Irritated and Inadequate in North Carolina

Dear fellow Bloggers,

I’m slightly irritated.  I know, big shocker.  I tend to get irritated at the drop of a hat, but at least I recognize that about myself, right? Possibly why I’m still single?  But I digress…

Okay, so why am I irritated?  I just finished reading a book.  I both enjoyed the book and hated it.  Isn’t that the worst?  I enjoyed it because I was rooting for two of the characters and really wanted a love story for them.  I hated it because it did all the things we aspiring writers are told not to do and did not do them in a way that made me say, “Well, if you’re going to break the rules, do it like that.”  It broke all those rules and did it in way that I was annoyed throughout most of the book thinking, I SO would have loved to critique this book before it went to the agent, maybe then there’d be fewer instances of POV head-hopping, information backstory dumps, more explanation of what certain things that may not be familiar to the entire world are, and a helluv a lot more character depth, growth, and development.

This particular book was the third one published by this author.  I wonder if the glaring rule-breaking was present in her first book.  I wonder if she was able to get the first book past agent gatekeepers with these same really annoying elements.  Actually makes me want to read the first book.  Isn’t that weird?  But my point is, that I think it’s so much easier once you have an agent and you’ve had other books published to produce a mediocre book.  Why weren’t the obvious instances of POV head-hopping addressed before this book was published?  My guess is because it didn’t go through as much editing before it went to the agent and publisher.  Because the author already had the agent and publisher.

And of course, thinking this way about a book that I’m holding in my hands and reading makes me think about my own book.  Makes me wonder if I’ll ever have the courage to attempt another round of queries, if I’ll ever be able to hold it in my hands, bound, with a cover bearing my name as the author.  I think that it should be out there in the world, that it would make people happy to read it.  But I can’t pluck up the courage to sit down, write a query, and send it out.  I believe the book is good.  I know that the only thing holding me back is me, I’m just not really sure why I’m holding myself back.  Isn’t that what cripples most people in pursuing their dreams?  Themselves?  What am I afraid of?  Being told I’m not good enough, I think.

In all honestly, I think that fear has plagued me my whole life.  The fear of being inadequate.  And yet, I make myself inadequate by not just going for it, by not believing that I AM good enough.

I told that story the other day about the waiter who hit on me and I tried to make it funny, because when I step back and think about it, it really was funny.  But the truth is, I didn’t find it that funny when I wrote about it.  When he told me I was beautiful, my first instinct was to laugh and immediately dismiss it as a joke.  I certainly didn’t feel beautiful and couldn’t really understand why he would say that.  The more I thought about it the less funny it became.  When I left the restaurant and got into my car, I imagined telling people what had happened and my next thought was that no one would believe me.  Or that people would believe that it had happened, but not that the guy actually meant what he said.  I did tell a few people, I guess in the hopes that they wouldn’t have that reaction, and no one did.  And you know what my next thought was?  That they did have that reaction internally but were keeping it to themselves.

WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH THAT PICTURE?

I’m never going to have confidence in myself if my brain automatically goes to that place where I can’t believe it when someone says something nice about me.  I’ll always be “not good enough” if I don’t allow myself to be good enough.  I don’t know why I’m sharing this with the world, if indeed the few people who read this blog can be considered the world.  I guess because I write now.  Even if sometimes it does make me feel inadequate.  And maybe writing this will force me to be good enough for myself so that I can take my book, that I spent a year pouring my heart into, and actually try and get it into the hands of someone who can make it good enough for the world.

Sincerely,

Irritated and Inadequate in North Carolina

8 thoughts on “Irritated and Inadequate in North Carolina

  1. I think writing it down is amazing. And facing it is even more amazing. You’re blessed enough to start from a place of introspection, which some people have to learn before they can even know that they’re sabotaging. I know it’s a completed loaded process, but it’s worth it and it can be done.

  2. “I hated it because it did all the things we aspiring writers are told not to do and did not do them in a way that made me say, “Well, if you’re going to break the rules, do it like that.”
    Argh- I know what you mean! This really annoys me too. It feels like the writer is not breaking all the rules because he is trying a new method, it feels like he is breaking them because he has no idea what the rules are or what he is doing…

    And as for not having confidence for yourself- in writing, that can be a good thing, can help you challenge yourself and never settle for something less than your best. But if it affects your everyday life and brings you down, I don’t know if it’s any help but just remember that there is at least one person here that thinks your writing is great and can’t wait to read your next post! 🙂

  3. Dear Irritated and Inadequate,

    I think you ARE good enough! 🙂

    And I think the most important thing you touched upon here is courage. Courage will come from realizing that getting a query rejection or a full rejection is not a rejection about who you are, or that your book as far as the world is concerned is not good enough. It’s just what an individual thinks. It doesn’t stop in the editor world either (as I’m experiencing, currently)…if it wasn’t subjective it wouldn’t be art—that applies to someone falling ass-backwards in love with your book, as well as rejection.

    That doesn’t mean we can’t improve, and that doesn’t mean that a professional’s suggested changes wouldn’t make your book better. What it means is, based on all the work you’ve done, YOU believe in your book, you just said it yourself. So think of your book as a child then—would you tell your child not to try out for sports teams because you weren’t sure they were going to make it? Would you tell your child not to take advanced Science courses, because you were worried they would fail?

    NO!

    That doesn’t mean you’re certain if your child will succeed, but you believe in him/her, and YOU give them the courage to go out into the world and TRY.

    Just food for thought 🙂

    From, tired and grumpy Romi 😉

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