Saturday, 2 November 2013

Writing Progress

  I'm going to talk to you now about my writing. It's been some time since I updated you, and not as long, but still far too long ago, that I actually wrote something. I'm admittedly procrastinating a little bit, but I'm a little confused with my prioritising.
   On one hand, making money right now is important, so I've put a lot of work into my shops, and blogs because they can help direct people to my shops, too. But on the other hand, being a successful published fantasy author is my dream, and I can't help thinking that that should be put first. But I can't do both at once.
   Not only that, but the reason I'm procrastinating is because I've just reached a point in my book that actually had a pivotal moment, the point where the plot totally changes direction, and it's really important I get it right. I can't help thinking that I'm not ready for it, that I haven't planned enough, but I'm sure I I think about it, I have planned enough, but I've put so much weight on it that I'm scared. Things have to be rewritten and revised, of course, but I want to do my best to get it right first go, because then it only needs tweaking, not entirely rewriting.
   But, of course, the more I sit here worrying, the more weight gets added to it. I think I need to just push it all aside, remind myself that I've actually got a solid plan for the chapter in front of me and just get on with it. I've done well enough so far, why should this be so different? If I try too hard then there will be a noticable difference in writing skill, too. I could have three chapters written confidently and be perfectl adequate, then write another chapter that I think harder about, work harder on, and will end up with a completely different tone. That will prevent the book from being quite so cohesive, which readers may well notice, and then they'll be reminded that they're reading a book. That's exactly what a book shouldn't do. It should pull the reader in, make them believe they're in the world, the story should grip their attention so strongly that they don't see words on a page, but see images in their minds instead. I realise how pretentious this can sound, but honestly, while you read a book, do you notice that you're reading words? Just a piece of paper with words all over it? If you do, then you're not reading anything gripping enough.

   So that's what I'm worrying about. I believe I've done well with my book so far - I believe, however, that like my last book this one won't be accepted by any agents, but I can do nothing to convince them except do the best work I can. I can't beg them, give them a sob story, and neither can I contact them after they've rejected me asking why or begging them to reconsider. If you've been turned down, accept that and move on. I spent 2 years writing one book, I sent it out to relevant agents and was turned down. I expected this. I also expect it to happen with this one. And then perhaps the one after that. But I'm going to keep going. Yes, it hurt when they turned me down - there's always a hope that someone will say yes, but it's too much to ask for. It was far from my first book, but it was the first that I felt confident enough to send out. Those rejections shook my confidence, and it took me a month or so to want to write anything again, but once I picked myself and started a brand new book, I found my confidence again and got over it, thinking to myself as I went "this is so much better than my last one, just look at the mistakes I made last time!" But I've got a plan this time. When this book is finished and ready to start sending out, I'm going to start work planning and writing a new book before sending anything out. This way I have something to throw myself into, and when the rejections come in, they won't hurt so badly and I'll already have a project on the go.

   Still, no one likes being rejected. No one does something with the intention to fail. But when I was rejected last time I did learn things from self-analysis afterwards. The same thing will happen this time, I'll have a far more critical eye once it leaves my hands at the post office, and I'll probably do even more differently in whatever I'm writing then.

   Back to the point, I have to remind myself that I just need to get on with my writing. Sitting down fretting about something I've not done yet is a waste of time, especially when I know, deep down, that I am prepared for the pivotal moment in the story, and that I'll get on just fine anyway. Words can be crossed out or deleted, and passages can be rewritten. It won't be the end of the world.

   Hopefully after getting this off my chest and giving myself that there pep talk I've done all I can to budge the fear, and I'll actually get to work tonight.

NaBloPoMo November 2013


  1. Oh boy - as a writer want to be author I so agree with so many things in this post! Like you being stuck - blocked because you have to write that pivotal scene - or send out the package to the agent. Fear - sometimes keeps me frozen. Blogging does help - it helps me spill some of the thoughts in my head on the page and "cleans things up" a bit when I return to my fiction work.

    Best wishes to you on NaBloPoMo, with your books, and with your blog.

    1. Thank you, and the same goes to you. I think what we just need to realise is that while the book is important, at this point it's only important to us, and, especially where typing is concerned, words can be rewritten easily enough. It's that desire to get it right first time but that almost never happens. I am VERY happy to say that I DID manage to do some writing last night, in amongst preparing my shops for Christmas, and I'm feeling much more positive for it. And as for being afraid to send out to agents, that really is paralysing, but if you don't do it you won't get anywhere!


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