How to know you're not a writer?

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sierramcconnell
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by sierramcconnell » October 27th, 2010, 3:38 pm

commando8 wrote:Look at it from another angle - sometimes you just need to be glad that you CAN write. I've wanted to be a writer for a long time now, but sometimes life has a way of making things as hard as they can possibly be. My challenge is physical - every keystroke, mouse click, moment I'm sitting down, and moment I'm staring at the computer screen is filled with horrible pain. I can't attend any writers conferences, conventions, or classes, and I can only imagine what would be like if I had go on tour and do some book signings! My body has given me every reason to give up, and yet I don't. Why? Because I WANT to be a writer, even if it's not in a professional sense, and even if it's as simple as writing a measly paragraph a day (which is about all I can do). Short of death, nothing is going to make me stop writing. NEVER GIVE UP!!!

Hope that helps a least a little bit...
I have neuralgia, migraines (and though most people snort at that, mine are the kind that can knock you out), autonomic dysfunction (if you know what POTS is, it's like that only they refuse to call it anything but borderline since I don't present on tests), and autoimmunity that isn't diagnosed fully yet (they're at the 'wait and poke it with a needle' part).

I have to take a happy drug cocktail everyday that only marginally assists with the symptoms. The stuff that would really help, would make me sleep all day. I can't do that, because I have to work. I'm too proud to go on disability yet, though the brain is getting to the point that I'm probably going to need to.

I can sympathize. Last year the pain was getting so bad I wrote most the book's first draft on hydrocodone or alcohol. (Never both together, I'm not that stupid.) But then the liver gave out and I couldn't do that anymore. XD

Have you gone to a doctor? I have a friend who has EDS and she's in a lot of pain, too.
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by commando8 » October 27th, 2010, 3:50 pm

All that sounds very familiar!

Yes, I've been to more docs than anyone would care to count, including some of the best hospitals in US like the Mayo Clinic. No one knows what I have, and no one's been able to help. You just have to keep positive and count your blessings - that's the only way I'm making it these days...

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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by sierramcconnell » October 27th, 2010, 3:55 pm

commando8 wrote:All that sounds very familiar!

Yes, I've been to more docs than anyone would care to count, including some of the best hospitals in US like the Mayo Clinic. No one knows what I have, and no one's been able to help. You just have to keep positive and count your blessings - that's the only way I'm making it these days...
Yeah, I hear Mayo's very good but they have a long waiting list or you can go and sign your name and just wait for up to six months for them to call your name!

I'm pretty much accepting that it's something I can't fix at this point and it's going to kill me since it's already got a few of my organs. Nothing much I can do about it but let it keep running happy. I've never been the hearty sort anyway. :D
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by Colonel Travis » October 27th, 2010, 5:10 pm

Sierra, everyone's given great advice. I didn't know what you're going through, and what you're tackling is bigger than writing or most anything else, and I wish you the best. But you may be able to use it to your advantage. Another baseball analogy (sorry) - I'm a big fan of the Texas Rangers, who will crush the Giants in the World Series. It won't even be close, everyone knows that and if you don't then you do now, and that's how it is because it's just irrefutable and, like I said, that's just how it is. The best pitcher on the team is Cliff Lee, and the principle reason behind his success is the love for his son, who was diagnosed with leukemia not long after he was born. I believe he's fine now, but Cliff Lee has said that ever since he feels no burden when he gets on the mound, regular season, post season, anything. In the grand scheme of things it's just not a big deal, all pressure to do well is gone.

Does any struggle compare to a daily fight for good health? Like I said, I cannot comprehend what you must endure but it doesn't appear your desire to write has vanished. You just seem stuck, and we've all been there. Do what was mentioned earlier - totally drop it for a little bit. I don't know what the magic time amount is because there is none. Maybe it's a week, a month. Might be a year. You'll eventually know if it's not your true calling. And as horrible as this may seem, it is the truth, you actually might trash a significant amount of work. You'll find big time writers who destroyed a lot of work, too. Maybe that was stupid on their part, maybe it truly stunk. Who knows. The point is that don't take that as a sign to give up completely.

Ever heard of Michael Cox? He wrote The Meaning of Night , which came out a few years back. Doctors found tumors on his spine and brain and worked through total hell to write that book and a sequel. God bless him, the man died two years ago. Here's his obit. His is an inspiring, tragic story, and I have asked myself many times - is this what it's going to take to get my first book out the door?

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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by J. T. SHEA » October 27th, 2010, 6:31 pm

Nice knife, Colonel Travis! I mean, I wouldn't want to be eviscerated by any old corroded steel knife now, would I?

Sierra, I hope the Corvette factory recovers, because I want one! One Corvette, that is, not the whole factory. It's one of my main motivations for writing. Even though Irish taxes would double the price, the steering wheel's on the wrong side, and they don't sell them in Ireland anyway. I love the smell of fiberglass in the morning! But isn't Bumblebee a Camaro?

Don't get me started on illnesses! My heartfelt sympathies to all sufferers.

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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by oldhousejunkie » October 27th, 2010, 6:32 pm

Don't give up, Sierra!

I thought that your novel was very interesting. Your query at times confused me, but I think you muddled through it. You need to keep in mind that not everyone is a reader of fantasy novels, especially on this board. People who are familiar with the genre would probably take to your novel right away, whereas people like me who don't read fantasy, spend a lot of time going "Do what?"

I think you should maybe focus on finding an occupation that you like. It sounds like IT is not your thing. Most people will never make an occupation out of writing. Actually I would think that the majority of people won't. As the saying goes, "Don't quit your day job." That doesn't mean that you're not a good writer. It means that only a few people are lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time (and I won't even say be a good writer, because a lot of people think that a certain author who's probably a multi-millionaire now isn't a good writer).

At the end of the day, if writing makes you happy, then keep writing. Don't expect anything out of it. Just do it. I only recently started to think that maybe, just maybe, I could get my novel published. Will I be disappointed if I get rejected? Sure, but I'm not going to stop writing because it's fun. It's a hobby that may or may not pay me a little money in the future.

Hang in there. It will be okay.

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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by sierramcconnell » October 27th, 2010, 6:42 pm

J. T. SHEA wrote:Nice knife, Colonel Travis! I mean, I wouldn't want to be eviscerated by any old corroded steel knife now, would I?

Sierra, I hope the Corvette factory recovers, because I want one! One Corvette, that is, not the whole factory. It's one of my main motivations for writing. Even though Irish taxes would double the price, the steering wheel's on the wrong side, and they don't sell them in Ireland anyway. I love the smell of fiberglass in the morning! But isn't Bumblebee a Camaro?

Don't get me started on illnesses! My heartfelt sympathies to all sufferers.
Yes, but I think there was something about the parts on the inside being the same or something?

There wasn't a lot of damage. Most of it went through...Smiths Grove. (Michael Myers reference goes here, yes.)
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by TigerGray » October 27th, 2010, 8:04 pm

Soooo, where did you get the idea you were doing poor work?
"Who knows themselves better than the blind?' - for every thought becomes a tool." --Luis Borges

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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by TigerGray » October 27th, 2010, 8:07 pm

sierramcconnell wrote:
rose wrote:
They shouldn't be asking questions that are, for all intense and purpose, stupid?
I'm sorry, Sierra, but this cracks me up. I know this feeling so well. I always want to say, "Whadda mean, you don't get it? What in the Mackinac Island fudge do you think the preceding sentence/paragraph/chapter was about then??"

Instead, I mutter my mantra--there ARE no stupid question. there ARE no stupid questions--grit my teeth and embrace revisions. I have learned that the omelet will be done when it is done and not a moment sooner. But I find that for my own I need to have a juggle of projects cooking at the same time, all in different stages of done-ness. Othewise, putting all my eggs are in one frying pan makes me uber-vulnerable to burn-out, too.

Also,when I have hit a wall with the big story, for whatever reason, I work on the ancillary writing pieces that the eventual book will demand. Once I have told a story in a one line hook, a one page summary, and a narrative outline, I am better able to measure my success in making words do what I want them to do.

But I also believe in taking lots of creative breaks. If you need to step away from the keyboard for a while, do it. It's a beautiful world out there. Enjoy it.


rose
It's like the time when a character said, "No! I'm not going to let you go to Hell!"

And the beta asked me, "Why did Mikael stop him for?"

...
......
Really...? He just...he just TOLD you...and you're asking?

"Oh, I completely missed that, lol."

...it makes me question why I'm even doing this in the first place.

And the beautiful world had a tornado yesterday. Of course, I question that, considering it was at the Corvette plant, and we happen to have the transformer Bumblebee there this week, I hear. Tornado? Or autobot versus decepticon fight coverup by the government?

You tell me. [shifty eyes]

I have noticed you have a tendency to take the opinions of others as gospel. (forgive the bad joke) It can't be that your beta is tired, or skimmed, or is bad at their job? Why does it have to be you and your writing? Hell, my partner says stuff like that all the time. "How come he thinks this guy is a ghost?" "Um. It does say he's see through and shiny." "...oh."
"Who knows themselves better than the blind?' - for every thought becomes a tool." --Luis Borges

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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by sierramcconnell » October 27th, 2010, 8:50 pm

TigerGray wrote:I have noticed you have a tendency to take the opinions of others as gospel. (forgive the bad joke) It can't be that your beta is tired, or skimmed, or is bad at their job? Why does it have to be you and your writing? Hell, my partner says stuff like that all the time. "How come he thinks this guy is a ghost?" "Um. It does say he's see through and shiny." "...oh."
Well, according to some [cough]polymath[cough] being tired is just an excuse for boredom with the writing, which means it was my fault that the beta didn't get it.
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by polymath » October 27th, 2010, 9:05 pm

sierramcconnell wrote:Well, according to some [cough]polymath[cough] being tired is just an excuse for boredom with the writing, which means it was my fault that the beta didn't get it.
polymath said nothing of the sort, nor does polymath appreciate being the whipping post for your frustrations.
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by sierramcconnell » October 27th, 2010, 9:19 pm

polymath wrote:
sierramcconnell wrote:Well, according to some [cough]polymath[cough] being tired is just an excuse for boredom with the writing, which means it was my fault that the beta didn't get it.
polymath said nothing of the sort, nor does polymath appreciate being the whipping post for your frustrations.
Actually, yes, you did. We were talking about something similar and you piped in and said something in your usual way about how tiredness is just another way to say boredom. I had posted this snippet:

The ship took to the sky with all the grace of a living bird. It was as if Stephen truly did know how to read the skies and her many moods. He called every updraft and downdraft as well as the thermal pockets with a precision that frightened Carmine. Stephen’s focus was such that his eyes were trained ahead and his hands pointed with quickened movements. Everyone followed him without question as the ship rode forward. Though they were only six strong, they were an able crew.

And you picked it apart and started talking about how I should make him jab his fingers or some such, in a thread that was not a critique thread. But I can't remember which thread...but it was a few weeks ago and caused me such an upset I stalled at that part for a long time.

I'm like an elephant. I don't forget. Especially when people treat me like I'm an idiot.
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by polymath » October 27th, 2010, 9:27 pm

My comment was related to how Lewis Carroll used tired to mean bored as an estranging metaphor in the opening of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by J. T. SHEA » October 27th, 2010, 9:35 pm

Don't take general advice too specifically and personally, Sierra. None of us claims to be infallible, unless one of us is Pope Benedict in disguise...

And readers often skim and miss things. Even with books they love.

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Re: How to know you're not a writer?

Post by sierramcconnell » October 27th, 2010, 9:37 pm

polymath wrote:My comment was related to how Lewis Carroll used tired to mean bored as an estranging metaphor in the opening of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
Here we are:
viewtopic.php?f=2&t=2230&p=24578#p24578

My eyes glossed over reading the excerpts, short as they are. I'm imagining what an entire novel of the same might be like.

Tired is a polite euphemism for bored, and not too uncommonly a nonconcsious metaphoric substitution for an actual sensation.

Nowhere in that entire paragraph do you mention anything about Lewis Carroll or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Don't try to hide behind that. You called the small little snippets that I had posted boring, unengaging, and in need of rewrite because they sounded as if they came from a struggling writer.
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