Thursday, June 3, 2010

Stress can make you react in weird ways.

Well folks, I'm not myself today. I'm sorry. I had a critique that threw me down. A while back I had an opportunity for a critique by someone in the business. I'm not giving names or details. I highly respect this person and to be honest the critique was very constructive --so today I'm taking it that way. It was extremely helpful but I have to make major changes. There was also a comparison to a book which I read after I wrote my story and at the time I read it I freaked out because the beginning scared the crap out of me. Some of the parts were frightenly ( I think I made up a word) similar. So I have an evil eye for this book and have been trying to change some of those similarites. I knew this might happen and totally hated the thought then and now.There are positive points to the critique so I'm sure why I reacted this way. I can take critiques and this one was not that bad.

At first, I did what I try not to do. I cried. Yes, I did and hard. I wanted to ball up and disappear never to be heard from again. I see now how stupid it was after my daughter said what's wrong. I think mainly because I've been stressed out. My house, my kids, my life--lately has been stressful. Again, I will not bore you with the details. The critique broke me. Like I said it wasn't bad, it just threw my brain into a tizzy and made me react in a really stupid way. Stress with real life sucks. It makes you react to things in weird ways.

I just kept thinking how flippin hard I've been working on this changing it a gazillion times and now I have to re evaluate my whole story. My whole idea. Most of the night, I tortured myself on how much I sucked and I don't know why I think I even have talent. How I put every flippin ounce of energy thinking about this story and how to change it to make it better. Taking every stinking moment I had alone and some I would sneak when the kids were quiet (unlike right now) to work on this. Why did I start this now? With small kids? Am I insane?

I'm also trying to catch up with all the books I want to read and can't. By the time I get the kids to bed, I want to write and that's at 9:30-10. I try and write for an hour but most of the time it's unproductive because I'm too damn tired.

Then I told myself I have no time for the negative-- this is a sign, right? A sign to make me work harder and prove that I can. Right?

I feel bad because I felt for a second that I was putting all this time into this and what if I fail? That's part of the whole thing-- failing can happen.

Doubt crept in pushing me to quit but I'm pushing that aside. For now.

I love this too much. I have too many characters speaking to me. Ian and Anna looked at me with tears as I tried to forget them.

I'm in too deep. I'm willing to put in the time and learn.

I know more of this will come.  Pain and torture. This is only the beginning but I really know what some of you mean. I know how it feels and I don't have an agent or editor yet. So I give all of you the biggest credit and hugs. This is hard --I've always known that. It's only going to get harder. Can I take it?

I think so.

Crying only sheds the pain--releases it. Determination builds the strength and helps shield the doubt.

It's a small bump and I can take it. (I hope). Here I was writing all these posts about self esteem and determination. Now I plop back down. Sorry. Human here unless Edward puts me out of my misery. Where is that boy? Needed a distraction.

Thanks for reading and if I don't post for a few days (which may be hard) I'm just trying to get back on track. Taking a breather.  Re evaluating my story and my idea. Because I'm not sure where its going to go. Can I continue it? Part of me hates not to finish the revisions but I don't want something that sucks either. I have other ideas-- should I start one of those? I don't know right now.

My CPs will slap me a little I'm sure. :)

This is only the beginning.  Please don't think I'm a whiner. I feel like every couple weeks I post something like this. Sorry. I'm putting a positive spin on it and trying to apply that to the rest of the stresses I have.

After the whole night, ideas did begain to surface on what I might be able to do. Changes that even though require some work will make this WiP better. There are signs from this and I'm thankful for the person who did this critique. It would have happened sooner or later but I'm glad it happened now.

This also made me smile. This is by Abby Annis. I hope she doesn't mind that I used it for my post.

Oh and please excuse any mistakes. My brain was not thinking clearly when I wrote this. Have a great day!


  1. Awww *hugs* that happens sometimes, but I'm glad you're taking a positive attitude--in the end everything makes you a better writer, though I know its frustrating to hear a harsh critique. Sounds like you're doing everything right! Just keep going! And about that similar book--Ive had that happen to me a lot too--but at the end of the day your story is your story and it will be completely unique. Keep going!

  2. *hugs, too*
    Well, crying can be good for you...think of it as emotional detox!

  3. Awww I've had that happen to me as well. A book that was JUST bought by a publisher had a premise almost like the WIP I was writing. I had to go and change things so that mine didn't seem like a copy.

    It sucks, and critiques suck if they make you feel like that. Usually it takes me a few days to get over them. Hang in there, I love the excerpts of your writing that you post on here. You definitely have talent and should keep going, even if it means changing a few things. :)

  4. (((HUGS)))!!! Hang in there Christine! We will help cheer you up this evening! If it makes you feel better I've been in the same slump with my revisions. Finding Me has become a disaster zone and I've realized that I've hated everything I've written.... EVERYTHING... even the new revisions. Luckily my husband was there to dig me out of my wallowing hole and tell me that he liked it. Problem is I wanted him to hand me a match so I could light it on fire... (Just showing you how much my WIP and I are not getting along)

    WAIT. There is light at the end of the tunnel. Last night I had a huge breakthrough. I was able to piece together my whole entire story... and let me tell you I've never felt better. I have a small synopsis (weak but it's something) and now I can start on the dirty stuff... rewriting! So it does come all together... and don't worry I won't be slapping you! ;)

    I think every writer needs that badge on their sidebar, it should be a constant reminder that writing doesn't always have to be brilliant. It has to be about you!

  5. Sorry to hear you're having a tough time of it.
    At least you haven't derailed and you're still headed in the right direction.

  6. Maybe that is why they call us suffering artists? The enemy? Ourselves. I look at all my stuff lately and think it's crap. Total crap. I hope to come out of my quagmire soon. Things will be up for you soon, too.

  7. Oh, I've been there! ((((SUPER HUG)))) I've cried. Been Beaten. Broke down. But you know what? It took some time, but I got over it. Used the info and made myself better. Sure, it takes time...but you can take all the time you need.

    Good luck. And *smile!*


  8. I have already sent you two emails with my thoughts about this but I just want to say again, I'm here for you, I believe in you and this too shall pass :):):):)

    *another BIG huh*

  9. I'll support whatever decision you make and gladly read whatever you put in front of me. :-)

  10. you sound just like me, probably just like most of us. and please don't apologize for being human on your blog. we all share that. give yourself time to grieve a little. it's hard to get critiques.

  11. I know the feeling, Christine. Take some time and nurse your bruises, then let your characters take over. They'll lead you to the story!

  12. I'm sorry you're down right now, it's so hard sometimes. We all go through major doubting stages, but you're right, you just need to push forward and grow from this.

    I would guess it's harder to hear [any] negative things about your book/writing from a professional. But, take a deep breath and focus on wowing the pants off that person with your next revision ;)

  13. Real life can be a bitch. I am sure you'll come out shiny and successful!

  14. i think we all react that way, some time or another. Even when the crit is really helpful and great, it still breaks us a little bit each time.

    But it's like lifting weights, you have to tear the muscles in order for them to grow back bigger and stronger

  15. @Falen: You shouldn't be tearing your muscles doing weight lifting... That myth originated from a misapplication of the principle behind bone strengthening to muscle building. Muscles tears are actually debilitating and require complete rest for recovery.
    Don't take my word for it, talk with a qualified physician.

    That said I understand the intent behind your parallel and applaud it.

  16. I don't think it's the critique that got you. You said it in the first paragraph: A while back I had an opportunity for a critique by someone in the business.

    There's the issue. You got a critique from someone who wasn't a fellow schmuck blogger wannabe halfwit. I say that with love and props to my fellows, and throw myself on top of your grungy dogpile.

    But Christine, you got a for realsies critique.

    A professional critique!

    I assume you were crying for joy, because not many people in this little blogosphere can claim to have been critiqued by a professional.

    I salute that! Congratulations is in order.

    I doubt the critic would look at my work, nor would I have much to send their way.

    - Eric

  17. oh Christine! *hugs tight* this happens to all of us. i know i'm probably just rehashing what everyone else has already said (and what you already know), but you can't give up. in fact, if you're so committed that a critique could move you to tears -- all that means is that you really, really care.

    you want this bad, and you've got the drive and the passion to get you there.

    hang on, love. you'll brave these stormy seas.

    i promise.

    in the meantime, we're all hear to listen if you need it.


  18. (((HUGS))) This happens, something throws a wrench in the already shaky world of revisions and be it constructive or not, sometimes we are exhausted. I had this happen, infact it's my blog post today once I write it, several times and last night had a break through.
    The thing that got me back together, was someone dared me, yes DARED me to quit.
    They said do it, I WOULD love to see you TRY to quit. Guess what I couldn't, my characters were like okay hell no we are pushing through this. An odd motivation but I did try, and failed at quitting haha!
    Rest up, recover, and you'll be right back on track. I've been a beta for you, and I know you can do this :)

  19. A couple of published authors have told similar stories of their books. These same books had to be totally rewritten--completely. They felt the same way as you do but they got busy and rewrote them from scratch. Both books sold. So, I predict...:)

  20. Take a deep breath, gather your thoughts, realize you don't suck, and then tackle everything anew.

  21. While I haven't ever had a critique from someone in the industry, I've written my share of stuff that didn't work at all--not even for my critique group. It's never fun.

    I read about these people that write a book in like six months (which is supposedly how long Twilight took) and I'm just floored.
    I've been working for two years now. The book has gone through numerous revisions--the whole plot line has had to change and I've cried more than once.

    You're right though--you get to a point of no return. It's kind of like riding a roller coasting and getting to the top of that high hill--and realizing there's no way off but down. haha. (I hate roller-coasters, they scare the crap out of me.)

    You have all these people rooting for you. And those characters that need you to keep working! One day you'll look back and be happy that you handled it and moved on. Someone who can't handle a bad critique/a manuscript rejection will never make it in this business. So, you're a step closer now than a lot of people ever get. Congrats on staying strong! You can do this!! :)

  22. One of my biggest fears is for my book to be too similar to another one. But one good things about stories is that: you can always rearrange and adjust them to meet your needs. Mold the story into something new and fresh. That's what I've been working on and it's hard. Very hard. But keep going and you and your story will get there~ :)

  23. Sending you a big bloggy hug right now!!!!

    I think a good cry now and again can be refreshing and healing...lets you release and move on!

    As writers, I think we can all relate to everything in this post...we're all in this battle together and boy is it a battle. But, if we love it, as you've said so well, we have no choice!

    Good luck on those revisions!!!