Monday, March 1, 2010

Taking chances and second guessing.

I want to thank all of you for your amazing and generous comments on Friday.  I was actually a little embarrassed after posting my snippit.  I began to read other amazing snippits by other awesome bloggers and my little piece barely glimmers compared to all the talent that is out there.  So thank you. I also was very excited to see I have 60 followers-- boy, did that make me smile.


I am sure many of you have felt the rollercoaster of emotion in this world or writing.  Yes, I am new at this and have already been through a whole bunch of them and I know only more will follow. I am learning so everything takes time.   I have posted on crazy emotions before and will probably post on it again at some point.

This weekend I had to really look at myself and question.  I have been on many blogs who post this same dilemma and I respond with an encouraging comment from the bottom of my heart--I really do mean everything I say.  Did I mention you guys rock?

 Throughout my life, I was shy and lacked confidence. These flaws made me miss many opportunities.  I was never one to even talk about myself in great detail and here I am blogging my little heart out. Why? What changed me?

Well, I went to college and got a job in the field I wanted to be in.  Interior design is what I chose and I do love it--it has made me stronger, more confident, and more outgoing. I learned how to sell my talent and show confidence even if I wasn't.  But.....

When I discovered writing 10 years ago, I would have never let anyone read anything.  I was not good enough--would run through my thoughts. So I would secretly write when no one was around in a dark corner somewhere hiding my journal if anyone came into the room.  So why pursue this now?

I took a chance and let someone read my story and well that is how this all started and made me realize that I could not miss another opportunity. I didn't want to have a another regret--life is too short.

Since then, I have started this journey and it has made me take many chances.  Why? It is unlike me.  I am not a daredevil or even spontaneous. Is it because I have this fire burning inside me to push myself?  A drive like I never had before making me want something so bad it hurts, to show the world that I have a story to tell (and many more if I get the chance). I still get knots in my stomach everytime I post something I write but lately I feel I have to--to reassure myself that I might possibly be o.k. at this. 

On Friday I took another chance, I posted 1,000 words of my first draft  on Teen Fire (Writers Forum) to get feedback on what I should change (you should try it).   Maybe I jumped the gun-- getting ahead of myself as I always do.  I don't have the experience that the other writers have to show my work.  Do I?  Why am I so eager to take these chances?

I turned many different colors due to lack of breathing waiting to hear what the masses had to say and as the comments began to pop up -- I realized it wasn't so bad.  I got feedback that I needed to hear.  It was good to hear.  Even Lisa and Laura gave me awesome pointers--thanks gals ;) But this is not what bothered me this weekend--in fact it sparked new ideas to flow into my head for my WIP.  It made me want to jump back into my WIP, roll around in the words soaking them in and making them better.  This was a good thing.

The problem I had after all my new ideas rolled around was I started to look at all the books that I have read and that I want to read.  I  reminisced with the ones I loved, read the captions of the ones I have yet to lay my eyes on and this is when my heart began to sink and turn grey.

I have written a first draft which I am proud of but all weekend all I could think about were all the parts I thought resembled all those other books.  I know there are only a handful of plot lines to which all these wonderful novels spark from but those authors make it different.  Are they really that different from each other? Then my eyes wander down to the word doc icon --the one with my first draft file sitting...waiting ...for me to look at it. That's when I broke down.

Who would want to read this? Is it that different? Yes, I have a ton of revising to do and I am o.k. with that but how do I get away from possible similarities?  Will the reader be constantly comparing what I write to all those other books? All the parts that I think resemble everything else flashed through my brain. I seriously was ready to just delete it and start over with something new.

Sure I have had these thougths before as I am sure many of you have and it is part of the whole process. It is what makes us better writers.  I know this but it doesn't change the fact that I am human. I will have moments like this both euphoric and deeply depressed.  I dislike second guessing myself and I know this is not the first time and will not be the last.  I need to slow down and quit pushing myself too hard. I tend to speed up when I am excited about something and that usually gets me into trouble.   I just have to keep in mind why I started this in the first place.  I started this because deep down I love it--it is comfortable, it makes me happy (for the most part) and it makes me.....me. I think in the end it makes me feel good about myself and I love the characters I create.

I know you all have felt this before so I am sorry if my blabbering is boring. I had to vent--you know --get it out there.  Like I said before I am learning.  I don't want people to think of me as a whiner or someone who is weak.  I just needed a little place to let the feelings fly and work them out. I  have to go now and eat a big box of chocolate that is accompanied by some hot chocolate --yikes. Then I need to critique and read my first draft cover to cover --I need to continue--I can't give up.  I need to make it the best it can be.

How do you get over feeling this way?

If you are feeling this way now feel free to vent too.

What made your weekend great? :)  Random questions I know --hey it's Monday cut me some slack.                          

BTW--I forgot to post my truth from Thursday's post. It was number 6 --I drove a Porsche 911 Turbo through the mountains of California--really fast.  My husband is a car lover and it trickles into me too. :)
 Oh and if Robert Pattison was one of my best friends --I am sorry -- but I am not so sure I would share ;) (maybe I know him in parallel universe--new thought for a story) :)  Enjoy the view;) There are way too many happy faces in that paragraph.

Sorry, photo removed.

Something to brighten your day after my downer of a post :) Have a great day!

17 comments:

  1. Don't ever feel bad for venting, we all do it all the time. It's part of the process. It doesn't make you sad or lame or pathetic or weak. And yes, we all look at our writing and feel that way, too.

    Look at the bright side. You put your words out there and got good feedback. Whatever your story, it will be written through your unique voice and biographical experiences and that will make what you write unique.

    So continue to write and it will all work out. :)

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  2. Venting is necessary in the process of writing, it's just nice to be able to vent to those who understand you and your writing. It is awesome to see all the support your fellow blogger friends give you. The boost of confidence is great to have.

    I will need to remember some links to send out some pages of my first draft when it's complete. Right now I just use positive reinforcement and let my husband read it! Gives me the confidence I need to continue!

    How funny I too love interior design! I almost went to school for it but realized that writing was my true passion and Interior design was my hobby!

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  3. Christine, thanks so much for posting this, I feel like this all the time, and it's really hard to push down. But I love how you believe in yourself. You do or you wouldn't be writing. Kristin Cashore author of Graceling and Fire said, "At every moment writing is an act of self confidence - the sheerest, most determined, most stubborn self-belief. You can have faith and doubt at the same time; the most insecure writer on the planet has faith that shines just as bright as her doubt, and she deserves props for that. It might be hidden deep, she might not see it, but it's in there or she wouldn't be able to write."

    I keep telling myself that, I keep telling myself that I won't get any better if I quit, and that I really, really love writing.

    Also you should check out Aprilynne Pike's blog (she wrote Wings) she just had a post about not worrying that your idea is already been used. Good stuff.

    You can do it Christine, I believe in you :)

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  4. Thanks for another great post, Christine. I think all writers go through love-hate periods with their craft. We love it when things go well. We hate the self-doubt and vulnerability when things don't. I think what's important is that we remember why we write. I do it for self-expression and because I love my characters and story lines. I can hang in there another day if I think about them. I really enjoy reading your story. Keep up the excellent work. You have fans.

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  5. You've come to the right place to vent ;) I don't think there are many of us writers out here who haven't felt this way at one time or another--or continually, even.

    I go up and down all the time, but in the end, it just makes me happy to write. Whether anyone but my friends ever read it or not.

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  6. That's one of the things about being a writer, if you think you're good and have nothing to fix, that's when you have a problem. You're doing great, putting yourself out there. It's a grand start. Thanks for the post. It's good to not feel so alone.

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  7. Honey, I think you're going through the same motions all writers go through. Indeed, I think it's just our lot to secondguess ourselves. Just know you'll get through it, and that you are good enoug, and just believe in yourself. Hag in there. You've got something really great going here.

    And congrats on the 60 followers! AND for putting your work out there. I still hold my breath every time I post to my blog or whenever I let someone read my work. So I commend you for that. You should be proud.

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  8. Congrats to 60 followers! I just got over being "down" for a couple weeks on writing. I think it's a pattern like anything else. Some good days and some not so good ones. Oh, and dang, I thought you were bff's with cedward. :( lol

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  9. Congrats on 60 followers!

    I think you'll find that, at least if writers are being honest with themselves, almost everyone feels this way some of the time. I know I do.

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  10. I think writing is a different beast, something we have to get used to. I mean, in college you work toward something and you FINISH. You get a job. You get work DONE.

    Writing is never done. It's a continuous process, even after you reach milestones. And that's why we continually get down on ourselves. I think. :)

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  11. Never be afraid to vent, Christine. You've raised a lot of fears that a lot of us have felt at different times in our writing lives. I'm always in the mindset that I'm not good enough and it doesn't get any better when I read a fabulous book and basically say to myself, "well, I'll just give this up now rather than pollute the writing world with my bile." But you push through it and eventually you'll find yourself saying, "you know what? I can do this! If I couldn't do this, then I wouldn't have this burning desire in me to do it." You'll be just fine - all you have to do is remember one thing:

    JUST KEEP WRITING. ALWAYS KEEP WRITING.

    <3

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  12. Join the club, Christine. We all are scared to death (or at least I am)! The most important thing to remember is to KEEP WRITING! NO EXCUSES! : )

    This weekend was great because I bought shoes! YAY! I'm a shoe-a-holic!

    And... Rob... sigh. That pic just made my Monday sparkle. HAha! : )

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  13. You'll get there, Christine. People like you always do. You're a writer after all, which means perseverance is your middle name :)

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  14. Thanks for your comment on my blog, Christine. I love yours too, just like 59 other people!! Wow, you are collecting followers so fast! How do you do it? You ought to blog about that sometime. Did the chocolate help? (I didn't have any chocolate in the house, so I ate cookies.)

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  15. Woohoo, 60 followers! :D Congrats!

    I agree with Elana... writing is a job that's never done. It's like teaching. It took me a long time as a teacher to feel the confidence that I have now, because it's not the kind of work that you do right or wrong, and you don't clock in and out. Fortunately, like this wonderful bloggy writing community, I had lots of people I could freely vent to and ask questions to without feeling stupid. I think as long as you have people you trust with your feelings, and people who have been there, you'll get through those low points. Self-doubt is a well-known part of writing, especially, I think (so I hear... I'm not there yet) when your MS is done, and awaiting revision.

    I love reading your pieces!

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  16. Never, never give up. Writing is so, so hard because it is so incredibly subjective. We have been at this for over a year and we are still learning. I think there will always be bumps in the road, but as long as we're learning, it's worth the drive.

    Half the battle is starting. Think about it. How many people say they want to write a book? How many people actually do? You are DOING it!

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  17. Wow. Those are some heavy feelings. YES I've been there. But YES it does get easier and better. I don't think I feel those huge depths of despair as much anymore. Instead of a canyon, now they're like shallow valleys. ((hugs)) I know we've just "met" but I'm so proud of you for deciding to stick with this writing thing--you're gonna make it! ♥

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