Sunday, October 25, 2009

And so it fizzled...

What day is today? Today is the day I was supposed to have completed my book. And where are we instead?

It's come to a complete and total grinding halt. I don't know what happened. Not only do I not like it any longer, but I can't seem to get myself psyched up to write about it anymore.

Remember that rogue chapter I was telling you about? It became the end of me -- well, at least the end of my current manuscript.

Okay, so that wasn't just it. I've also been working some incredibly long hours at the office (17 hour days to be exact--including weekends), and that kind of time just doesn't leave room for writing. Perhaps it was a good thing though, because when I returned to the manuscript, I suddenly just didn't like it anymore. Perhaps it was because I came back to it with a fresh eye and saw things I couldn't see when I was so involved with it everyday.

Oh, don't get me wrong. I still love the storyline. That, I do not want to change. It's just the whole setting, the way things were progressing - it was not working for me. I'm at 200 computer pages right now...

...And although it's killing me, because I have made SUCH progress in the last few months... I have to start over. I have to. I might be able to use some of it in the new manuscript - but I think as of now, it will just be mainly for reference OR possibly for use in Book 2 if I get to that point.

It's a terrible feeling - knowing that you've come so far - I thought I was on the verge of finishing, only to discover I needed to begin all over again. But I am retaining hope however - I know I will be able to push ahead with what I've learned, and hopefully the result will be an even better manuscript.

Has this happened to any of you? What did you do? I would love to hear your thoughts...

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Another Deep One

I swear, since the day I made up my mind to make some changes in my life, hence starting this blog, and returning to writing my book, the most random things have been happening to me. I'm not sure if it's a vibe I've been sending out recently because of my new mindset, but people have been subtly encouraging me without even knowing it.

"You've got a lot to offer the world, but the world doesn't get to see much of you"

A co-worker, friend and mentor said these words to me first thing this morning. For the past three years, he has been offering little tidbits of wisdom and advice in the ways of the world. I have to admit, my life is somewhat sheltered. I've never been a risk taker, I can be painfully shy (seriously), and my parents have always been slightly strict. I'm loyal to a fault - when I find something I like, no matter what it is, I will stick with it, even long after I'm done with it and I hate it. Bad, bad, bad... Since I've been in this rut, things haven't gotten any better. In fact they're far worse. I find it hard to do much of anything because either I'm scared, or I can't summon the energy, or, etc., etc., etc. Sometimes it's because it's just too out there, and "I could never do that". If you've experienced this, then you know what I mean. I, for one, am desperately terrified of failure and rejection, but I've got to learn to deal with that, and accept it as a part of life.

Back to my little anecdote:

I ran into him in the elevator this morning, and after a slightly scathing comment about my lack of social life, we got to talking. He warned me that, as he put it, I "was in the prime of my life" and I shouldn't be sitting back and watching it pass me by. Anyone can do anything at anytime, but I wasn't seizing any of the opportunities that were coming along. He was just worried that I'd wake up 20 or 30 years from now and wonder what had happened to my life. Needless to say, I was floored. Without even knowing it, he had echoed my deepest fears. I'll admit it, for the past few months, that thought has crossed my mind more than once. I can't help it. When you've reached a certain point in your and you have absolutely nothing to show for it, it's daunting. It's completely nerve wracking to think that another 25 years could go by, and you might still have nothing to show.

After his little spiel, we parted ways, and of course, I'm thinking about this for quite some time after as I go about my day. As soon I got home, I decided I needed to share this with the world, because it couldn't be more true. I'm not sure if someone else said it, or if this was just his phrasing (I can't find it on Google), but I want you to remember this--I know I will.

We've all got something to offer the world, we just need to stop hiding long enough to reach out and show it. I think we all have the power to make a good difference too, regardless of whether it's through your writing, your music, your artwork or whatever form of expression you choose. I know things didn't work out the way I wanted them to. I was supposed to be in a very different spot in my life by now - believe me, my plans were drastically different. One by one, I feel as though I've been giving up on each of my dreams. I'm realizing though, that just because they didn't work out the way I planned, I shouldn't have to let them go. Not without a fight.

I hope you'll do the same...

Monday, October 12, 2009

Completely Confused

Progress has totally and completely halted. I don't know what happened! Okay, I kind of do.

I haven't been writing all that much in the last few days. I'm currently just over 65k, but if you remember a few posts ago in September, I mentioned that I had left out a very significant chapter at the beginning of my book? Well, now it's coming back to haunt me. Unless I go and shape and define this chapter, I don't know if I can move forward with writing this piece.

I'm at a very crucial point in the novel that depends heavily on that chapter. Not only does it set the tone for the rest of the book, and possibly the series, but it's a huge deciding/enlighting/EVErything factor! And it has to be accurate. The problem is--you can't have accurate unless you have the information, and I don't have it!

The thing is--I haven't quite decided what I want to happen in that beginning chapter. My MC is supposed to have a serious talk with someone about what is going on with her, but I'm suddenly iffy about whether this someone should even know. Mind you, if I decide they shouldn't, this might change quite a bit of the entire book, and it's going to mean some very long nights for me to make it right again. I think it makes it better though, so it may very well be worth it. At the same time however, on the other hand, it also clarifies quite a few things and... argh... I'm completely confused!

The only thing I do know is that I can't move forward until this is sorted out. Ahhhh!

Something tells me we're not hitting that October 25th deadline anymore. I'm not too, too concerned with that--I'd rather figure out what I need to do first.

First things first... I'm going to go attack that rogue chapter... Wish me luck!

Bye for now!

p.s. Happy Columbus Day/Happy Thanksgiving (depending on what you're celebrating) to everyone out there!

Monday, October 5, 2009

You Can't Please Everyone

This seems like something we should all know, right? True enough, but it never ceases to amaze me the amount of stress we sometimes undertake just to appease everyone.

This applies to work, family, friends--you try to please your boss, your clients, your co-workers, your family, your friends, but in the end, doesn't it seem like either everyone is happy and you're miserable or no one is happy and you're miserable? These are probably worst case scenarios--it's not to say that we aren't able find joy in making others happy, that in itself can bring us the most happiness, but where do you draw the line and just say no? I'm doing this for me...

I had one of those days today. I am currently stretched between two projects at work, and both of the individuals I am working with want me to drop the other project, and devote my full time to them. So what am I doing now? I'm working insanely long hours to try and get both jobs done, because apparently I have the hardest time just saying no, and standing up for myself. I want both of them to be happy. Not just because it's work, and I have to--this is one case where it's actually my choice.

In doing this, although they are happy, I'm giving up something that makes me happy, and that's being able to write every night.

This is my own fault, of course and I realize that.

The thing I wonder is if we ever unconsciously apply this to our writing. I know many of us are after that ostensibly elusive dream of becoming published--I know I am. I want to somehow make my mark on the world, I suppose, but without causing a big splash. I think encouraging others to read is one of the most remarkable gifts we can give. I've always communicated best through my writing, I enjoy it and it makes me happy. If I can bring joy to others through it too, well then, that's just a double bonus.

Right now though--I write for myself. I am writing the type of story that I know I would enjoy reading. I know others may not like it, but should I be writing to please them? It is a little bit of a double edged sword. If you don't write something that people will want to read, then how will you market yourself, and where? How will you be published? On the other hand, if you start significantly changing your writing just to chase after the latest craze, are you selling out?

I don't know if I can consider writing a job as yet--I mean, I know it is, but its brings me such a wonderful feeling, it doesn't feel like work at all. I can't say the same about my current day job. If you can be in a job, career, etc. that not only brings you joy, but brings joy and satisfaction to the lives of people you touch through it, then I think you have succeeded.

The sad thing is that when we are young, we are able to escape, find new worlds, discover magic in all forms... As we get older, very little intrigues us in the same fashion. For me though, a good book will always recapture that feeling. I like to lose myself in the words, to search for something that just might be bigger than what we know.

That said, I would like to reiterate:

You can't please everyone, but you should never give up on trying to please someone... If you've reached one person (at times--even if it's yourself), you've made a difference, no matter how small. Again, I know, all common sense, but definitely something we forget to remember...

Sorry, I know today's post was a little deep, but like I said--it's been one of those days...

Do any of you ever feel this way? I'd love to hear of any examples (success stories or trying stories) where you were faced with the tough decision of trying to make everyone happy at the expense of your own sanity.

Sunday, October 4, 2009


Time for...... da da dum dum..... GOAL #2!

I have decided that I am going to finish the first draft of my novel within the next three weeks. Today being October 4th, let's set a date of October 25th for it to be completed.

Considering that I've been coming home from work close to 9:00 p.m. every day this past week, this might be a little too ambitious, but we'll see how it goes. Life is nothing without trying to work towards something, right?

Today will be a short post as I am trying to make my weekend as productive as possible, and it is honestly too easy to get distracted by all of these great blogs out there :).

Bye for now!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Reaching Goal #1

I've made it! On October 1st I reached 60,222 (MS Word Count) words!

I also came to a little bit of a staggering realization. I just thought it before, but now I know it for sure. I am nowhere near finished!

What does that mean?

So I did a little bit of research, and it looks like YA novels tend to run anywhere from 50K to 85K, but no more, thus so far I figure I am in pretty safe territory. I read on a few different sites that a Fantasy novel can run to up to 100K, but this is a YA Fantasy, so I'm not too sure. Plus--I'm a new writer, so trying to publish anything too long might not be wise.

I'm really hoping that I can wrap it by 80K at LEAST (before edits), and again that is MS Word count, not Printer's Rule (I really need to figure that out--a few sites have been giving me different counts). If anyone reading this knows for sure, please help! I would welcome your comments.

My book is a YA Fantasy, and I think that genre allows for at least up to 100k. Things are happening a little out of sequence, but I find as I am re-reading I like it, and it somehow works.

For instance, one of my secondary characters just spilled the beans on something that my Main Character wasn't supposed to know until later. It will complicate things for her relationship with my male MC, but when I re-read it, it made sense that this was how she found out. This book seems to be writing itself at times. :)

In my next post, I am going to be setting Goal #2, which I haven't quite formulated as yet. I'm still deciding whether to make it very ambitious, or just stick with what I know can be achieved. But hey... I did surprise myself with Goal #1, so who knows?

I'm going to try and get in a few more pages tonight. I left my last chapter off in the middle.

Bye for now!