I’m having an “I Suck” day

So a while back I posted that I kept writing because I thought I was good at it.

Today I’m not so sure. Today I pretty much think I suck. I think about the very talented writers I’ve gotten to know in the past nine months and I realize how crap I am.

My book sucks. It’s never going to get published. 18 agents have seen my query letter. Only one wanted to see more. And once they saw more, they rejected it. My book sucks.

I’ve started writing five other books. They suck. And for some reason I can’t seem to finish them. My writing just sucks.

Will I ever not suck? I hope so. But if I can’t finish another book, how will I ever get to the point where I don’t suck?

I’m feeling really chicken about starting more edits on Twenty-Five. I love the story, but if the writing sucks, why bother? If no agent is ever going to be interested in it, then why spend the little free time I have trying to make it perfect? It won’t be perfect, because I’m not perfect. Because I suck.

NANO… um, not so much!

I fully intended to write a 50,000 word novel in the month of November.  I wrote a synopsis and I outlined the entire book and I wrote like crazy for about a week.  And then life got in the way.  And really, I’m kind of glad.  I think back over the work I did and know that the book I was writing is not a book I would ever be proud of.  I love the first couple of chapters, but after that, it really just falls apart.

And I’m cool with that.  Not everything is going to work.

Part of the reason life got in the way this month is that I was trying to do too much.  So like me.  Always the over-achiever.  Throughout the month I stressed myself out with editing Twenty-Five and querying, plus writing for NANO, plus trying to figure out what I’m going to do come January first when I don’t have a job anymore (yes, I officially quit the hair salon, I put in my notice), plus trying to train someone new to pick up some of the shifts I’m leaving behind.  Yeah… I’ve been busy.

So I’m glad December is almost here.  Even though December brings a whole new round of stressors (hello my other company has 3 weddings in December!!!),  I think I’m more prepared to handle them now.  I hope so.

I’ve started a new book.  One that I think better suits me as a “writer” and I’ll be writing that in December. I don’t intend to stress myself out over word count.  I want to write something I can be proud of when I’m finished with the first draft so that I actually want to edit it and create a second!

I’m putting Twenty-Five on a back-burner for now.  I need time to fall in love with my characters again so that the next time I look at my manuscript I don’t kill them off in a fit of panic and fury.  Or something worse.  Like tossing my handwritten first draft into a fireplace.  I know I have it all typed on a computer, but I think it would be like burning my own heart to toss the first pages containing my characters into a fire.

So anyways, that’s what’s going on with me.  How about you?

YAY!

I just got my first request for a partial ms from an agent!  They want the first three chapters and a synopsis.  I can’t believe it!  I’m flabbergasted.  It’s only the third agent I’ve heard from.  I know that I’m not guaranteed anything, but it’s soo exciting anyways!  And just a few minutes ago I was thinking life was too f***ing hard…

See, that’s why you always have to remain positive.

I’ll keep you posted once/ if I hear back from the agent once I send the chapters.

NANO: 14,759 words, 10 chapters!

Woohoo!

I’m two days ahead of schedule!

I just finished the rewrites of my last chapter and the epilogue to Twenty-Five. I wasn’t supposed to be finished with those until Monday!  So I guess my lack of social life pays off every once and a while.

Now that I’ve finished the bulk of the rewriting, I’m going to start early on the minor edits of grammar and typos and suggestions from reviewers.

The big problem, though, with my rewrite is that now my book is WAY TOO LONG!  I meant to shorten it on the rewrite but ended up increasing the length by about 4000 words!  So now I’m probably going to need to do some major chopping, which sucks, because I already cut out a lot of stuff that I loved.

The editing process is never done!

Kicking Ass

Yes, that’s right.  I’m kicking my Rewrite Schedule’s ass all over the place!!!

Not only have I not missed a single day, but I’ve actually managed to add in two chapters I didn’t realize I needed when I made the schedule.  If you notice, the title went from 23 Chapters in 15 Days to 24 Chapters in 15 Days to 25 Chapters in 15 Days. Now, as long as I keep my momentum up I should be finished with my second draft on time.  I have to write a completely new chapter today, but it’s almost finished.

I love hand-writing.  I prefer it to typing.  It’s a better rough draft because I can scratch things out and still see what my original idea was.  Plus, when I go to type it I can fix all the little mistakes I made when writing it originally.  So it’s like a first draft of my first draft.  And I find my words flow more easily when I have a pen in my hand then when I’m at a keyboard.  Go figure.

If I finish my second draft on time, then I will be starting NANO on November 1st with no hesitation.  I will also be starting a new goal for Twenty-Five: to query at least ONE agent every day during the month of November.  That includes Thanksgiving Day.  But, I may do that one a day or two early.  I heart Thanksgiving, so much.

So if anyone knows any agents looking for a heart-wrenching/warming love story, let me know!  If I get this book published, I might just die of happiness.

Quick Update

I’ll try and write something profound tomorrow, but it’s 1:46 am right now and I JUST finished my chapters for today.

Whew!

I finished yesterday’s chapters on schedule, too!  So far so good.  Now I just have to keep up the momentum.

Editing/ rewriting is both one of the hardest and one of the easiest parts of writing.  Easiest because I already know my characters.  I already know the outcome of the story.  I already know how to get them from Point A to Point B.  Hardest because now I have to make it believable.  Making it believable, tweaking those parts which just didn’t work the first time around, incorporating advice from readers- is a BITCH.  A big, fat, ugly bitch who’s in your face, talking about your mama and spitting her disgusting garlic breath all over your face.  (Is it okay to say “bitch” in a blog?  If not, forgive me!)

And I want to do thirteen straight more days of this??  Have I lost my mind?

Probably.  But if I did, it was long before I took this project on!

Happy reading, happy writing, and sweet dreams…

Storytelling DNA

If there is such a thing, the women in my family do not have it.

My grandmother, mother, sisters, and I are TERRIBLE at telling stories and relating anecdotes.  I don’t really know why, but any story started by one of us will inevitably end with someone listening saying in a sarcastic tone, “Good story.”

Here’s what we do.  We begin telling the story in the middle, then realize we’ve left out important information so we have to start over at the beginning.  But before telling the entire beginning, we go back to the middle.  We don’t realize we haven’t told the entire beginning until we’re almost at the end.

It’s like Marlon in Finding Nemo.  He is trying to tell a joke about a clown fish and he just can’t get started.  If you’ve seen the movie and you know the scene, that’s what its like trying to listen to my mother, sisters, or I when telling a story.

My brother, on the other hand, is absolutely hilarious.  He is the best story-teller I know.  I think all the Storytelling DNA my parents had built up and waited until he was created (he’s the youngest).

I think my lack of oral storytelling skills prevented my writing earlier in life.  I assumed that since I couldn’t SPEAK a story out loud, there was no way I could WRITE a story down.

But here’s the great thing about writing.  EDITING!  I can write the story, get all the beginnings and middles and endings sorted out in my head before I share it with anyone else.  And I’m not too shabby at that.  At least, I hope I’m not.

So I think from now on, I’ll be writing my anecdotes down and editing them before trying to share with others!  That’s what my pen is for, after all.