The 'Am I Crazies'

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The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby CharleeVale » 28 Feb 2012, 08:58

Oh my god oh my god oh my god.

Ok, I can legitimately say that I have never had a true bout of the 'Am I Crazies'...until this morning.

I'm panicking! How do you guys handle this???

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Re: The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby MattLarkin » 28 Feb 2012, 09:03


It helps to be a little crazy in our line of work, anyway. - freelance editing for fantasy and science fiction
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Re: The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby Falen » 28 Feb 2012, 09:24

I find step one is just acknowledging it. That helps me a lot
"She said she cried at least once each day not because she was sad, but because the world was so beautiful and life was so short." - Brian Andreas

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Re: The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby dios4vida » 28 Feb 2012, 09:34

Yup. Breathe. Seriously - breathe in, out, get some tea and cookies, breathe some more.

We all do it. It's a prereq for being a writer. Eventually, you WILL have a bout of the Am I Crazies. So after you breathe, remember: it's normal. You are not alone. We've all been there.

Now then. Calmer? Good.

Answer the following questions as completely and honestly as you can:

-What do you love about a good book? What makes you crave them? Why do you slog through books you don't like to find a jewel that you absolutely love?
-Why did you start writing in the first place? What do you have inside of you that you must share?
-What is it about your stories and characters that makes you so passionate about them?
-Why have you kept coming back to the keyboard day after day after week after month to write this story?

Take as long as you need to find the deepest, truest, most honest answers to these questions. Even if it takes days. Don't settle for the trite "I write because I love to tell stories." Go deeper - why do you love to tell stories? Why did you choose this one? Why have you kept going all this time?

Have you realized how much writing is a part of you yet? Is your little inner Muse curling around in joy thinking about books and writing and the thrill of a perfect phrase, the excitement of seeing your vision transfer from your mind to paper to another's mind? Good.

That's what it means to be a writer. Like Matt said, a little craziness does us writers good. So are you crazy? Probably, just a little. But so am I, and so are the rest of us. Embrace the craziness. What we need to get rid of are the doubts, speculations, self-deprecations, and the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that try to shoot us down.

Don't think about publishing. At all. No agents or editors or publishers or readers. They don't exist right now. It's just you and your writing. How do you feel when you're having one of those awesome everything-I-write-is-just-flowing-perfectly days? THAT'S what we need to remember and hang onto during the Am I Crazies. Don't fret about whether you book will ever make shelves. That's not important. Writing is what's important.

Still not convinced? Still suffering from chronic Am I Crazies? Then step away. Take a sabbatical. Quit, if you must. But when the spark comes back, don't push it away. Come back. Write. Edit. Love being a crazy writer. (And have more cookies.)
Brenda :)

Inspiration isn't about the muse. Inspiration is working until something clicks. ~Brandon Sanderson
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Re: The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby Claudie » 28 Feb 2012, 16:29

I don't have much to add to Brenda's, except perhaps that as someone who's read what you wrote, I can say this: you are not crazy. Breathe. You are at the right place. Don't give up.
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Re: The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby Cookie » 29 Feb 2012, 09:11

Well, WHY are you panicking? Is it one of those OMG, I suck moments? Because you don't.
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Re: The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby writersink » 29 Feb 2012, 11:53

I've had a whole load of 'I suck' moments and all I can say is... they suck (the last bout just finished yesterday.) Work through it. You are writing for a reason.
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Re: The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby AMSchilling » 29 Feb 2012, 13:47

I had them for 10 years. Ten. I got so worked up over it all that I had to step away and not come back until a decade later. The only reason I did come back was my daughter. I looked into her (then) 1 yr old face and realized I had to go for it. I wanted her to know you can chase your dreams, and that what mattered wasn't that you caught them but that you were brave enough to try.

Of course the internet barely existed then, and I didn't have great people like everyone here to offer cookies and advice and tell me I wasn't alone. A few cookies might have helped. Along with Brenda's post. :mrgreen:

Now when it happens I just breathe. I take a day or two off and enjoy something else. Then I go back and not care if what I'm writing is any good for a while. I write to have fun, and to remember why I love it so much to start with.

"Write with the door closed, rewrite with the door open." - Stephen King
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Re: The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby MattLarkin » 29 Feb 2012, 17:18

Besides, the fact that you're here, on a board talking about writing, means you're serious about it. More serious than 99% of would-be writers. And if you're really serious, you're not crazy. If it's writing is something you really want, really need, then you'd be crazy to stop. - freelance editing for fantasy and science fiction
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Re: The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby CharleeVale » 02 Mar 2012, 11:50

Thanks for the encouragement guys! I just had a brief lapse into despair. I'm better now. :)

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Re: The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby Mark.W.Carson » 02 Mar 2012, 16:43

Look up Dunning Kruger. Only those who truly have no idea of what they are doing think they are doing it well :).

I don't think "Am I crazy" I think "Am I really good enough?" or "Am I wasting my time?" but if I wasn't doing this, I'd be wasting time playing games, or otherwise doing things that cost me money instead of expanding my mind.

Do you know what crazy is? Crazy is facing rejection and doing the same thing over and over again. As long as you are continuing to improve, you are not crazy, you are determined. You may not succeed, but it won't be from lack of effort. This is not an easy business to crack into, from what I am reading. You have to be lucky, and good, and lucky, and very good.
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Re: The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby Sanderling » 05 Mar 2012, 16:32

Cookie wrote:Well, WHY are you panicking? Is it one of those OMG, I suck moments? Because you don't.

Seconded, CV. :)

Sometimes, though, a bad day makes you lose confidence in your MS, which makes you lose confidence in yourself. Days like that I like to have one of my CPs, or a family member, or someone who's relatively prompt and you can count on to praise your work, read through some stuff. Also, try keeping a file or folder where you put all the praise you've received on your work, so when you get hit by the am-I-crazies you can open it up and read through the stuff people have said and remind yourself that your work has worth.
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Re: The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby jenna234 » 06 Mar 2012, 10:15

I have those days! I just give up on writing for the day, immerse myself in anything else where I don't have to function (cleaning my house it the current favorite) and sleep it off. The old adage is so right. I'm hardly ever as nutts in the morning :D .
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Re: The 'Am I Crazies'

Postby isabellearcher » 13 Mar 2012, 05:01

Yup, Breathe...........
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