blog conversation, I felt much more secure about calling myself an artist, and about demanding sufficient respect and recompense for what I do. If you don't do that, you get nowhere. If you do not respect yourself AS an artist, you are not only at a disadvantage as a writer, but you do a disservice to yourself and what you produce.