I haven’t been doing much writing lately (read: any) and I thought it would be good to write everything out in a blog post and get all my feelings out (I considered having Lily write this post, but decided against it because a) it would’ve been too awkward, especially as she’s not a writer [and thus she wouldn’t really understand my feelings in the right way] and b) it was just another excuse to not write on my part). I’ve already given myself a stern talking to, but I find that putting things out for The Public Eye to see is a much better way (as long as it’s not too personal) because then you have a sort of obligation to follow through on whatever you write about. Right? Of course right. So, I figure I should list the three reasons for my state of non-writing and then proceed to chastise myself for each one.
- Critiques from beta readers
- Friends who write amazingly well
- Pinterest & Youtube (ahem)
I think the first one is the biggest one in terms of my not writing. I have no idea why I’ve gotten a tad depressed, writing wise, because I got a few critiques from the beta-readers for I Will Repay. They were both extremely kind, thoughtful, and articulate (shout out to Patti C. and Amanda W. if either of you are reading this post – I really do appreciate your critiques), but I have this dreadful tendency to read through a critique, gather together all the negative points, and discard the positive. Then I dwell on that whenever I think about writing and it sucks all my will to write away. And there’s really no reason for that. It was a first draft (a NaNoWriMo draft, for that matter), both beta-readers had some great encouragement for me, and I have a zillion drafts I can still do to make the whole thing so much better.
I think the thing that I found the hardest to hear was that my characters are weak. But even that is not enough reason to write. My characters are ‘live in living color’. I just haven’t found a way to fully bring that across on paper (and let’s face it – paper is an extremely weak medium when it comes to taking down one’s thoughts). Naturally, I want everyone to love my charries as much as I do, and I’m sure that will come after the fifth or sixth draft. However, since I’m not there yet, I’ll have to forge ahead and actually write things and figure out characterization from there (two notes: 1) characterization is one of my weakest points as a writer 2) the beta-reader who said that did give me some good tips on how to improve said talent).
Second reason: Along with moping about in my writing, I’ve also been beta-reading books for insanely talented friends, and reading one published book by someone who’s also a friend of mine (and has probably become my new favorite book ever). I don’t really get ‘concerned’, per se, about books I read that are written by authors I don’t know personally, because, hey, I can just imagine that their other-worldly geniuses who have a silver pen and golden talent. But with friends who write…I actually know them, not just their characters. I know their writerly quirks (and personal quirks, some of the time), and in some ways, they’re just normal girls who love writing (like me). But everything that they write, even first drafts, is amazingly inspired (especially this gal). And then I look at my own ideas/characters/first drafts…let’s just say ‘major let down’ and leave it at that. I really don’t know how to go about refuting this one, since there’s actually some truth to it, but I suppose I just need to buckle down, write, develop my own unique voice, and let it take me places.
Ugh. Looking back, this post seems rather angsty. Anyway…the next reason isn’t really a complaint, although it’s a very real problem (and not just for me – I think a lot of writers suffer from it). I go on Pinterest to get ‘story inspiration’ (The Procrastination Station is actually a very good place to get inspiration, but it’s also a deadly time waster – hence the name I made up for it) and five hours later, I’m scrolling through the latest stills from Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Youtube is usually used as an escape when I don’t want to write. It’s rather astounding how you can go on to watch a short clip from BBC’s Robin Hood and end up watching instructions on how to make a Despicable Me minion out of toothpicks (okay, I’ve never actually seen a video of that, but I’m sure something of that ilk is out there). Those ‘recommended for you’ video lists are dangerous little things. All I need is discipline (hehehehe…), and then I’ll be fine. Hopefully.