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Following your dreams…

Author Bob Mayer tweeted that quote today.  I looked around online for the original source but I was unable to verify the true author.  The quote kind of struck a chord with me today.  Not because I have anyone discouraging my dreams though, it’s quite the opposite in fact.  Sully is so supportive that he is ready and willing to live off of me once I become a famous author.  Friends and family are lining up to read what I have written.

I think I am the weak one in this example.  It’s not easy to admit but it seems like I discourage myself daily.  I have a writing project that already has a word count over 110K .  I am supposed to be editing it.  I read the first chapter and didn’t like it.  Honestly, I sent a text to Sully that said, ‘I just read the first chapter and it blows.’ Sully replied with a lot of nice stuff and basically said he didn’t think it could be that bad.  He was right the end of the chapter was pretty good but that beginning part had to go.

This project was written during National Novel Writing Month, also referred to as NaNoWriMo, which I have shortened to NaNo.  The combination of the newness of the story and the time constraint of NaNo, I think, is at least partially to blame for the first chapter blowing.  I am procrastinating about editing and I am not sure why.  It’s a little overwhelming, and not just because it’s over 110K.  I know that stuff needs to be cut, added and rewritten, I have an entire notebook of notes.  Of course, I know part of the problem is that I am just afraid that the whole thing sucks.

I think I am going to leave this here and address that last part on another day.

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Work in progress…

I am supposed to be editing my work in progress, but I am trying to figure out which software to use.

I have used yWriter5 for several years but I felt like I needed more.  More what?  No idea, I was using the basic chapter and scene features, I also liked the character and location menus.  There are several features that weren’t useful at all and there were a few things that I could have used that weren’t there.

In January, I was working with Liquid Story Binder.  The difficult thing about LSB is that it is terribly complicated to figure out.  I really love the look of it, very colorful and visually striking.  There are so many features and it is so complex that it is not easy to just jump in and start writing.  You have to make builders and planners that link to chapters and scenes.  The character dossiers are s


Last month, Scrivener was recommended to me and I discovered that you can do a 30 day trial download.  I downloaded it last night, I haven’t really spent enough time with it to really comment.  My first impressions are mixed.  I like the corkboard feature and that the chapters and scenes are set up similarly to yWriter.  There are a few things that I am not fond of , there is no total word count, no timeline and the character section is less than interesting.  There is a tutorial video that I should probably watch.  I will post an update after I watch it and play around a bit more.et up well though and I like that.

Of course, I think all of this research and fact finding might just be a way of putting off working on my WIP.  As I said before, I am supposed to be editing.  I was hoping one of these programs would be helpful with that.  I think I just need to buckle down and get it done so I can let people read it.  I need the input so I can get better and move forward

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Procrastination or Fear…

I am supposed to be writing.  This is not new, I have been procrastinating about my writing since college.  I used to write for fun and then somewhere along the way I got concerned about whether what I was writing was any good.  That was not a good thing to have happen.  Once I started worrying about the quality of my writing then I was stuck.  Writing was stressful, and not fun.  I really wanted to write, but my inner critic was telling me to forget it.

My stories called to me, different scenarios filed through my head during the day and  I would have vivid dreams about people and places I didn’t know at night.  I would start stories and never finish them.  I mean what was the point?  I had already told myself they were crap so why continue?

My parents were very supportive and encouraged my writing but when you are in your twenties you are so damn sure that you know everything.  I thought I knew better and pushed it aside.  So, I would doodle here and jot something down there but nothing more than a few written pages.  After I survived a horrid relationship, followed by a self imposed sentence of solitary confinement of about seven years, I got laid off and finally ended up working in a bookstore.  There, I met my future husband and remembered why I loved writing.  Sully and I were married in 2000, and had Boo at the end of 2001.

Fast forward a few years, I’ve been working up to writing.  I’ve been talking about it,  a lot.  I bought books about writing and I even read some of them.  I have a drawerful of notebooks, journals and legal pads.  So, clearly, I’ve been thinking about it, my follow through was lacking though.  I guess I was waiting for some motivating factor…

November 1st, 2009, Jennifer Crusie posts on Facebook about National Novel Writing Month.  I read about it and think, yes, yes, yes.  Within minutes I was signed up and I am committed to writing 50,000 words in 30 days.  At the end of November I had  my 50K words and I was so excited.  I was writing again…and then I stopped, it was Christmas and I thought for sure I would start again in January.  This is where someone coughs *bullshit* in the background.  Honestly, though I thought I would keep on writing but it just didn’t happen. Somewhere around June 1st I realized that my book was only half done and I needed to finish it to get my free proof copy.  So, I spent another month hunched over my computer slogging through the last half of this not very thought out story.    With a day or so to spare, I finish writing.  I turn to Sully and promptly burst into tears.  I’d never finished anything beyond a few short stories, most of which had been assignments for classes.

I then spent several hours formatting (and swearing) and finally submitting it for printing at CreateSpace.  I check the mail everyday and grumble through July 4th and the lack of mail delivery.   When my proof copy finally came, it was so amazing to see it, well worth the wait, and the work.

Since then I have started three more stories, two of which I have finished (mostly) and one that kind of fell flat in the middle.  Not my fault, it was the middle of the Arizona summer and I honestly think my brain got fried, too many days over 110 degrees.  Blah!  The point is, though, I haven’t gone back to do editing and rewrites, that’s where I will have to face up to the truth.  Mind you, this is where I can see what works and doesn’t work over the whole course of the story not just one scene or chapter.  I think I am better prepared now after writing the other stories but it’s still a bit scary.

In November, I shut my inner critic into a closet so I could write, now I’ve got to let her back out.  I really hope she isn’t a total bitch about the whole closet thing…