Full Disclosure

Yeah, I have a degree in journalism. In getting that degree I was taught that if there is any possible conflict of interest the writer must make a full disclosure statement. But now for the part that might seem weird to most, but maybe not my writer friends.

Full disclosure: I’m scared. And to be honest, as a writer, I’m not even sure of what. Rejection? Success?

I think it’s something unrelated, or maybe in between. All I know is this: For the last several months I’ve read through portions of my manuscript for Requiem for a Laborer. I’ve been able to make a few basic edits, correcting horrible sentenses, improper word choice, that sort of thing. But when it comes to making “flesh and bone” changes, I’ve been paralyzed.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way at all thinking that my work is beyond reproach. In fact, I think that like many writers (and musicians- I fancy myself a vocalist too. Blues, if you must know.) our own worst critics.

Every time I sit down to edit, I find myself thinking: Who would want to read this? Who would want to read a novel about a group of wannabe freedom fighters on a steam powered airship? Sure the aerial battle plays out super cool in my head but…      and the thoughts trail off…

At this point, I find myself thinking what right do I have to write a steampunk novel? Cheri Preist has it down with her Clockwork Century series but is there anything of real value that I can add to the genre? I feel like I have a different approach but  maybe it isn’t different enough?

And it is at this point that things get even more sticky for me. In college, (I graduated four years ago as a non-traditional student)  I was given very positive feedback from my professors, English professor Alayne Peterson,  about my writing. My thought? Oh, they’re just being kind. I’m really not that good.

Then again, maybe this is self-destructive thought. If I produce a story that a few people find entertaining I think that I have done my job. Maybe I could it evolve it into a series. Time and ability will tell.

So what brought me out of my writing funk? Well…

I was watching a #Joe_ Bonamassa Mountain Time video, awesome guitar work awesome musician. Beyond that, I don’t think I could really tell you.

I can tell you this, however, I am trying my damnedest to start moving forward with my writing.

Peace.

 

 

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Am I Too Far Gone?

Right now I keep paging through the manuscript for my current novel, “Requiem”. I am having a problem with what to correct and what to pass over because this is just a first draft.

So at this point, I am asking myself: “If I am asking myself these questions, am I honestly into my first revision?

I know that this may sound like silly semantic questions, but there is a purpose here. It has to do with achieving goals and how I define them. I set the goal for myself that I will have the first draft of this novel done by the first of the year.

But what is bothering me is that I still have holes in the story that I need to fill, but I keep getting pulled into what I see as glaring problems; mostly with mechanics.

I have it in mind that I should work from the biggest problems. i.e. plot holes, faults in character arcs and the like, but I keep getting sucked into the minutiae of misspellings bad punctuation etc.

Is this just a problem for me? Good Lord! Is it possible that I am whacked, even by fiction writer standards?

*shudder*

How does anyone else decide where the first draft ends and the rewrite begins?

Maybe I’m taking the whole dilemma too seriously.

Perhaps it isn’t even a dilemma?

Or perhaps my little red choo-choo has gone chugging around the bend. O-o

In any case, a happy week to all.

Why I Write

I have been back to writing after taking a break after National Novel Writing Month. I’ve gotten out just a few more thousand words, but I’m going to be picking up that pace. Now the goal is to have the first draft done be the end of the year.

After that, some time off, no more than a week, and then the process of the first rewrite.

Why do I write, though? Why do I feel that I really need to sit at a computer and pound out thousands of words that it’s quite possible no one will read?

To be honest, there are times when I’m not sure.

But when I become quiet and introspective, like I am now, today, I think that I write as a means of coping with my depression. And, yes, I am working through a bout of depression.

Photo of Depression

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

I believe the greater part of why I write is it often feels that it is the one thing in my life that I have complete control over. And it’s just that easy. And complex. I work in a factory where I am trying to get promoted off the production floor, I have a family with three cat’s included, and for the most part, it all goes pretty well.

I just feel that there should be something thatI have complete control over. Is that wrong, maybe even egotistical?

During times when I have the companionship of depression, the feeling of needing to be in control takes on an added depth. Like I am missing something by not being in charge or I would feel better if there was something that I could control. This goes beyond the control inherent to the creation of characters, places, and events. I mean I am in control of the process. I decide when and how much I write, when I rewrite and edit, what mood I want to evoke and with what words, who sees my work and when.

Underwood typewriter

Photo via Flickr Creative Commons

Yes, I understand when I turn my work over to beta readers and editors, that they have criticism and suggestions. There again I have the right of refusal. I don’t have to listen. Although it would be in my best interest to do so if I would ever want to become a published writer.

That is so much unlike how I perceive other aspects of my life. I have to do what I am told to at work. It is a very good idea to do my best to get along with my family and happily be engaged with family obligations. Things I have to do to be a good person.

So I am now off to write some more today. Here’s to a better tomorrow.

 

 

A Magical Morning

I’m sitting here having my usual oversized cup of coffee and as per routine one of my cats, James Joyce, is on my lap keeping company before work.

It really is a beautiful way to start my morning.

I took the last two ways away from writing, I thought it would be a nice break after the challenge and pressure of National Novel Writing Month. I also think I deserve a little break

Tonight I will be back to writing daily but at a less fevered pace. James will be on my lap, I’m sure, doing his feline best to edit.

I wish every morning could be this relaxed and… right

Happy rest of the week to all.

Day 16 NaNoWriMo 15

It’s been one of those day’s. No, not in a bad sense of the phrase, but rather this has been one of those self-refective days.

I keep coming back to Stephen King’s notion that if a person wants to be a writer the best thing one can do is…

Read and write for to six hours a day.

This sounds like a huge sacrifice to many I am willing to bet. For me, it just becomes a question of what am I willing to give up versus what am I willing to gain?

Yes I have been on vacation the last week and I am on vacation through Wednesday but even before my vacation I was writing two thousand words a day during the month of November.

The question for myself then becomes: Am I willing to sacrifice up to six hours a day to a craft that I will probably never make money at?

To answer a question with a question: Who cares?

If I am enjoying myself and if when a project is done a couple of people, even if they are friends get enjoyment out of it, then it is time well spent in my book.

I’m not writing to become rich and famous, I write because I feel I have stories to tell that I think others might enjoy.

Although the whole rich and famous thing, I certainly wouldn’t turn down.

Words today: 1794

Words total: 30,014

 

Day 13 NaNoWriMo 15

Wow, and I mean WOW!

I have made it halfway today. And it’s even before 7:30 PM.

This has been a hard day of writing. Not only because of the whole making it halfway thing. And that is very important, but also because wrote two very emotionally draining scenes.

Anyone that says something along the lines of, “What’s the big deal? They’re  only characters that you made up, so what?”

This is the heart and soul of being writers. We create. Out of our imaginations (making us rather childlike, yes?) we complete new scenarios, if not whole new worlds. Being that this is a steampunk novel. I feel I fit somewhere in the creative middle.

The point to this raving is that as writers, we do get emotionally drained, if not exhausted, by what we do.

Since I began writing, I have discovered that writers of all stripes, not only can, but have to get emotionally invested, if  he or she want’s the writing to be believable or better yet visceral. That means taking emotional risks. That is what I did today.

As for the reward I promised myself… it will have to wait until tomorrow. Don’t worry, I will pick out something nice for me. 🙂

For the other novelists that read this: Am I just whacked or do all of you get as emotionally invested?

I’d really love to hear from you.

As for my novel…

Words today: 2347

Words total: 25,017

Self Fulfilling…

A week ago I was diagnosed with depression. Over the weekend and into the week I felt down, sluggish, of-of-sorts and wanting to be alone.

Yesterday, I woke up before my alarm went off. As I lay in bed just thinking (and it is one of my favorite pastimes), I came upon an important insight and it is this:

Yes I have depression; yes, I will have bad days, but n the morning when I wake up, I make the decision how I approach the day. I decide that I will do my best to make it a great day, or not.

So a crappy day at work, I decide how I react. Pulled off my machine… twice, told to relieve other operators for lunch and a planning meeting for the continuous improvement team that I am on.

But wait, through this all I have a chance to be seen by the top brass in the company for efforts to improve efficiency where I work… Maybe  it’s not all that bad.

If fact, maybe it’s HOW I approach issues that arise, THROUGH the understanding of depression that I will transcend what happens.

It’s just a thought.

Peace all.