Friday, August 26, 2005

Another Day in Paradise

Not.

This post is in reply to the wonderful support I got in the comments from the last post. I'd typed it out, realized it was super long, so decided to post it here instead.

I knew I wasn't alone in my thinking. So many of us writers are mothers and wives so you'd understand my guilt with a messy house and my sitting at the keyboard. Today I did get some heavy cleaning done. MADE myself, but I did it, and now I'm glad. It was just after 10am when I finished, so not only did I have most of the day to myself before picking up the kids, but I felt lighter knowing I could do whatever I wanted with the good feeling that something on the house was actually done.

And it may not be so wicked if I was actually PRODUCING something - but alas, I'm not. I can't even get my brain into the IDEA of writing. I think of the scenes constantly though, so maybe my sub-conscious is working on something and I just don't know it yet.

Randy - it's interesting you say that about changing to single-spacing to get the juices flowing again (Whoa - sounds like something from a Blaze!!). When I first started writing, I knew nothing - including page format and double spacing and all that jazz. Now I have it set up to do 25 lines per page in Courier New 12 pt. BUT, when I started revisions the other day, I couldn't get that damn page set up right. (Yes, the revisions are so bad that they require a from-the-start-kinda revising.) I spent an hour getting madder and madder over FORMATTING. I should have said, "Screw it" and just started writing and then went back and fixed the format. However, by the time I got to writing, I got 5 pages done and they were crap and then I felt defeated. (sigh) Next time, I'll do what you said: Set it to single-spacing and just WRITE.

Kacey - you're evil!!! And I believe your threat of checking up on me!!!

Good news. I was laying on the couch just now and wallowing in self-doubt and the overall blahs, but I finally checked on the blog (can you say SPAM anyone? Gah! I get them in email and now they rape my blog, too.) Anyway, just reading what you guys said, such encouragement, and then typing this reply has my brain working again, so I think I'll dig out one of the craft books I've wanted to study and get at it. You guys ROCK!

18 comments:

Nic said...

My dear funkified Brenbabe. I know the feeling about writing. I haven't written a word in, well a long time. Months b/c life happens, then the creativity decides to run and hide, then the doubts come out to play..."you really can't write", "you think other people are going to like this crap? think again.", "why did you ever think you could write in the first place just because you love to read and edit other people's WIPs?"...and it goes on and on - that vicious cycle until you're caught in a whirl of doubt, self-pity, frustration and anger over what hasn't been written even though you know it should be. SIGH. Love ya doll for persevering through the painful parts!

Anonymous said...

Did you ever consider, just scraping what you have and starting all over?

That way you wont have to look at mega revisions?

You may not feel so defeated.

Theresa said...

Brenda,

Unfortunately this funk you're going through just means that you're a writer. We all go through these kind of funks.

I do wonder if this funk of yours might not be more than a sudden loss of confidence and some procrastination. I wonder if it might not be a fear based block. I ask because of the timing. The fact that once you decided to treat the writing more like a job-- set aside actual hours and such. In fact, that step alone takes a tremendous committment. And in my experience that's when fear can swoosh in and stall everything.

I've found the only way I can work past the fear is to continue writing no matter how shitty the work seems. To push past it. I do it by ignoring formatting completely, by writing single spaced and by not allowing myself to go back and edit while I'm producing. Someone mentioned just junking what you have and starting fresh.

What I found, was that if I couldn't do revisions on an existing scene-- there was usually a reason for it. The voice was off, the tone off, the characters off. And its impossible for me to fix these kind of big problems. I have to start fresh. If I just canned the scene and sat down and pounded a new version out-- it always gelled for me. Always fixed itself. And it usually wasn't until the new scene was down, that I even knew what had been wrong about the first.

anyway-- believe me, I feel for you. And the best of luck in the coming days.

Theresa

randy said...

Ditto what Theresa said. I was wondering about the timing too. Like Rosanne Rosannadanna (sp?)used to say: It's always something. For me, it went like this: If only I had a computer to write on...then if only I had a GOOD computer to write on...right now it's, if only I had a great big desk and a printer and next it will be if only I could quit my day job. Each time you finally "get" what you think is gonna answer all your writing problems, you find out one thing: you still have to write. And nothing (but practice) makes it get any easier.
Also, I remember reaching a point where everything I'd learned from the how-to books and crit groups had begun to paralyze me. Sounds like you're there now. TURN OFF THE INTERNAL EDITOR and just go for it! Do whatever you have to do to bring back the joy you experience when writing. Maybe put aside the revisions right now, and write something purely for fun.

You WILL get past this! :)

Tess said...

Bren - glad you're feeling better. I know what you mean about the funk - we just have to not let it get the better of us!

Allison Brennan said...

I feel your pain. I'm having a hard time starting a new project. I was relieved when my copyedits came in because I can legitimately procrastinate on my new project. But in 2 weeks I won't have an excuse . . .

Dorothy said...

Brenda, nice blog...first time here. Anyway, there's a feature in your settings where you can set it up to only let registered users comment. I had spammers too but after I did that, they were gone.

Anonymous said...

There is a big difference between rambling online in a blog, and actually getting published. To me, you're an egocentric diva, who should spend more time with her kids, less time playing online, and maybe your life would improve

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Hi Dorothy! I used to have it set to having just registered being able to post, but had several friends that couldn't post that way, so I turned that feature off.

Anonymous - Of course I'm a diva, Oh Spineless One. Hell, I'm promotional manager for Romance Divas. HELLO?? ROFL

Between cowards who don't have the balls to sign their posts and the spammers, I may be forced to put this back on registered users only.

Anonymous said...

spending time online, spending time with kids? why honestly does it concern others so much what some people do.. let the girl write, she's good at writing and she spends plenty of time with her kids.. though i suppose everybody has "sucker fish" trying to hamstring them to placate the others..
Foster

jeanne said...

...upbeat and very welll written..the 'rambling' is what can make a book really interesting

Anonymous said...

Hiya Brenda :-)

This from your friend Gary ... my signed book is on the way...NEVER, and I mean NEVER try to write and edit at the same time...write write write and when you cannot write any more write another page...then go back the next day or week and look it over :-)

Ed Borasky said...

Eviscerated any anonymous posters recently?

:) :) :)

Dara said...

If you turn off the anonymous posters, then I'll have nothing to laugh at. ;)

It's a sign of your popularity, Brenda, when you have groupies and hecklers. LOL

Love,
expy

Ed Borasky said...

Am I a groupie or a heckler? Or can I be both?

Stand-Up Comedy: Because Man does not live by dread alone.

Karyn Lyndon said...

I feel your pain...hopefully all these days without a blog post means you've been writing like the wind...

Brenda Bradshaw said...

lol Dara! Ed, you're both (smooch)

Karyn- nope, not writing. (sigh)

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Foster - thank you...