Thursday, December 23, 2010

Creeping rot diseae

I want someone out there to read my work and tell me I am publishable. Someone to tell me my work is viable. Worthy of being elevated from the great unwashed massed of the unpublished to the hallowed all mighty halls of The Agented and Published.

The problem with this is I have received the odd compliments and from people I don't think would bother to flatter me if they didn't have too. Really the problem is I lack any confidence at all. It probably wouldn't matter if the greatest author on earth said to me "You are totally ready! Just finish that novel and it's sure to be a best seller!" I STILL wouldn't believe them. There isn't enough confidence in the world to matter if it is all external. It has to come from with in. And isn't that where we all fail. The creeping rot disease of doubt?

I fall prey to that more than anything, the crippling elf doubt that my words will never be good enough. Once in awhile people do tell me I'm good. That my work is smooth and engaging. But there is the constant inner nagging doubt that whispers to me they are just blowing smoke.

My only solution is slog onward and hope for the best. Go forward and hope I'm not wasting yet more time. I feel like I wasted my whole life on doing all the wrong things and now I'm running out of time if I ever want to be published.

I sincerely hope this isn't the case.

Sunday, December 12, 2010


So many authors I've come across write, rewrite, and rewrite some more the first chapter. Or the first three, or five. And then their novel stops. Progress is not made.

There is no way to finish a book like this! There is some issue holding them back from moving forward and I'm sure it varies from person to person. But if you find your self doing this STOP.

I don't even re-read my WIPs as I write them. All that editing. all that futzing- that's for the END. That's for the next draft.

Now I do need to look things up in the manuscript from time to time, a last name I forgot, a street name, things like that. But I never spend too long reading. I find what I was looking for, or not, and then I go back to writing the scene I'm working on.

If you are one of the chronic re-writers STOP! Find a rewriting sponsor and get them to browbeat you into continuing your manuscript. Find a writing buddy and submit to them only new words- NO REWRITES.

Many will plead- it needs to be perfect before I move on! Oh Hell NO! You know why? You'll never make it perfect. It doesn't exist. Perfectionism is an excuse to not do anything. It is the most insidious of procrastination techniques. And I know this from experience. Perfectionism=paralysis. And paralysis will not finish a book either.

Keeping up during the holidays

Holidays are a terrible interruption to the writer. Family, friends if you have them, shopping, cooking and eating all conspire to keep you from the computer. Or in my case sheets of lined loose leaf paper.

I keep to writing in the mornings when I'm freshest. I get up, make breakfast and write while I eat. Then the rest of the day is pent doing whatever I have to. Sometimes I can write a little at night once I put my pet bird Igor to bed. But that is rare, my brain is fried by the end of the day and writing becomes a chore.

But that little bit in the morning. I try for 45 minutes but frequently end up with less. BUT even with that little bit, 15 min some days, I can add to my manuscript. A paragraph, two paragraphs, if I'm lucky two or three pages.

As slow going as it is it will all add up in the end.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Mid Book Blues part 2- things go better

Well, I can't say I have all the answers but I though I would share what seems to have helped me keep going on Tea Times Three.

1- I skipped ahead to the good bits! I abandoned the linear scene I was stuck on and I skipped ahead to events I have a clearer picture of. That turned out to be the events leading up to the climax and then I'll probably go on through to the climax and then in draft 2 I'll try to patch it all together. I've never done this before but so far so good.

2- A cheer partner. I found someone to turn pages in to every day and we mutually cheer each other on. I'd like to find a few more of these but I'm not sure I want to go begging on AW... I want it to be someone either more published than I am or at least someone who's name I recognize from the forums.

And that's about it so far. I am NOT a believer in editing you work as you go. Forward, ever forward is my continued motto! And if the only way to go forward is to skip ahead so be it!

Believe it or not my MG book also continues slow forward momentum. I work on it less than T3 but it is a side project.