Thursday, May 10, 2012

Finding Me

So, it's been a long time since I've posted anything on this blog. I've been trying to be a part of and do something that's not me. I've been trying to fit in. It's kind of like being the new kid in school and you're welcomed into a certain clique. You're not fully comfortable and don't really feel you fit in, but you say what you know people want to hear, you commiserate about things you secretly find trite, you pump up your enthusiasm about things that bore you to tears in private. Why would I, or anyone, do this to themselves? Is it furthering my art or making me feel better about myself? The simple answer is no. I'm very unhappy because I'm not being me. I'm trying to squeeze myself into a mold which will never fit.

I want to be a successful published author. There. I said it "aloud." I know what you're thinking, so do a lot of other people - and you're right. I've got a ton of writer friends on Facebook and they all want to be successful and published. Looking at the feed on my wall is almost discouraging at times, but I keep pushing myself to better.

I want to write. However, I spend so much time worrying about finding good critique partners, critique groups, finding beta readers and getting feedback. I can't afford workshops, retreats, and writing classes and I worry this will affect my chances of being published. I read craft books and then panic that I'm not doing something right. Egads! I used an adverb in the first five pages!! I told instead of showed! My characters can't blink, shrug or sigh without making my palms sweat.
I know I'm supposed to have an online presence, but can't afford a website, so I have a blog, but I don't update it enough (yes, I'm talking about this one). Is my content relevant anyway? Is a blog good enough? I don't know. I once read an article with an agent that said the first thing she does for any potential client is Google their name. Ack! My pulse was racing. I have Facebook, Google+, Twitter and I write for two other sites in the hopes of getting my name out there. But is this going to be enough?

Sometimes it feels as though I've jumped onto a hamster wheel. I keep hearing that if I do things a certain way, I'll make it - maybe, possibly, eventually someday. I keep running, but I'm not getting much accomplished, because I'm trying to follow all the "have to's." So, I'm taking a flying leap off the wheel and into the stormy seas of the unknown.

I'm going to pursue publication my way. I'm going back to my writing. The statistics of becoming a successful author aren't great, not even good. If that's the case, then I need to enjoy the journey instead of worrying so much about the rules. If you can't disregard rules in art, then when can you?

Some people I know are probably shaking their heads in dismay(argh! another thing that sets my heart racing in fear - the dreaded head shaking by a character).

I've spread myself too thin. Now, instead of writing happily for hours, I'm constantly checking that I'm doing something correctly. Instead of writing what my characters want, I worry that it won't fit into the genre and an agent won't like it. Instead of following the story as I feel it should go, I'm worried about the three act plot, subplots, inciting incident, build up, climax, character arcs, etc...
The funny thing is, I know how to do this. I've been reading for more years than I care to admit. I know how a book should flow. I'm not saying it's going to be perfect, but it'll be fixable. I'm going to again start writing the stories I love.

I'm not going to turn this into a blog about my journey to publication - seriously, how many are of those are there? I'm not going to give writing advice. Why? Because I'm not qualified to do so. I can't tell anyone how to get published, because I'm not there yet. I won't be doing anymore book reviews, because I just don't like to do them. This blog will be about whatever I feel like when I'm posting. I'll try to update on a somewhat regular basis, but I'm not going to make any promises, because as much I appreciate you following me or reading me via Facbook and Twitter, blogging isn't my love - I'd rather be writing.


  1. It can be just plain exhausting, can't it? I was working on edits yesterday, and saw a post on the Writer Unboxed page about never starting a sentence with a gerund. I had just seen one in my work. I flipping panicked, and spent the next hour searching for gerunds. I hardly know an infinitive from a participle. Stuff like this makes me feel stupid, like a fraud. But then I remind myself that I am the only one who can tell my stories. And that's what brung me to this crazy-making dance. And I get back to it.

    You may have been spreading yourself too thin, Rebecca, but I came to know you from one of those other blogging gigs you mention. I came to read this because a) cool visual, and b) I know you to be a thought-provoking and inspiring writer. So it may have felt like a hamster wheel, and the effects of your turning it might not always be immediately apparent, but you're doing the 'write' thing. ;-) Keep it up!

  2. Thank you so much for reading and commenting, Vaughn. I really appreciate it. I think I realized I had a problem when I got more birthday emails from writing sites than personal friends.

    I do the same thing! A woman posted this morning on FB asking whether the dark moment comes before or after the second plot point. I felt my IQ drop about 100 pts - I went blank. I had no clue what she was asking. I'm not an English major either and the technicalities of writing are like a foreign language to me.

    It is a pretty cool visual, isn't it? I thought it was gorgeous. Thank you for the compliments, I love writing for both sites, but right now I'm at 6 - 8 posts per month and it's really eating into my time. Sometimes I feel like I'm so into the mechanics of writing that I'm losing the creativity. I'd rather have the creativity. We'll see what happens, but from now on, my work will come first :)

    Can't wait to see yours in print!