Let’s face it: editing, generally speaking, is not the fun part of the writing process. Trawling through pages and pages of your work looking for errors and areas in need of improvement requires a lot of effort, and can be both time-consuming and tiring. Yet, it is a vital part of the writing process. Reworking […]
Archive for the ‘Prose from the Pros’ Category
Last time I wrote about why writers should blog and how to set up a blog. Despite all the reasons given why a writer should blog, it probably wasn’t compelling. Let’s say you call yourself a novelist and believe the only writing worth doing is epic stories of heroic struggles (nothing wrong with that, it’s […]
Business Musings: Expand Your Target Audience 2: Slow Growth (Branding/Discoverability) — Kristine Kathryn Rusch
Writers always believe that they can become a bestseller if they only goose their sales properly. I actually had a brand-new writer scream at me once about this very thing. Back in the early days of Amazon’s Kindle, she had “sold” 50,000 copies of her only novel by giving it away for free. “I’ll…
You’ve got a fantastic idea, you know your characters better than your family, the twists and turns in your plot are guaranteed to have your readers enthralled. You sit down to write your opening line and no matter what you do, your beginning reads like a soggy beige pancake. We’ve all been there, luckily there […]
Ahh, ‘marketing,’ that filthy word writers hate slightly less than ‘self-promotion.‘ But, marketing is what sells our books, generates an audience and builds a fanbase… So why the apathy folks? Whatever the reasons (unbridled imposter syndrome, unfathomable irrationality, a case of lost-your-fucking-mind-itis), we can’t help but cringe, whimper and cower away from saying those dirty…
This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling.
The question for June is:
Did you ever say “I quit”? If so, what happened to make you come back to writing?
I don’t know if “I quit” were the words that formed in my brain one June afternoon two years ago. I think the exact words were more along the lines of “I’ve failed, I’m a big fat loser, and I have to give up on my dream.”
I’d been working towards quitting my retail job to write full time. It had taken some time, and I thought I was prepared. We paid off the house the year before, so the monthly expenses I needed to pay for were lower than they’d ever been. While I didn’t have a huge amount in the savings account, it would cover three months of bills, should I need it. Additionally, the vacation and time accrued from my employer would cover several more months.
Besides, on the premise of the movie, Field of Dreams, I was going to build it and they’d come.
The first major obstacle hit me full force before I’d gotten out of the building. Following my final punch-out, carrying an armload of goodbye goodies from my coworkers, I stopped in my manager’s office to say goodbye. And then, in this moment when it was too late to change anything, he informed me that I’d get my vacation hours…but I wouldn’t get any of the PPTO time accrued. He’d had three weeks to let me know this and hadn’t thought to mention it?
I was livid. I was so angry I couldn’t start the car and drive right away. I had to sit there and cool my raging boil to a simmer. That was a thousand dollars I’d kissed goodbye. Two and a half months of bill money. Poof! Disappeared. Never to be seen again.
That’s all right. I’ll make it. This is just one setback.
And then, in April, the car died. That small savings account? Now, it too was gone.
By May I knew that I’d ‘built it’…but they weren’t coming.
Oh, I’d gotten a few small acceptances here and there. But it wasn’t enough to give me the freedom to sit at home and spend my days following my writing dream.
I started looking for a part time job. Without any success. When I saw that my eye doctor was hiring – for full time – I applied. I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to work full time, especially there. I’d been in that office. I’d seen the office girls in action. I knew that at the rate they ran, and with the days that stretched to seven o’clock in the evening, I’d come home exhausted and wouldn’t have the energy to write.
When the office called me to come in and work a two-day trial period, which they were doing with all the applicants, to see who would be the best fit for the office…I lost it.
I threw myself across the bed and bawled. And kept bawling.
I’d tried. I’d failed. I saw this as the total loss of my dream.
What was worse was this brain of mine wouldn’t allow me to only view this one instance that I was seeing as a failure. It had to bring up every single failure it could remember – from my lifetime! I hadn’t just tried one thing and failed. I was a failure. I was a loser. I couldn’t do anything right.
I sobbed until I was drained. Then, I fed the cats and went to bed early.
The next morning I got up. What do writers do? Even loser-writers? We write about it. I sat in front of my laptop and poured my heart out. For hours. I typed and pounded the keyboard. I should have just slashed a vein and let it run on the computer. It would have been easier.
Now, two years later, I look back and almost laugh at myself.
I worked two days for my eye doctor and came home with $140 check. I didn’t end up getting the job. (Whew! Thank you, Lord!) And I kept going. I did end up getting a part-time job, which I still have. I work for ‘them’ in the morning, which pays the bills, and I come home and work ‘for me’ in the afternoon as I build my dream.
I didn’t officially quit. But it was close. I was so close to that quitting edge that I felt like I’d fall off the precipice and never return. Until I reminded myself that some days I’m my own worst enemy and I shoved that negative, whiny creature back in a time-out box so I could carry on about my business – that of following my dream.
You can find Trisha Faye here:
I look for dead people.
Is this a weird thing – or a cool thing – to research? I suppose that depends on who you ask. Since many of my friends are paranormal researchers, or ‘ghost hunters’, researching and looking for tidbits about dead people are just the norm. Others may not find my passion as intriguing.
I could sit behind my computer screen for countless hours, and I have. I’ve spent hours and days looking for obscure facts and references for a short story. I literally spend more time researching than I spend on the writing of the piece.
But the one who often haunts me…the one whose past hasn’t sprung to life with my written words yet, is Mitty Ann.
I moved to Texas in 2008. Since I adore visiting historic cemeteries, that’s where we went, off to local cemeteries in search of dead people. At Medlin Cemetery in Trophy Club, just a few miles from the house, I discovered Mitty Ann Medlin and she touched my heart. I couldn’t even begin to count the hours I’ve spent researching Medlin history, specifically in regard to her and her immediate family. I have a notebook filled with notes and print outs. I even made a trip to Denton to the Emily Fowler Library, home to many historic records of this north Texas area.
Mitty Ann, who was really named Permelia after her grandmother, was born October 27, 1828. Her father, who was a Justice of the Peace in Cole County, Missouri, moved the family to Texas in August of 1847. After arriving in Texas, Mitty Ann married Francis L. Harris, who had also moved here from Missouri with an earlier group of pioneers. They had a son, Charles Simpson Harris. Unfortunately, as was much too common in those days, Mitty Ann did not survive and died April 5, 1850, after giving birth to their only child.
I want to write her story. I’ve wanted to write it since 2009. So, why is it 2017 and I haven’t even started writing her story yet?
Because ‘I’m not good enough yet.’
Or, so I keep saying to myself.
Writing her story is important to me. Even with all the research I’ve done so far, I need to do more. I need more details. I need to learn more about life in the 1850’s. And I don’t feel as if I’m competent enough to tell her tale yet.
Lack of facts isn’t really holding me back.
Lack of time isn’t stopping my progress.
Lack of storyline or plot isn’t keeping me stuck.
Do we ever outgrow our fears and insecurities? I ask as I write this blog for The Insecure Writer’s Support Group, feeling that this group totally understands how my fears of not being good enough have kept me from moving forward with some of my big writing dreams.
All I know is that as I keep fighting my own worst enemy – me – I’ll keep looking for dead people, and enjoying every second of doing so.
You can find Trisha Faye here: