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Nay Sayers, Negative Nancy’s, and the like

writers do

We all have those people in our lives you are negative, who say “Why are you wasting your time writing a novel? Why don’t you get a real job?” or “I bet you spend all day on the Web surfing…” or “You do realize you’re probably never going to get published, don’t you?” I know I do.

what-writers-really-do

Truth is, since I first started working on my writing full-time, pushed by my husband since I couldn’t work due to Uterine cysts, and then a torn rotator cuff, I have researched how to write a novel, outline a novel, etc. I’ve participated in two NaNoWriMo and three Camp NaNoWriMo’s. I’ve worked on how to outline, learned how to use Scrivener (at least to the point that I can outline and write my novel, I’ll need to learn much more when it comes time to edit and publish). I’ve learned and grown as a writer, but I’ve heard the negativity, the nay sayers, the negative Nancy’s…They’re out there.

Writing isn't about making money

But I believe in myself and my art. I have invested in myself and in my writing. Thanks to my wonderful husband, I am now taking my writing seriously. It’s more than just a dream, a hobby, it is a productive outlet, not to mention it can be a productive career. Will I ever be a Stephen King, Nora Roberts, James Patterson, J.K. Rowling, Jim Butcher, or Robert Jordan? No. But I’ll be myself…and that self is a writer, regardless of whether or not one of my books ever hits the New York Times Bestseller list or I become famous as a writer.

this is impossible

I had to learn to believe in myself as a writer. I had to stop the nay sayers, the real ones and the one in my mind, and tell myself that I’ve been dreaming of this, wanting this, for as long as I can remember (almost 40 years) and the years kept passing me by as I listened to the internal nay sayer in my head, as well as the external nay sayers who believed that writing a book was a waste of time, or that writing wasn’t a real job. Don’t get me wrong, there have been people in my life who have believed in me. People who believe that I am talented, a good writer, who have said, “You need to write a book…” or “Why aren’t you writing a book?”

If I don’t take my writing seriously, who will? No one (except for maybe my husband because he truly believes in me, even when I don’t believe in myself).

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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Life, Uncategorized, Writing

 

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Writing, Procrastinating, and Life, Oh My

I’ve been busy,..busy writing, busy procrastinating, busy living life, busy with roller coaster ride that life just sometimes is…Truth is, I think I got burned out on all of the technology and social media stuff, and decided that if I was really going to take my writing seriously maybe I needed to concentrate on the actual writing part.

I participated in July’s Camp NaNo again, won, but had to drop my word count goal because not only was my grandson’s 2nd birthday in July, but my 47th birthday was in July…My husband took me to the beach for the weekend and we went to Medieval Times and had a blast, even took our picture with the princess. I was enthralled with the whole experience. Neither of us had ever been, and we really did enjoy it. I’d recommend it to anyone and everyone, and have been.

But that’s not what this post is about. Being a writer is often a lonely, surreal, and somewhat draining way to spend your time. At least for me it is. I cannot write when my family members are hovering around, or when even just my husband is hovering. I cannot write when there is loud music or the television is on and it’s something I’m remotely interested in. I need quiet, or at least light background noise. If I listen to music it is usually instrumental, or extremely mellow music, unless I’m trying to conjure a certain mood, memory, or sensation then I usually listen to classic rock or movie soundtracks. To avoid distractions when I’m writing, I often listen to Rainy Moods

And if the noise, chaos, and distractions from being part of a family aren’t enough there’s also social media. FB, Twitter, etc…I found myself becoming more and more distracted by all of that… I needed to take a break. I found myself wanting to write posts on WP and on FB, wanting to Tweet, but refrained. I did post a few pics every now and again to FB, wished a few people Happy Birthday, but to tell you the truth, I got a lot out of the brief time I spent away from so much social media. I’d begun to procrastinate when it came to writing… Perhaps it was writer’s block that started my path of distraction, I’d go to the Reader in WP and see what other’s were posting, I’d go to FB, I’d go to Twitter… The more I procrastinated, the harder it was to get back into my own writing.

I went out on the road with my husband several times, and during those trips I didn’t have access to internet, my laptop didn’t want to work right (I desperately need a new one), and while I was out on the road I wrote with pen and paper. Jotting ideas down, bits of dialogue…edited what I’d already written and that time with pen and paper helped me creatively.

Life’s ups and downs, and turns sometimes take us on exactly the ride we need to be on in order to get to where we need to go. I am a better writer now. I’ve learned that I don’t do well unless I have some balance. Social media, branding oneself, and getting yourself out there is great, but it won’t work if you never get your novel finished. And finished my novel comes first… It has to, or it will never happen and all the social media, branding, and getting myself out there will be for naught because I might write but I’ll never become an author.

 
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Posted by on August 4, 2014 in Family, Home, Life, Writing

 

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Finally something I can feel really good about

I finished April’s Camp with my required word count, but didn’t feel good about the novel at all. It was forced. Headed in a completely different direction, the characters were trite, the words weren’t meshing with the concept I had. I wasn’t happy with it, not at all. But I learned a great deal from the process. I learned that I’m truly a plotster. I need to plot the main ideas, and let the rest flow, otherwise I’m trying too hard and the words don’t flow. No matter which way I’ve tried, I’m mostly a panster who needs the basics to stay on track but plotting makes my skin crawl and my brain freeze.

pantser quote

Cut twenty-five. Take one hundred and seven. Just Kidding. I have no idea of how many starts and stops, beginnings I’ve trashed, or WIP’s I’ve put in the back of the computer closet in order to get to a place where I feel really good about what I’m working on. What feels like the ONE, Just call me NEO. Seriously though, I’ve got at least thirty folders pushed to the side on my computer that were the beginning of a novel, only to find it just didn’t feel right. Maybe it’s because I was trying to be the kind of writer I thought I should be instead of the kind of writer I am.

Current Work in Progress

Current Work in Progress

Now I am finally at a place where I feel really good about what I’m working on. The first idea that came to me over two years ago, when my then fiance was telling me I could do it, that he believe in me, and there was no reason why I couldn’t write a novel (he’s read my poetry, I’d told him about my short stories and how I used to write but put writing on the back burner because of …well various reasons, but mostly because I allowed what others said to influence me, to negate my own feelings of self-worth and my dreams). That idea stayed in the back of my mind, with each and every WIP I started and tossed it was right there poking and prodding its way to the surface of my conscience saying, “Excuse me! You’re on to something here…Go with it! Find your way!… Excuse me! It doesn’t matter what others think or do, it only matters what you can do and are willing to do…”

Writing on a bad day

I stopped second guessing myself halfway through April’s Camp and started writing so I could figure out what worked best for me. I’d found myself reading books like “The Marshall Plan for Novel Writing,” or “Save the Cat,” along with various other writing books, and I realized that I’d backed myself into a corner of starting but not finishing because I didn’t have the right kind of plan, because I was so focused on the outline or the plan or the process or the genre or the rules or the structure…that I’d lost my great idea. I lost my way because I was constantly second guessing myself as a writer.

Happiness

I’ve written about this before. I’ve written about the differences between plotting, pantsing, and somewhere in between. I’ve written about my ideas, my inspiration…I took a break from blogging, writing, etc after Camp. I needed a break. I needed to figure out where I was as a writer, what I really wanted to do, what kind of writer I wanted to be, and whether or not it was something that was a pipe dream, a hobby, or something I truly felt called to do.

untold story

I am a writer. Whether I ever publish a novel or not, I’m a writer. I’m not a plotter/planner/outliner, though I wish like hell I was. I’m not a full blown pantser either. I need some organization, some planning, or I’ll go off on tangents, which is par for the course with ADHD, and I’ll never finish or if I do it will need more than a shovel for editing, but a bulldozer.

After much thought, inspiration, and soul searching I’ve finally found that sweet spot in my writing. My happy place as a writer. At least, I’ve found what works for me. Maybe this time it will work, and I’ll manage to write my way through to the end with a novel that I don’t feel is forced, drivel, or not worth the ink and paper to print to edit.

 
 

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Inner Demons

A fellow blogger wrote a post that made me think. She had a bad night and began having doubts, which seems to be par for the course for many a writer. No matter how well you write, you’re going to have times when what you write is utter shit. When you don’t like it and want to trash it… Delete, delete, delete. I’ve learned not to do that. I save it in a file called “Deleted shit” so that later on I can go back to it.

 “Judging your early artistic efforts is artist abuse.”
Julie Cameron

I’ve also learned that I need to take breaks from writing, especially if I’ve hit that sweet spot while writing and managed to get quite a lot accomplished.  If I don’t take a break then I will either burn myself out, end up with writer’s block because I’ll get stuck after such a big run of it…

asleep at desk

Or I might just fall asleep in my chair, sitting at my desk…

Yes, I’ve done that.

I’ve also done the whole take a long break from writing. There was a period of time when I didn’t write fiction, not even a short story, or poetry. I lost a lot of my poetry when I left the ex, and maybe that was for the best. I had serious inner demons back then and it took me a long while to exercise them.

Not that I don’t still have a few inner demons, I do, but now they’re the normal ones. I get tired, burned out, insecure, overwhelmed… there are times when I feel isolated and lonely… times when I’m not sure I’m talented enough… disciplined enough…smart enough…There are also times when I feel like I’m wasting my time and effort, that it would be much better for us financially if I went to work full-time instead of working on my writing full-time…

Note from Mr. Rockstar

Note from Mr. Rockstar

Thankfully I have a husband who is supportive. Who appreciates all that I do around the house (never thought I’d be a housewife). Who believes in me  and has faith in my talent.I am working on a novel that has been simmering for almost 2 years now. NaNoWriMo 2012. I finally got the story right in my head, and now I’m working on it for Camp NaNoWriMo. Maybe it will be SHIT. Maybe it will be decent. Maybe it will even be great.  All I know if I feel the need to write it.

 

“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. …this book…is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.
Drink and be filled up.”
― Stephen KingOn Writing: A Memoir of the Craft

I’m writing for me. Maybe no one will ever read my book except for me, my husband and my children. It doesn’t matter. I’m getting the words of the story out there on the page. That’s what matters. And the words don’t always come easy.

“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen KingDifferent Seasons

Being part of a community where writing is concerned, whether you’re blogging, writing fiction, or poetry or all three, makes you feel like you’re not so alone in the world as a writer–at least it does for me.. I feel as if I’m part of something so much bigger than myself and that I have a kinship of sorts with other writers. Blogging, being part of NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo has really helped me branch out as a writer. I’ve learned, been inspired, and motivated over the past few years.

 “Writing is a little bit like prostitution. First you do it for love. Then you do it for a few friends. Then you do it for money.”
― Molière

 
3 Comments

Posted by on April 4, 2014 in Life, NaNoWriMo, Writing

 

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The Pretender

I’m a confident imposter some days… or maybe I’m an insecure braggart, or a jack of all trades and a master of none… No, I’m a writer, and a photographer, and a maid, housekeeper, laundress, chauffeur, organizer, counselor, referee, therapist, personal shopper, gopher, researcher, repairman, babysitter, etc… HOWEVER, I don’t get paid for any of those things. I just am what I am…

I rarely feel confident about my abilities as a whole. I don’t voice those insecurities. I don’t take my self and my abilities as serious as I should. If I took my abilities seriously, especially as a writer, others would as well. Yet here I sit in my writing space that is about to go back to being my son’s room and I’ll be back in the living room (not the dining room or our bedroom). Sacrifice. That’s the name of the game when you have a family. I was so excited. So inspired. So motivated and enthusiastic. And then I found out my son wasn’t going to make it through bootcamp because of some physical issues (deformed hips, who’d have thunk it?)…and he’s coming back home so he can go to college. He can recycle in, that’s the military term, in six months, but he’s thinking about joining the Air Force or Navy Reserves. Their bootcamp is less strenuous…The Army and the Marine’s are hardcore. Since his ASVAP score was like a 98 (which is extremely high), even though he has his GED not a diploma, he also has college credits, so he shouldn’t have a problem getting in the Reserves. Why the GED? because my son also has “Imposter Synrdrome.”

Why live up to your potential when others make fun of you, sometimes to the point of physical bullying, for being smart, a bookworm, a nerd, a geek…” Why not stay under the radar? Why not trudge through life pretending that you’re not as smart, talented, creative, or experienced as you are? Because sometimes it’s easier to live in under the radar. Like my son, I spent the majority of my life living under the radar so I wouldn’t be picked on for being a bookworm, smart, etc… I’d suffered through it in elementary school and by middle school I realized it didn’t pay to be the smart kid, or the bookworm, or to know the answer and be the one to raise your hand–no one like’s a teacher’s pet or a know-it-all… So I dumbed myself down. After years of dumbing myself down meant I only allowed myself to be who I really was in private. I read under my covers with a flashlight as a child and as a teenager). I listened to NPR on the radio on the way to work when I was by myself as an adult.  I created a blog and originally it was anonymous…BUT after a while, I could no longer pretend.

I was a PRETENDER, both in mind and in reality. If I couldn’t be myself around the people I loved, then there was a problem. Being myself in the serious relationship I had prior to my husband wasn’t an option, not really. At least not in my mind it wasn’t. I tried, and it SERIOUSLY ROCKED the cliched boat. I tired in my first marriage, well before that serious relationship and it didn’t work either. I was too nice…too emotional…too impulsive…too creative…too ME. I wondered about, lost in dumbing myself down and staying under the radar in unhealthy relationships with others and with myself for far too long.

Anxiety, stress, depression, ADHD, all played a factor. The more stressed out you are the more anxious you are, the more anxious you are the more stressed out you get. Add those two together and they wreak havoc on your ADHD, and all of that plays with your emotional well-being, which paves the way for depression to creep in. Oh, I was a wreck. I barely had any self-esteem, I was medicated to the gills for anxiety, depression, etc… which resulted in making me feel numb and in limbo. One day something inside me broke when I was with the ex before my husband Mr. Rockstar/Truck Driver… I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t pretend anymore. I was tired of internalizing everything and staying under the radar, dumbing myself down, and of not rocking the boat. I wanted to, no I needed to stand tall and be myself. I needed to take a stand and stop pretending. I could no longer be an imposter in my own body. I walked.

I left. Packed my bags, my daughter’s bags, loaded my car, and went to a cheap hotel. I wouldn’t have cared if I’d had to stay in a cardboard box, as long as I could finally be free. Free to be myself. Free to be happy. Free to be silly, or lazy occasionally, or funny, or friendly, or sad, or angry, or smart, or talented… FREE to be who I really was…No more hiding under the covers to read, or taking medicine so I could remain sane in the screwed up existence that my life had become. . I got off the medication. My stress levels went down tremendously, thus reducing my anxiety and depression. I’d managed to live my whole life with ADHD without medication, so I knew what to do there. I’m not saying that medication isn’t the answer for some folks with anxiety, depression, ADHD, etc… It’s works for some, but I can’t live my life numb, and that’s what taking medicine for those things does to me. As long as my stress levels stay low, I’m good. Life has stress, there’s no way to go through life without stress, but being with someone who loves me exactly as I am, accepts me and that fact that when I get anxious I need space and quiet, that crowds make me anxious, loud noises make me anxious, arguing makes me anxious… Or when I get really hungry I get grumpy….Or if I don’t have some time alone I get grumpy….Or that writing, photography, creative pursuits are a part of who, what, and how I am. I need those things to be happy, sane, and whole individual. I no longer have to read with a flashlight under the covers. I no longer have to dumb myself down. I no longer have to pretend that I’m not smart, a bookworm, etc…

But after years, decades even, of pretending I wonder if I haven’t lost quite a few things along the way. I find myself wondering if I’m just pretending to be a writer. Pretending that I’m good at it, that I have talent. If I’m pretending that I might be able to one day make a living at it, or with the photography that so inspires my soul as well. I doubt myself. I second guess myself. When I begin to go down that road, I say to myself, “You ARE a WRITER, whether you get paid for it or not. You ARE talented whether anyone recognizes your talent or not. You are a photographer, even if you never get paid to take a picture….” I figure if I tell myself those things eventually I might believe them and stop feeling like I’m a fraud.

Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender . Are you full of confidence or have you ever suffered from Imposter Syndrome? Tell us all about it…

  1. of hope | Anawnimiss
  2. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender- Self Esteem and Introversion | Journeyman
  3. A Time For Introspection | The Jittery Goat
  4. Confession: I Suffer From Imposter Syndrome | Musings | WANGSGARD
  5. Courage To Finish | My Little Avalon
  6. DP Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Sabethville
  7. Shame | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  8. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Love your dog
  9. Walk the walk | Perspectives on life, universe and everything
  10. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | The WordPress C(h)ronicle
  11. One Day They’ll Find Out | The Ambitious Drifter
  12. I HAVE A QUESTION, ARE YOU BISEXUAL? | She Writes
  13. Here I Come | Views Splash!
  14. Glittering Awards Ceremony! Daily Prompt | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  15. “Do what you do do well” | Hope* the happy hugger
  16. Pretending to be a Grown Up | the intrinsickness
  17. liberty | yi-ching lin photography
  18. i am slightly off- | y
  19. I am a lazy person and full of confidence | wisskko’s blog
  20. Confident ? ::E.N.Howie’s Motivational Moments
  21. Who were You before You became You? (Braveheart Chronicles Vol. 2) | Running On Sober
  22. Ghostly Granny Tales: Daily Prompt | ALIEN AURA’S BLOG: IT’LL BLOW YOUR MIND!
  23. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Pastathree’s Blog
  24. Unmasking my masks on the way up the ladders of success « psychologistmimi
  25. Borrowed Reflection | forgottenmeadows
  26. Feeling Like a Fraud | Lisa’s Kansa Muse
  27. Imposter syndrome – every writer must suffer this at some point | new2writing
  28. Daily Prompt: Being Confident! | All Things Cute and Beautiful
  29. Humbug « Averil Dean
  30. Grading yourself. | Cake Box Fox
  31. “I can, I Can, I can” The Confidence Poem | The Bohemian Rock Star’s “Untitled Project”
  32. I’m a Writer, Yes I Am
  33. My Dementor: Shame and Self Doubt | Ever Upward
  34. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Blissful Pages
  35. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | A Day In The Life
  36. Are you full of Confidence or a Great Pretender? | New Visions
  37. IMPOSTER | Hastywords
  38. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Tonkadella’s Things in Life
  39. A Hidden Confidence | Ms. Raven Marie
  40. Textured Captures: Set in Stone | LenzExperiments
  41. he’s so shy | eastelmhurst.a.go.go
  42. The Great Pretender_Today’s Daily post | A Blog for Laura Lee
  43. Daily Prompt – The Great Pretender – Say what? | Serendipitous Cookery
  44. Ticky-Tacky … I’ll drink to that! | The Flavored Word
  45. The Great Pretender | The Nameless One
  46. Insecure | Life is great
  47. Are You an Impostor? | Pinstripes&Lipgloss
  48. Red Flags | The Zombies Ate My Brains
  49. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Morrighan’s Muse
  50. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Life In The Passenger Seat
  51. What Everyone Said | INKLINGS
  52. Confidence | The Land Slide Photography
  53. I Always Thought I Was Just Modest | …Properly Ridiculous…
  54. Daily Prompt: Pretending | Finicky Philly
  55. What is Wrong with You may be What is Right with You | An Upturned Soul
  56. My Luck! | Flowers and Breezes
  57. Don’t Mess With Me! | Life Confusions
  58. Is The Glass Half Empty or Half Full? | melissuhhsmiles
  59. Angela McCauley
  60. I Don’t Pretend to Pretend | djgarcia94
  61. Alway was a rebel | Always was a rebel…
  62. “Impostor Syndrome?” or “I WAS BORN A DINOSAUR” | Ensis Reads – The First-Impressionist
  63. Blossoming | Cogito Ergo Mum
  64. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | My Atheist Blog
  65. Confidence for 500 please! | Living with Post Concussion Syndrome
  66. Pretending my way through the day | One Educator’s Life
  67. Don Draper and Buddah Walk Into a Bar… | by LRose
  68. Tempest in a Tutu | Be Less Amazing
  69. Masks may lie | sunny side dreamers
  70. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | Just Be V
  71. Imposter Art Lover | Photography Journal Blog
  72. Fool Me Once, Shame On You! | meg lago
  73. When I Decided I Wasn’t Going to Be White: The Art of Disappearing | Kosher Adobo
  74. .. Certainly Not Me « Overcoming to Becoming
  75. Wasn’t me…Then who? | Youer than You
  76. Oh, No – He’ll Find Out! | Lynne McAennyl
  77. Daily Prompt: The Great Pretender | imagination
  78. НЕКОИ МАЛИ НЕШТА ПИСАТЕЛСКИ
 
 

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A Story to Tell

The motto for my writing room...

The motto for my writing room…

I found this while out and had to get it for my writing room. That simple phrase, “We all have a story to tell,” is the basis for many a writer. If you’re a writer at heart then that story that is brewing inside you has to come out or you walk around with that feeling that you’ve misplaced something, or haven’t finished something, or need to do something. At least for me it does. Read the rest of this entry »

 

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My real writing space

There’s a thread on the NaNoWriMo forums about posting a picture of your writing space…and I went through and looked at the writing spaces and was in awe of quite a few of them. Truth is, mine is a in a corner of my bedroom (for now). I won’t have my own writing room until after the end of December–once my son leaves to go to bootcamp. But until then, I have this:

My writing space IMG_1322

Back in April, my husband moved my writing space from the dining room to our bedroom so I’d have more privacy.

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Dining room cubby

my little corner 001

Bedroom cubby

IMG_1063 IMG_1065

And here is what it looks like when I’m writing… My husband asleep in our bed as I write  😀

IMG_1066

 
 

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