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.


  1. Robin, I have made the mistake of showing my manuscript to people during the crappy first draft stage - it is a huge mistake. So glad you have come to a place where you believe in yourself.

  2. I say best of luck to you!! If it's in your heart, and you know it's your gift, persistence will get you to your dream. That's just how those things work. :) I believe that 100%!

  3. That's what I'm having the most trouble with right now -- accepting that the current version of my manuscript sucks, but I need to finish it anyway -- and trusting that my skill at revision (which I Iike WAY better than drafting) will make it a better story in the months to come. (Two months, actually. It's due May 1. I assume I will need the rest of February to finish it.)

  4. It is a process for sure. One that takes time and effort. Both are important. Good luck on finishing the MS. And awesome that you are believing in yourself.

  5. I solved that problem by sneaking up behind my muse, jumping her, tying her up, and allowing her only to create for me, not the public. Like Hank Jr. once said, "Now she don't nag, I don't beg, we get along..." or something like that.

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  7. That is awesome! You've grown so much since then and I'm sure this new draft will be ten times better.

  8. Ghost! that was a movie that brought tears to dragon's eyes. I'm glad you learned to believe in yourself and in your muse. The one who doesn't dare to cross the ocean won't find out what is at the other side. The more you dare to write and learn, the more things will be revealed about yourself and what you're capable of doing!

  9. Karen ~ Yes, I am much more careful about who reads it now. And I am the first to point out that it is a ROUGH DRAFT.

    Rosey ~ This writing thing is all about persistence. You are so right about that!

    Dianne ~ It is hard. I am (slowly) learning not to go back and try to rework the old chapters, but am focusing just on FINISHING. That is what editing is for after all...

    Brandon ~ If you don't believe you can do it... well, you can't.

    CW ~ Yeah, that is definitely one way to look at it. In doing so, does your life become a country song? Hmm. Something to ponder...

    Alex ~ I hope that you are correct in that. It is my fervent desire that the writing at the end is BETTER than that at the beginning!

    Al ~ Ghost made me cry, too! Words of wisdom from the dragon. If you don't try, you will never know!!!

  10. First, let me say to you, I'm sorry you suffer from migraines. I do too. All the freakin' time. So, my heart goes out to you.

    It's funny but you're right, the people I would think would want to read my WIP are the last ones to do so. They say they will but it never happens. Thank goodness for a great CP.


  11. I am glad that you doing what you love. I have thought you have to put so much time in your posts. You really involve your readers and those you follow by including them by name and doing something especially for them. It shows that you are a sensitive person which is true of people in the arts I think. Are your migraines under control? Take care.

  12. Elsie ~ Finding a CP is on my To-Do List. I just need to finish that rough draft. I am sorry that you also suffer from migraines!

    Myra ~ The migraines are better, but not gone. Some days are still bad, but not EVERY DAY, which is how it used to be. I am slowly but surely doing more things Right. It all adds up.

  13. It's good to have honest people around you, but not people who are overly critical. Good for you for believing in yourself!

  14. Robin what a fantastic post of tenacity and perseverance. Keep it up and you'll be flying high!

  15. Robin, it is a pleasure to watch you return to your strong self on this blog. It is only by granting ourselves the "liberty of error," that we improve. You go! Oh, and Ghost. Sigh, sigh, sigh.

  16. Steven ~ Yes. Finding people who are genuinely helpful can be tricky.

    Cathrina ~ I think we all fight some sort of battle. Tenacity and perseverance... that's me!

    Liza ~ It feels good to slowly return to... I was going to say My Old Self, but that isn't right... maybe a healthier self is better. My migraines aren't gone, but they aren't as bad they were. I am living more and more life rather than lying in bed and watching it pass me by. Maybe we should grant ourselves the "liberty of error" in our actual lives, too. We can be awfully judgmental of ourselves, no?

  17. Oh my gosh, this is awesome! I totally believe ;)
    Good for you for going back to it, you are going to be so proud when you're done!

  18. I believe in you. That middle is the most difficult for everyone. Chapter 19! wow. That is a heart tugging moment in Ghost.

  19. Friends and family are the most difficult ones for me to get to read what I've written. My mother reads my blog posts sometimes but that's about it. If people aren't writers it can be difficult to get them interested in something that hasn't been published yet.

    A Few Words

  20. I believe in you, keep going! I'm sorry to hear about your migraines, I used to have them too.

  21. You worded this beautifully, Robin. I'm glad you've listened to your muse and given her freedom to take you through the journey. Keep at it, and keep believing in you.


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  23. S.K. ~ Your comment made me smile. Nice to know that I hit someone else where they "live."

    Susan ~ Good to know. I have never heard anyone talk about what part of the novel is the most difficult. Of course, it is always easiest to get lost in the middle of any journey... so that makes sense!

    Arlee ~ Yes. So true.

    Gina ~ I am looking forward to the day when I can say that: "I used to have them too."

    Robyn ~ Thanks girl... for the compliment and encouragement... a Double Dose!

  24. aw, sweetie! you really bared your soul here! its so hard to ask others to read your baby & harder when they give that meh reaction. i think we've all been there!

    youve overcome so much! and all that gives you tons of emotion to put into your writing, right? and strength to keep going! proud of you! thanks so much for inspiring us with your story!

    now keep writing!

  25. Don't let anyone take away your dreams. Congrats on your work in progress! Can't wait to hear more!

  26. Whoop Her Ass sounds good. No need to apologise. But it must've been very hard. I once wrote a book for kids and then my computer crashed. A lot of kids were spared a lot of nightmares. But I was still crushed.

    NO is my favorite word. It's very handy. And so easy to pronounce too. Great invention.

    "...they might not be the best writer, but it is in them that the story lives"- That's one to remember.


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