Tag Archives: confidence

Writing Life: “This Sucks, I Suck, Why-the-Eff-am-I-Bothering-Itus”

Today’s Writing Life post topic is courtesy my friend Rei.  HI, REI!

We all get there.  We get to that point, especially during the revision process, where we look over our manuscript and think “What the hell is this?”  We sigh and put it down, and some of us don’t come back to it for months.  We feel weighed down, helpless, listless… We don’t know what to change and we don’t know what to keep, because, let’s face it, it’s all freaking terrible and we never want to look at it again.

You’re just overwhelmed!  I’ve made the mistake of deleting and destroying every copy of a manuscript I have in my possession, and, believe me, the regret is twice as overwhelming as the listlessness.  You try to rewrite and recapture all that you loved about the story, but it’s just gone.  It’s not the same.  The characters have moved on to other stories and mystical events that only imaginary people can take part in.  (Those characters may want to revisit the story with you about five years later, I should note.  Frost Moon punched me in the face again about six months ago, as if my main character was saying “You couldn’t do it right the first time, so let’s try this again.  Now pay attention.”)

First off?

Your story does not suck.  You fell in love with the journey and the characters for a reason.  You just need to recapture that reason.   What about the story struck you to begin with?  What songs remind you of your characters?  Take a walk.  Enjoy a few deep breaths.  Think about your characters the way you did when they started begging for their story to be penned.  Don’t touch you manuscript for a few days to a week, and let the romance with your story rekindle itself.

You do not suck.  Everyone needs a breather now and then.  That does not make you less of a writer or less of a person.  Even the strongest people need a few minutes now and again to just breathe.  You are a writer.  You are a story teller.  The stories inside you won’t die while you’re taking a vacation.  I promise, in this case, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and before long, your characters will be screaming to get out again.  Just breathe.

Why the eff are you bothering?  Because you love what you do.  Because you’re filled with more than just the base need to exist.  Your purpose is to pen a story that people will fall in love with, that they’ll learn from, that will change them.  You create souls from nothing and put them on a page, parts of yourself, and you let people share in that with you.

Why are you bothering?  Because what you do is important.  It’s important to you, and it’s important to someone else out there, maybe hundreds of someones.  Thousands.  People who need a story to relate to.

Don’t sell yourself short, and always remember to breathe.

If there is anything you’d like to see covered in Writing Life, please feel free to message me.  My information is in the contact page, and my Tumblr is located in the sidebar.  Don’t be shy!

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Writing Life: Making Time and Motivation

Image © Simon Clayson

The biggest obstacle I face as a writer is overcoming the tendency to put writing on the back burner.  Writing is my life, my love, and my means of staying sane; I’ve put writing before friends, jobs, and relationships—

So why can’t I put more importance on setting aside time to write?

My excuses:

  • There’s a show that I want to watch.  (I have a DVR.  This shouldn’t even be an excuse.)
  • Facebook.  (Life-destroying social network paired with my apparent lack of willpower.)
  • There’s always a fresh idea beyond the one I’m working on.  (Attention span fail.)

Are any of them valid?  No.  Not really.  They waste time, make me homesick, show just how lazy I am.  And when I schedule time to write, I usually foul it up somehow: procrastinate, self-sabotage, just plain fail.  Being a “work in progress” as a person and as a writer must yield some progress if it’s going to continue to be an excuse for my shortcomings.

This post isn’t going to offer you a definite solution.  I can offer some suggestions that I should probably try myself. I suppose what people like me—people like us—need most is a support group to keep one another accountable.  I’m not sure how to go about this yet, but if I come up with anything, I’ll let you lovely people know.

So, suggestions?

  • Write it on your calendar.  Seeing “Write: 8a-3p” in your face makes it more tangible a goal than defining it vaguely in your head where you can’t physically see it.
  • Tacking/Taping sheets of inspiration, work, or development material around your work station.  It keeps your project real. I  look at it and remember little things I love about my project.  It makes me want to work on it.
  • Get other writers who need to get their work done to write with you.  Online or in a coffee shop.  Have word wars and share favorite sentences or bits of dialog.  Swap paragraphs and get opinions.  Never underestimate the support of writing with others.

Just remember that you don’t have to eat, sleep, and breathe writing to be a writer, but do make time for it.

How do you overcome procrastination and laziness?

Do you have a support network?  How deeply is your writing impacted by that network?

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Making Progress – Ebook Exclusive, Subscriptions, and Fiction, Oh My!

Salut!  I know I’ve been plugging this quite a bit, but I’m finishing up a few more fiction pieces for my ebook exclusive offer.  So, if you like my fiction, and want a free ebook containing three pieces of fiction straight from G&L, two unreleased Letters from Blackford Hill installments, and two pieces of original unreleased flash fiction, subscribe to us!  If you’re already subscribed and want the ebook, refer someone to G&L, and, using my Contact page, tell me who you referred!  You’ll both get a copy. =]

More information on this offer!

Not sure how to subscribe?  On the Home page, in the left-hand column, under “Follow the Adventure!” click “Sign me up!”  If you don’t have a WordPress account, you’ll have to input your email address.  =]

Also, after much toiling and upset, I’ve finally launched the first installment of Talion.  It will now update every Saturday.  Good news, yes?  Feedback is always appreciated, so don’t be shy!  Letters from Blackford Hill is still on schedule for Monday.  =]

Wednesday will be G&L’s first entry for “Writing Life,” a set of articles designed to help and encourage aspiring writers wrestling with their craft within the confines of “Every Day Life.”  I hope you all enjoy the series, and if you have questions or issues you’d like addressed, don’t hesitate to send them my way!

Update: Complete.

<3 Enjoy what’s left of your Sunday.  =]

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Why There IS Such A Thing As “A Writer Who Doesn’t Write” and Why He Needs Our Love–Not Our Scorn (via {Courage 2 Create})

This post is by my friend Ollin at {Courage 2 Create}. I believe this message is one that many would-be writers can identify with, and I think the ‘you’re not a writer unless you have a paycheck’ message keeps many of them– of US– from taking ourselves seriously.

If you love what you do, if “life gets in the way” but you still grope for that passion to put pen to paper, you’re a writer and you don’t need others to validate that for you.

Why There IS Such A Thing As "A Writer Who Doesn't Write" and Why He Needs Our Love--Not Our Scorn “For those of us who have suffered, who have hauled ourselves into the sun, anything exhausted beside us is family.” -Mark Nepo When I first came in to the blogging scene, I remember reading many bloggers who would look down on so-called “writers who don’t write.” These bloggers were quick to demean these writers and scoffed at the idea that they would even call themselves “writers.” For those narrow-minded bloggers, a writer was someone who was … Read More

via {Courage 2 Create}

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Shedding Skin & Starting Over

Prompted by a thread started over at PaganSpace, I got thinking about the possibility of starting over.

Not just a new blog, new screen names, new Facebook, but a whole new life.

Have you ever had the urge to just drop everything, pick up what’s precious to you, and run away?  Start over somewhere fresh, where no one knows you, no one has ties to you, and your former life as ‘nobody’ doesn’t apply?

Have you ever felt like you were playing an extra in the film of you own life?

I have to say that I absolutely have felt that way on a multitude of occasions.  Sometimes life isn’t what you expected it to be.  Things didn’t turn out the way they were supposed to when you planned them.  Sometimes, the only logical thing to do is to just leave, and try again where you don’t have the stigma of who people think you are hanging over your head.

It’s not logical, obviously.  We have families and lovers and friends and jobs and pets.

But if you wouldn’t hurt anyone by leaving, would you?  Would you start a new life somewhere else, where you could be someone else?

I would.  Hell, maybe when I’m not poor anymore, I will.  Who knows.

Anyway, just some food for thought.  <3

Maybe someday, I’ll actually write about writing again.

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A Question or Two for the Writing Crew

I’m not a poet.  That title was awful, and I apologize for subjecting you all to it.  Moving on.

Fiction permits us to explore what could be and should be,
to examine possibilities that don’t yet exist, and to envision a
world better than the one that currently exists, and then figure
out ways to take ourselves there.  ~ Holly Lisle

I had a few questions, and I suppose I’m just looking for your perspective on things.

How close are you to your characters?  How do you react to killing off a persona that you’ve fallen in love with?

How difficult has it been for you to allow others to read your work?  Can you read it out loud to a writing group?

Do you take constructive criticism well?  Do you take not-so-constructive criticism well?

I’ll include my answers in my next post, since I don’t want to skew the answers.  =P  Thanks to everyone who does this for me!  I love you, guys!

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A brief rundown on my faith…

… because no one can seem to grasp it, and I want to have it documented.  This is actually taken, mostly, from my profile at PaganSpace.net with bits and pieces added on.

~~~

I am not my faith. My faith is a part of me.

In the options listed below (on PaganSpace, there are boxes you can check to describe your path), I’ve selected Pagan, Witch, and Wiccan from the list. I am not Wiccan. My path/ritual/worship is often structured in a similar manner as Wicca, but I don’t identify as Wiccan. That would be false.

“Harm None” is not my credo. Circumstance creates an expansive grey area, and if by doing a little harm, I can accomplish a larger good, then that’s acceptable to me. I won’t hurt anything or anyone intentionally if it can be reasonably avoided. It’s more a matter of compassion than of ethics.

I identify in my path a Goddess and a God and I favor neither over the other. I believe the same in life: women are life-givers, and sacred, but there would be no possibility of creating life without the seed of a man, and there would be no men if women didn’t birth them. We are equal halves in the grand scheme of things.  I’m currently getting to know the broad pantheon of Scots-Gaelic gods, and the Old Traditions that managed to have been documented.  Information of Celtic Recontructionism has been infinitely valuable in that aspect.

I’m American, but I honor my heritage, and where my families have come from: Holland, France, Scotland, and England. I’d like to dig deeper into my genealogy, but I’m having difficulty getting started. I find nothing wrong with being American, so everyone who thinks that Americans who enjoy researching their ancestry are discontent or ignorant can go fly a kite. <3 I like to know what made my family what it is today, whether my great grandparents were American or Dutch or Scottish or English makes no difference, as long as I make the connection with who they were.  In old Gaelic culture, ancestor-reverence is a large part of worship.

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You’re Beautiful! No, really!

So, I was reading Thought’s Appear‘s 30 Before 30 list, and I HAD to click the Operation Beautiful link.  And now I’m inspired.

So, I’m posting here, and keeping it as a reminder to myself to do something like this.  It’s a great movement, so please check it out!

I’ll post pictures when I start assaulting public places with post its!  <3

OperationBeautiful.com

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Buckling Down

I know, I’ve been slacking on my posts lately.  As most of you can probably gather from my Apology to Myself, I’ve had some personal hurtles to overcome, and the last few days, I’ve been working really hard on ways to improve how I approach my day-to-day.

I have two stories in my head, hammering to get out, and I just haven’t been able to bring myself to write them.  I’ve been whiny and unmotivated, BUT… I’m fixing it.  Z and Gage are sitting on the back burner, simmering a little, and my weekly update-y storyline is almost done being plotted out.  I think that I should have the first installment up within the week (and I apologize for the delay.  Motivation hates me).

I’m taking the next three days off from frantically shoving my resume at people.  It’s stressing me out, and I deserve a few days to breathe and relax and take in the warm weather.  You know, before my head explodes.

SO!  In the next week, my posts will pop up as follows:

  1. Write what you don’t know.  (A counter post to Miss Rosemary’s Write What You Know… though it’s really more of an addendum.)
  2. Brew Your Muse!  Random places for percolating ideas.
  3. Soundtrack for a WiP?  Do you have one?

Toss in installment one of weekly project somewhere in there, as well as allowing room for a few brain-explosions of randomness.  I’m trying to get back on track!

Don’t stop reading!  Ilyguys!

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An Apology to Myself

Number one destroyer of my current mental health: Unemployment.


I could spend the better part of this post going off about the state of the US economy, bad politics, and a blatant disdain for what our country has become.  We have a pretty epically awesome history, but– yeah, never mind.  I said I wouldn’t complain about what’s become of us.

I could blame everything from the unbalanced hold Big Business has on The Consumer, to the fact that, as a whole, we have become solely The Consumer.

I could blame my parents.  Everyone always blames their parents, but it’s not my parents’ fault.

Or I could be honest, and I could blame me.  I could do the responsible thing and own up to my actions — or lack thereof.  I could tell you that I’m unemployed because I was a lazy, smart ass high school student whose ambition was destroyed by butting heads with teachers who didn’t really care.  I knew they didn’t care about their students, and I should have had the good sense to account for that and care about myself.  I could have done better if I didn’t blame them for hating me, all the while contributing to their frustration with my bullheaded remarks and know-it-all personality.

I like to think I’ve grown since then.  In some ways, I have, but in others — well, I’ve gone from confident in all the wrong ways to self-conscious in all the major ones.  Life knocked me down a few pegs; something that happens to way too many people. Reality is vicious.  Reality doesn’t care if it knocks you off your pedestal so many times you lose the will to climb back up.

You have to care.  No one is going to do it for you.  No one can fix you but you, and you can’t fix you if you don’t want to fix you.

I can’t fix me if I don’t want to fix me.  I have to sometimes remind myself that talking in the second person isn’t going to change the fact that I am talking about me, even if it’s a topic I want to avoid.

But I’m trying to face it.  That’s the point.

I’m broken.  I can fix me.  I want to fix me.

The steps I’m taking to “fix” what’s broken:

  • Job hunting and tweaking my very limited resume to make me look awesome, even though that fact is debatable among employers.
  • Becoming a better pagan.  We get a bad rep, but we’re too busy being too afraid to “come out of the broom closet” to mend it.  Those of us with the ability should make some effort to educate.  Not through ‘conversion’, but through our acts in the community.
  • Motivating myself.  I can’t wait for other people to come along and pull me out of this ditch.  I need to write, read, and create the me that I want to be.
  • Loving myself.  It’s hard sometimes, but I can’t appropriately love others until I love myself.  It isn’t fair to expect someone else to love all the things about me that I hate, just so I can fill the gap.

And there’s my very depressing post for today.  It took me a couple of hours to write it, because… I hate self-evaluation, as I mentioned a few posts ago.

So, here I am, ready to be better, and willing to make the changes that are necessary to be who I want to be.

Are you who you want to be?

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