Wednesday, February 5, 2014
IWSG ~ Do You Believe?
About eight years ago I met up with some college friends for a mini-vacation. In so many ways my life was a complete train wreck. The migraines that I used to write about regularly on here were wildly out of control. My doctor was working on getting to the root of it all, but we weren't close yet. I was recently divorced, but my ex-husband was yanking my strings in ways that I couldn't even see. My job was circling the drain, as were my house and... well, pretty much everything.
In the midst of all that chaos, a novel idea reared its head and demanded to be let out. So, I started writing. I sent chapters to my mother and she really liked it. BUT, I didn't trust her words of encouragement. I mean, she is my mom. So, I brought my fledgling, extremely rough chapters to this meet-up of old college friends, hoping for words of encouragement.
It was harder than I expected to even get them to read a few pages. And then they were MEH after having done so.
I was crushed. My inspirational muse, which wouldn't give me a rest before this incident, left the building. I returned home and trashed the printed copies of my baby manuscript and told my muse if she came back I was going to Whoop Her Ass. (Pardon my language, but I want to get the facts right here.)
Approximately three years later, she came back with another story idea. Several, in fact. She plagued me with story ideas. My life was still a train wreck. The migraines were still debilitating. I did have a better handle on dealing with the ex. Turns out that saying "no" over and over works handily. The job and the house were gone and I was dependent on my mother. (Yeah, that sucked.) I started writing... again. This time, I almost made it through. There was so much about writing that I didn't know. For instance, you should write the end directly after the beginning. It's like a ticket for a plane ride. You must know where you leave from and where you will be landing. You also want to have some ideas about which attractions you want to see (the middle). Short story long, I never could make the middle connect to the end. I shelved it. This time I did not fling it into the trash can shouting curse words. I calmly put it in a box and muttered curse words.
Last year, that dratted muse infiltrated my home and brain again. She kept saying things like, "That first story idea you had was good. It was rough, but after you finish it, and polish it up, you will have something there." I rooted through my old laptop until I found the first chapter. That was all that remained. I know there were more, but they were up in smoke. I began again.
I am now starting Chapter 19 of a story that germinated back in 2007. This time I know so much more than I did then... and a large part is thanks to ALL OF YOU. I am more careful about who I allow to read my manuscript. I know that this is a rough draft. During the rough draft you get to write plot scenarios that only you love... but are actually crap. You get to make all of the mistakes on the rough draft. When one of my readers (who actually WANTS to read this thing knowing it is rough) says something like, "I didn't get the part when (insert scenario)" I make a note that it may need some revising for clarity. The voices of my readers are just that... voices. They are offering an OPINION and I gladly accept it.
What I have learned is that they people who make it through this marathon.,and it is a marathon rather than a sprint, are the people who believe in themselves. They believe in their story. They accept that they might not be the best writer, but it is in them that the story lives. They forgive themselves for clumsy descriptions, weak verbs, repeated phrases, and plot holes. They cut themselves the necessary slack so that they are able to go back objectively and edit out that which doesn't work. Ultimately, they believe that the story is worth the time, sweat, and tears it takes to put it on paper. They believe in themselves. So, that is what I am doing right now. I am believing in me. I am embracing forgiveness. I am granting myself the liberty of error.
We all go through periods of doubt or disbelief, but if you stay there, your muse will snatch your beautiful story and whisk it away to another space and time.
As for me, I believe. Today, I believe.
What say you?
I am still trying to showcase all of the romantic clips I collected (and are waiting in my Favorites) from YouTube. I think this one goes nicely with this post. Believing is the hardest part, but the BEST. I hope you have time to give it a watch!
I am tagging all of these Love Is In The Air (even though the hop is over) and the following is a list of all the posts with links, so that you can watch any of your favorites that you missed.
Back at the beginning of this thing I asked YOU to share what you think are the most romantic moments on the big and small screen. I posted four of them over the weekend. I will still post them if you share in the comments!
Speaking of comments, some of your comments crack me up! Over the weekend I ran all movies and several of you indicated you'd never seen those TV shows. Hahahaha. I realize I must be more clear about what I am posting, since I am doing both.
Did you see the parallels? Molly's belief in an idea that she very much wanted to be true faltered visibly. Rational thinking says that is is unrealistic. (The way many of us feel about the possibility of ever publishing our baby.) And then hope flares up and belief ignites and the magic happens. Believing is a powerful thing. It is also a fragile thing, so wrap yours in love and hold on.
I encourage you to visit the Insecure Writer's Support Group page so that you can read other people's posts and offer sage advice or just a bit of encouragement. You can even join the group by adding your name to the Linky List. Click here.
Thank you to Alex J. Cavanaugh for founding this wonderful group. Also...the awesome co-hosts today are Sheena-kay Graham, Julie Musil, Jamie Ayres, and Mike Swift! Please be sure to thank them for their time and effort to make all IWSG members feel welcome.