Monday, June 22, 2015

Oh, the Writerly Life

My current adult MS is all about something most of us are going through: being a writer. It's not as easy as it is typing that simple phrase because in all spectrums of it, being a writer isn't easy at all.

TIME: that's a four letter bad word. BAD I tell ya! For one, it's lacking. For two, it's everything you need. Three? It's everything your lacking that is everything you need!!

PRESSURE: seeing and hearing and reading about everyone's success in word count, agent getting, publishing, sales, etc can very daunting when you yourself are not "in the groove", too. There'll be times it can be uplifting but more than often you just wanna poor cold water on them and do a girlie smack "shut up!" (just saying what you're all thinking...)

DISCOURAGEMENT: similar to the moment you receive feedback and you get that one peep that's just gotta rock your world upside. THAT person makes you doubt...everything! That's when "taking a break" starts. And you play it off as "to let my WIP/MS sit for awhile". Don't you lie!

SELF-ESTEEM: it's your own undoing in every since of the word. It's you letting others create the bar of standard and you thinking you must exceed or be right there to be "noticed" or "just as good". The wrong direction will even make you think that if you stopped no one would even notice. How wrong you are.


 At any point of joining the WRITER JOURNEY, a person must ask themselves how far they're willing to take it.
  • How much TIME can I truly commit that would benefit my family, work, friends, health, etc?
  • How much PRESSURE am I going to put on myself by word count, chapter count, returning blog comments that works for me and me only?
  • Who can I enlist to UPLIFT and encourage me in a way that works for me in the style and way I need it that I can understand? (They exist!!)
  • How much crap am I willing to deal with or for some reason personalize before I take a break and remind myself that all I'm here to do is write?
My main character, Cindy Sikes, is awesome. She's definitely going through these issues like a champ. Mostly because I'm kinda helping her through it. I've had to step back from blogging to just relax for a bit. I type about 1-2 chapters a week and feel amazing taking my time and doing it in my way. But what about you? Are you finding yourself not focusing enough on your original goals? Have you had to step back more than you thought? Or maybe you need to do that now?

27 comments:

JoJo said...

You know, writers have a lot in common with crafters. Sometimes I really am my own undoing. I lack confidence to put myself out there, and I feel bad about myself when I see my other friends doing it and being successful at it.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Writing requires a huge commitment and few people are willing to go the distance.

Pat Hatt said...

Many give up, but have to keep plugging away. i can manage time great, so that's the main part of the battle.

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

When I'm in the grove, I can write a chapter per day but that only happens on occasion. I need to use my writing time more efficiently. Knowing that and doing it is my downfall.

Susan Says

Bish Denham said...

I'm struggling to revise. It's the one thing about writing that I really don't like to do. I keep working to change my attitude about it, but I still keep finding ways of not sitting down and doing the work. It's not like I don't have the time, I do.

M.J. Fifield said...

I love that Twilight picture. I am a writer who types impossibly fast and never goes out in the sunlight (except for after I post this comment and I have to go finish mulching the garden). It's perfect.

I struggle the most with self-esteem. I quite honestly don't have that much of it.

I'd say 1-2 chapters a week is good progress.

Chrys Fey said...

I always love those Writers pictures and what everyone thinks we do. Time is my biggest factor. Never enough of it. I spend too much time with other aspects of the writing career and not enough time actually writing.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Some real truth there. I think our crap levels are actually quite high.

Andrew Leon said...

Now I have time songs in my head.

I don't think I'm on that chart.

Elephant's Child said...

My boohaholic self NEEDS writers. Add an image of yourselves as healers to the collection. Healers and teachers. Entertainers and nurturers. Soothers and stimulators...
You rock.

Tara Tyler R said...

you always crack me up - what a whiner you are today! ha!
i was a big whiner over the weekend - had a sad lonely day at B&N... wah wah, boo hoo
but now i'm over it! met with my illustrator today and am all excited and happy again! yay for dramatic creative types!

happy summer! (if i could put time in a bottle... i'd probably drink it) hey, that's good, i think i'll tweet it!

Tammy Theriault said...

Tara you know me so well!!! Hahaha you're hilarious.

Rachel Schieffelbein said...

This is so spot on. And I agree, time is the enemy. I know I haven't gotten as much done this summer on my writing as I would have liked, but there is just no time! Gah. :-P

Saumya said...

This was so comforting to read. I appreciated your focus on TIME. I always feel as though there isn't enough time to write what I want and then I get frustrated by not meeting my goals. That's wonderful that you can help your M.C. through your own experience!

S.P. Bowers said...

Life's been a little busy lately so writing has been on the back burner. I'm just starting to get back into the swing of things and I have to be flexible and forgiving as I struggle to re-learn how to write. Ultimately my goals are still the same though.

Neurotic Workaholic said...

I haven't been able to work on any of my manuscripts in months because I've been so focused on my graduate work; it's going to be tough getting back into it, but at the same time I'm looking forward to it.
I can especially relate to the issue of pressure, especially when I hear of successful teenage or 20-something authors. I also try not to read any more articles about E.L. James, because reading about her success makes me jealous and just a little bit infuriated.

Mark Koopmans said...

This, my dear, is A ROCKING post :)

You nailed it !!

(Now, go back to the ms, for God's sake... I don't need a reply to my commented reply posted on your blog after you posted on my blog following my Twitter Fav. to my Tweet :)

Mark Koopmans said...

Oh crap.

I thought the cab was going to drop me back at the hotel...

Well, shazzle, if only I had some SPARKLY ONES I could leave a double comment, but [checks manly shorts] nope, I left them all in my heart-shaped zinc-encrusted box.

#amDoubleCommenting

Yvonne Ventresca said...

Love this! You hit so many major writerly issues....

Jeffrey Scott said...

Yes, I've stepped back from my original goal. I've been meaning to get my entire YA series rewritten, but have suddenly got caught in the blog sphere and have been doing almost nothing else.

Sometimes it's good to take a step back and look at where you've been and where you're going.

S.K. Anthony said...

Oh my gosh! You're like in my brain, woman! Yes, I've had to step back. Exactly for EVERYTHING you mentioned. My 2nd book seems like it's going to be released at the two year mark of the first one. I mean really? really? Really! :-/

Fantastic post!!!

Natalie Aguirre said...

Such a great post. I think we all feel these pressures some of the time. We should all go at our own speed given what's going on in the rest of our lives.

klahanie said...

Hey Tam-bare!

Oh, here we go, acronym alert! The key really is to do your writing at your own pace and without the sense of pressure.

Nicely stated, Tammy. All I know is that we have to find the right balance in writing, in life.

My original goal stays the same. I stay very much in the background and discreetly support writers, established and aspiring. The goal has been realised as I feel good about doing my best to be of help.

Now, back to all those acronyms! I have one for you. "WTF", which means, "Writers Trying Fiction."

Hi Cindy!

Gary :)

Lux G. said...

Oh those pictures are so funny. But really, that's how it is. :P

Those questions sound so familiar to me too. ;)

cleemckenzie said...

You've summed up my life in pictures and eloquent, humorous prose. Here's to that Cindy Sikes making it through to The End!

M said...

Telling it like it is! I had that one person speak up about my WIP and now I'm "taking a break" with it and have been for a couple weeks . . . And I'd been on such a spurt, too. Sigh.

Mark Murata said...

The "Say it. Out loud. Say it." picture is very funny. Be careful about copyright, though. Just because someone else may have put something funny on the internet doesn't mean they had the intellectual right to do so.