it’s all part of the learning process

18 Jan

‘for fun’ cover I made.

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.



Posted by on January 18, 2014 in i will repay, random, vengeance is mine, writing


7 responses to “it’s all part of the learning process

  1. missjanebennet

    January 18, 2014 at 1:43 am

    Can I just say, I SYMPATHIZE! I get on the computer, pull up my Word document, and then either sigh in disgust at some of my sentences and give up, or get distracted by Pinterest. I’ve been getting some of my inspiration back lately, though, thank goodness. And I’ll be praying for your writing! (Sorry for my complaining.) Really, though, I’m of the opinion that your work is incredible, and you have absolutely NO reason to be discouraged.
    To borrow a phrase from Eowyn…

  2. Anne-girl

    January 18, 2014 at 2:36 am

    You my dear are feeling Penslain. It happens to everyone. Whenever I read Jenny’s blog I always feel that my life is over and that I can never never never write again. But then I pick up my pen and try again.

    Getting critiqued is hard. It’s fun but it’s hard. One of the things that people have told me {especially my mom} as that certain of my work is unrealistic. That’s hard because I’m trying to write an awesome book that still could have really happen so that’s one of my main goals that I’m failing at. But hey we’ve just got to keep climbing.

    Characters can be a pain in the neck sometimes. You think you’ve got them figured out and then someone reads it and they’re like “wait what?”and you just feel finding a tree and being Heathcliff for a bit. Just write it all out. All of it. That’s what I do. I have this one friend who I just write at when something’s not working or I can’t get it out the way I want {if you need such a friend my inbox is always open my dear}. I just sit there and pour, telling her everything about the character or plot line that I can think of, and it really really helps. Not bullet points, not character interviews just writing it all out.

    If this helps great if not oh well. I love you! Keep it up my dear Eponine {I occasionally think of you as Eponine instead of eva}

  3. thusblewthewind

    January 18, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Hey! I follow your other blog but under a different guise 🙂
    Some thoughts on your points:
    1. No writer is perfect. No one. We all have battles we have to wage over stubborn and disobedient manuscripts and characters.
    2. Don’t compare – if we all wrote in the same style or the same way, books would undoubtedly be boring. Write like *you* write. Be you. Writing is art – people don’t paint the same: a Picasso is vastly different to a Da Vinci yet they are both masterpieces.
    3. *crickets chirp* um, yeah. I think I’m part of “a lot of writers suffer from it”. Ahem. In need of discipline? Yep, me too 🙂
    Love the ‘plot twist’ poster. Keep writing, but most of all – enjoy it. Happy writing 🙂

  4. Eowyn

    January 18, 2014 at 2:00 pm

    Amen, amen, and AMEN. I know exaaaaaactly how you feel.

    And, hey. I wouldn’t say looking at Winter Soldier pictures is all *that* bad….. ; )

  5. evaschon

    January 18, 2014 at 6:29 pm

    Aw, thanks so much everyone!

    @missjanebennet – it seems we all think that everyone else’s work is incredible, and our own is, well, not so good 🙂 I was reading your book the other day (sorry it’s taken me so long to read/critique it – I’ve been beta-reading for someone else, and I’m super-busy, but I should have my critique to you within the next week) and thinking “Wow. This is really, really good. I wish I could write like that”.

    @Anne – ‘penslain’…can I just say how much I love that word? I think I’m going to use it full-time now 😉 And I love how you use Heathcliff for a comparison (I started reading WH once and promptly put it down in disgust – if I think *my* charries are bad, I can just go and encourage myself by reading it)…I kinda thought I would just write everything out in a Word document and then delete it, but I figured it would make good fodder for a blog post. (and it’s perfectly fine with me if you call me Eponine – although I somehow think you {or anyone, really} would appreciate being called Cosette)

    @thusublewthewind – hehehehehe…I have some doubts about Picasso being a masterpiece, but, then again, everyone views art forms differently – the uniqueness of art, like you said 🙂

    @eowyn – I know *you* don’t think so, but certain people might 😉

    • thusblewthewind

      January 18, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      Perhaps I should have said ‘they are both *considered* masterpieces’ … in the eye of the beholder and all that : )

  6. Victoria Grace Howell

    January 23, 2014 at 9:40 pm

    It’s okay. All writers get discouraged at some point no matter how “good” they are. I know I have. We all need a little time to mope, but don’t forget to get back up and keep writing despite that. 🙂 You just have to work a little harder than them. It does get easier. Keep reading books, beta books, blog posts and keep writing anything you can. Good luck to you!

    Stori Tori’s Blog


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