Thursday, January 30, 2014

Why Revising Sucks Big Hairy Nard Balls

I have no idea where that title came from. I'm not entirely sure what nard balls are.


Okay, so apparently nards are the same as balls, so my title might as well be Why Revising Sucks Hairy Ball Balls.

ANYWAYS, I would like to dedicate this blog post to Precy Larkins, who is also in the process of revising her NaNo novel. This one's for her because she is quite possibly the sweetest and cutest person alive on the planet today. THAT'S RIGHT PEOPLE!

So, yanno, I work full time. I have two kids, a husband, etc. I wake up every morning at five AM, shower the sleep from my eyes and try to write or edit for about an hour each day before waking up the progeny for school. Sometimes, it's difficult. While revising, it's especially difficult.

Here's a typical morning while revising:

It starts like this. I'm happy. I'm typing. Today, I'm going to fix chapter eleven because it totally blows and it's driving me crazy and I CAN DO IT G DANG IT!!!!

Then this happens. I FAIL (and flail) I suck SOOO bad and nothing I do will make this dang WiP any better I might as well GIVE UP!!!

Then I decide to have one tiny glass of wine to help me relax and get the words flowing. And then I also wonder why did I choose to wear this sweater that makes me look like a lumpy rutabaga?

Then I start the process all over again. Happy, flailing, drinking.

I've heard there are writers out there that actually prefer editing to drafting, but I think that's a made up story that parents use to scare their children into being obedient.

So tell me, lovely blog readers, how do you get through your editing woes? Are you one of those boogeymen that enjoy the revision process?

Thursday, January 23, 2014

The one where I compare myself to others and then self-flagellate for being such a ninny

We all do it (at least I hope I'm not the only one). We see or know people who are younger, smarter, more accomplished, their hair's less frizzy, their nose is smaller, their boobs are bigger, and we do it. We look at ourselves, we look at them and we find ourselves...lacking.

Take Lorde, for example. At sixteen, she's the first female artist to top the Billboard Music Alternative list since 1996. I'm more than twice her age and the coolest thing I've done is squeeze something (two somethings) the size of a watermelon out of something the size of a lemon and survived. No small accomplishment, right? (those two somethings are still alive, I'd like to throw in there, so that's another major feat).

Honestly, though, I hear about someone like Lorde and I think WOW and feel slightly inadequate for about two seconds before I move on with my life. It's when the wow-factor is closer to home that I really begin the point of comparison AKA gateway to the downward spiral of self-loathing.

I am a very lucky person. I have been blessed with absolutely AMAZEBALLS friends who also happen to be AMAZEBALLS writers. And I know first hand what they've gone through to get to where they are today and obtain the level of talent they have. I've read their crappy first novels, better second novels, and truly amazing third and fourth novels. Some of them even have pretty dang amazing first novels, which to me seems an impossible occurrence, but it happens.

The problem starts when I read one of these wonderful works of art, and then I go back to editing my own novel and I realize...I still have a long way to go.

Let's be clear here, and you may not believe me, but I am NOT jealous. I am super proud and excited for the accomplishments of the people I know, and I am thrilled to know them and be a part of their journey.

The problem is that I become disappointed in myself. I'm sure I'm a better, more knowledgeable writer than I was five years ago, but I start to feel like it's not enough.

Everyone has a learning curve, and everyone's learning curve is different. I see this at my day job all the time when we have new hires. Some people pick up complex government policy fairly quickly. Others take a little longer, or I have to show them/tell them the same thing numerous times, or in different ways before it clicks. And I constantly reassure them (when they feel like they're never going to get it) that it's okay. You will get it eventually, I tell them, just stay motivated.

But it's when I get home and confront the writing part of my life that I have to tell myself the same thing.

So tell me, lovely blog readers (who haven't heard a squeak outta me in nearly two years and probably won't respond) what do you do when you are down in the doldrums?

I know what I will do eventually: put on my big girl panties and keep plugging along. But I think I might stay in my diapers and mope about just a little longer.