Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Sometimes I Just Hate Writing!

Finally! A post!

No, I haven’t given up on this blog. I’ve just been in a self-imposed exile for the last few weeks. Back at the beginning of January, I was all set to send out one of my early chapters to a CP when I discovered it was in much worse shape than I remembered. So I tried to tweak it into shape -- a little bit here, a little bit there, but it soon became apparent that the chapter required more than a tweak. It needed an overhaul. The current structure just wasn’t working.

As the days passed, I poured more and more time into that chapter, eventually vowing not to write another blog post until the chapter was in reasonable shape.

I’m happy (relieved) to report I finally reached that point. Kind of. The chapter flows more smoothly now, but still needs plenty of work. Nevertheless, it’s in good enough shape for my CP to read and that’s enough for now. Besides, I’ve learned that I can’t stare at a chapter for more than a couple of weeks before my eyes glaze over and my brain shuts down. I’ll need a couple of weeks (at least) before I can look at it objectively again.

So I expect to be posting on a regular basis again. Just in time for next week’s Insecure Writers post. Talk about perfect timing. My insecurity meter has already pegged out.

I do, however, have some good news to share. At one point during this revision from hell, I needed to go back to my first chapter and verify some fact. And for the first time ever, I was able to read one of my chapters and feel that it’s close to something a real writer might have written.


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

The Insecure Writer and The New Year

Today is January's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

What makes me an Insecure Writer this month?

The fact that my progress last year was abysmally slow and I have no idea if this year will be any better.

Last January, my goal was to finish revising my story by Christmas. An entire year dedicated to accomplishing this one, seemingly simple task. Needless to say, I missed that goal. By quite a lot. Despite making good progress on the story at the end of the year (I was off from work the last two weeks in December), I’m still only a quarter of the way through the story. At this rate, it’ll be three more years before it’s finished. Argh!

Despite these facts, I’m still hopeful that my New Year’s resolution of finishing the story by Christmas 2013 is doable. Misguided optimism? Probably, but I think things will move more quickly this time around. The first quarter of my story required massive restructuring and that accounted for the lion’s share of my writing time. I believe (hope, pray) that subsequent chapters are  in better shape and will go more quickly – although my critique partner may have something to say about that.

My other New Year’s resolution is to cut down on the number of blogs I read. I follow well over a hundred blogs – or so my RSS feed tells me – but I simply don’t have the time to keep up with the majority of them any longer. And after three years of reading posts about writing, there isn’t much I haven’t seen dozens of times already. So, during the next couple of months, I’m going to whittle down the number of blogs I read - concentrating on websites that either give the best writing advice or those that I read for enjoyment.

Happy New Year!