Apr 23, 2012
T is for ... The Story Within
Yes, another book on writing. I've read it before, but during a time when I wasn't struggling with writerly confidence. You know, when I didn't really need it. But the past couple weeks, confidence gremlins have been riverdancing through my mental happy place. The more I wrote on my blog, the less I wrote on my projects, the less productive I felt, and the more certain I became that everything I write is crap.
Which, of course, snowballed. I couldn't be sad about being a crappy writer without berating myself for being sad about it. And then I felt worse because I had to berate myself for being sad that I was a crappy writer, and then I felt stupid for being sad that I had to berate myself for being .... in a spiral of lameness that was periodically interrupted by me flinking myself with a rubberband(it seemed less silly than swatting myself on the nose with rolled up newspaper).
But then I found my book! And I didn't even have to read all that far before I found a short sentence that somehow made everything better, so I'm going to share it: No one hates himself more than a writer who isn't writing.
That was like a prescription to write crap just to feel better about writing at the level that simply fails to live up to expectations. The equivalent of take two of these and call me int he morning... So I dashed to www.writeordie.com and in Strict Kamikaze mode, pounded out 2100 words in 62 minutes--which I think is some kind of record for me.
Six hours later I re-read it, and it didn't suck sugar-frosted monkey nuggets, as I expected it to. I revised and edited, layered in emotion, clarified the conflict, wrote a synopsis and query letter, and submitted it to the Riva Fast-Track in about 24 hours time elapsed time. It might get no where, but I feel confident stating: It's not crap! I'm even kind of happy with it.
There's something very cathartic about forcing yourself to produce fast. There's no time for second-guessing or berating yourself. It's a good feeling. I've never been one who can shut off the internal editor. But if this is what it's like, I'm so going to have to do this more often.
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I've never heard of this book before but I definitely want to read it now. I know what you mean about getting away from your writing and then starting to feel like crap, nothing feels better than jumping back in and getting a bunch cranked out.ReplyDelete
It is a good book. I need to sometimes be reminded: fish have to keep swimming, they don't have to swim fast or well enough to win a race, but without it they will suffocate.Delete
Writer's need to keep writing, it doesn't have to be good writing or win any prizes, but without it they will mentally suffocate.
CONGRATULATIONS, Amalie!!! That's such a wonderful quote because it's so true. I love that you produced an entry in 24 hours. You're my inspiration for today, and my fingers are crossed for your entry!ReplyDelete
I can't attest to the quality of it after I went back and read one section of this blog post... which I could barely make heads or tails of a few hours later!Delete
But I'm definitely putting that up in big happy letters in my office: No one hates himself like a writer who isn't writing.
It's writing To Feel Better more than writing to show others. I just ended up being okay with others looking at it.
If you subbed to the FT, good luck!
I am not a writer, but I am a beader and you described perfectly what I feel when I haven't created anything in a while. Congrats for "Just Doing It". And although I don't have a clue as to what it is you entered your writing into- Good Luck. You deserve it.ReplyDelete
I can identify this feeling with all my other artistic pursuits: I am especially adept at identifying 'when my hands want to do something' feeling. (Note the Fru fru lamp post March 27). I think the main difference for me is the dose of 'be productive' guilt I feel when not writing. That's what I want to do with my life, I don't so much want to build fru fru lamps for a living. You know?Delete
The submission was to Harlequin.com :) They had a fast-track on submissions (rapid turnaround) that had a deadline of today. I'm not holding my breath, but putting together the submission did what I needed it to do, and now the pressure is off and I can go back to my other works in progress.
Thanks for the luck! I save it in my 'Gettin Lucky' jar, which is no where near as sexy as it sounds :D
Sugar-frosted monkey nuggets! Loved it. You're a great writer. Just stopping by to say hi on the challenge.ReplyDelete
I am of the intellectual belief that everything is better with some monkeys in it :)Delete
And sugar :o
Thank you for stopping by! Definitely will be tracking back to visit you.
Yes! The only thing worse than writing is NOT writing, for sure. I'm glad you managed to turn off your inner critic and get some words out. It's never as bad as it seems, huh? :)ReplyDelete
Have you read Bird by Bird? That's my go-to when I start getting too in-my-head about how much my writing sucks...
I think it's some kind of karmic joke that so many writers are perfectionists. That's like... a GMC joke. My character is a writer, what can I do to give her the most drama? I KNOW, I'LL MAKE HER A PERFECTIONIST. :)Delete
I have heard of Bird by Bird, but I haven't read it. Or purchased it. I don't think it's in my local library either, but I haven't specifically looked for it. I just kind of have the writing-themed titles almost memorized.