The Coffee Shop - JUNE

The writing process, writing advice, and updates on your work in progress
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wilderness
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by wilderness » June 30th, 2012, 1:13 pm

Hi Trixie,

Wow, I'm sorry you're feeling so down about writing right now. I want you to know, we've ALL been there.

1. Critique group-- It is SO hard to find the right people to share your work with. If your group isn't working for you, don't feel guilty! Find a new group that does work. Meetup.com has done wonders for me.

2. Word counts -- There are months that I haven't written a word. And it's really hard to do it with the rest of your life going on. Everyone's situation/time/energy is different. Some people here have day jobs, some don't. Some have kids, some don't. So you really should not compare. 8k a month might be a squeeze for your situation! Or maybe you're still figuring out what times work for you. That doesn't mean you're not dedicated. Don't panic--the thing to do is to keep moving forward at the pace that brings balance to your life.

3 Thicker skin -- I'm guessing if you weren't feeling down about the other three things, you would have been fine.

4. Social media - Don't trust me, trust agent Kristin Nelson: http://pubrants.blogspot.com/2012/05/co ... ature.html

Cheers, and keep writing!

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CharleeVale
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by CharleeVale » June 30th, 2012, 1:37 pm

It's gonna be ok!

I will echo the sentiments already written.

Good Betas/writing groups are hard to find. Don't be afraid to gently say that it isn't working. I know I've had my fair share of those that haven't worked out. Ladieswhocritique.com is another great resource for Betas/crit partners.

8K Words is fantastic. Maybe it wasn't your goal, but it is still a LOT of words! You said yourself, these words helped you through a critical time for your MS. You're better off with these 8K words.

That guy can stuff it. That is not a good reason NOT to query your novel. A good writing group will be honest with you, and if there's things wrong with the book that make it not queryable, that's one thing. Stating that you wrote the book for the wrong audience is not.

Keep your head up! Everyone feels this way. You're not alone at all. :)

CV

writersink
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by writersink » June 30th, 2012, 3:20 pm

Trixie,

It's weird, because leaving out the critique group, I'm experiencing all the same issues. I just want to echo all the other sentiments already given.
Last edited by writersink on July 2nd, 2012, 11:18 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by Sommer Leigh » June 30th, 2012, 4:43 pm

trixie wrote:Okay, so June was NOT a banner month for me.

I'm going through a crisis of confidence, to say the least. I feel guilty for not getting the proof copy of my NaNo book. However, if I was going to have to pay for the proof anyway, I told myself I'd rather wait and print out a copy that was closer to final than what I have now. Maybe I was just making excuses, I don't know.

Okay, sorry for the vent. Carry on.
No carrying on. We're here to support each other through thick and through thin (skin or otherwise). Maybe it's a midwest thing because I have the same problem, but it is so hard to admit when you're struggling, when you feel weak, when you feel vulnerable. It's like, why would any of these people care about my problems? They've got their own.

But it's so much easier to cinch together over these things because none of it us unknown to any of us. They are the trials and tribulations of our chosen career. They are universal and that makes it comforting when we can just let it all hang out, the ugly and the gross and embarrassing. It can be so cathartic to just explode all over the place for a second.

I hate writing groups. I mean, I love them and I hate them at the same time. They have to be absolutely perfect, perfectly aligned stars and people you can trust and maybe there's a sacrificial virgin or two just to be sure....then they are invaluable. Your writing partners need to be completely in sync with you and they have to be as invested in your career as they are in theirs. This is a sort of bond that comes from time and compassion and friendship and trust, and it's almost impossible to find because (no one get grouchy with me please) but writers tend to lean on the side of the dramatic and self-centered. All of our being and all of our precious spare time is going into this one creation that may or may not pay off and asking us to feel that same way about someone else's work is a lot to ask. It's time consuming. Time we could have spent on our own work. And let's be honest, there's a degree of competition there as well. It's hard to uplift someone who has more skill than you do or a better story or a better handle on where there story is going. And not everyone has matured to a professional place where they can support themselves and someone else without feeling jealousy or discouragement. Most writers will get there, but that takes time and a degree of confidence that takes time to attain.

Then as writers we are too in touch with how people feel, it's how we know how to write believable characters, but it makes our own feelings so much more volatile. We're too vulnerable already - the thing we produce isn't just a skill. Imagination is part of the fabric of our identity built out of our own personal experiences, emotions, wishes, desires, and learnings. When people critique that, it's hard...maybe impossible to truly separate that from ourselves. That's why when writing groups aren't a good fit, they can have a singular power to destroy you.

So, getting off my little soap box, your writing partner's theory that because you wrote it for your nephews and not for yourself it won't get picked up makes me want to put out my own eyeballs. That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard in my life. It's like saying because you're a girl you can't write about a male main character. Or because a writer hopes to make money, they never will. That's too much writerly voodoo superstition for me to swallow. But I also don't believe in muses or that characters talk to us, so take that for what it's worth.

Here's the thing and again, take it for what it's worth, but it feels like you've opened the flood gates and you're allowing the outside world to submerge you. All of the things bothering you are outside influences, things keeping you from getting down to the heart of the writing. In the end, you don't need a writing group to succeed, you don't need Twitter or your blog, and this is going to break my heart to say, but you also don't need us. Sometimes, like right now all these people running to form a human pyramid of support, we're great for you, but also look at number two, we can also be a burden. And maybe one or two of these things by themselves wouldn't even put a crack in your defensive walls, but all at once and it's too much. Somethings going to give and I really don't want it to be your writing. Maybe some time away from the noise of your writing group and the forums and twitter and your blog and let it just be you and your manuscript would do you some good. Maybe giving up two of those things would help you reconnect. I don't know if it helps to say that what you are feeling is normal and that I go through spastic phases of writing almost nothing to writing 50,000 words in three weeks. Sometimes I look at my work and I don't even know what the hell I'm writing about. Sometimes I think I couldn't possibly have written something that good. I think it is normal. Frustrating, but normal.

I'm taking a writing vacation next week. Just me and a hotel room for 4 days. Can you give yourself something like that?

Also, with my new awesome supervillain powers, I'm perfectly happy to pay your writing group a visit. Let them know what's what. *evil grin*
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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Cookie
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by Cookie » June 30th, 2012, 9:01 pm

I'm going to pretty much echo what everyone else said.

1. If you need a beta, I'll be more than happy to look at it for you. :D :D

2. Yea, do you know how long it took me to do this re-write? Well, over a year, and I'm STILL working on changes. But I'm kinda slow. I don't write every day, and while it makes me guilty, I still need time to do other things. Like live.

3. I agree that what he said was stupid. If you love doing it, then that is reason enough. I have those moments of staggering doubt too.

4. I kinda feel the same way. I haven't touched my blog in weeks. I've been busy with work, edits, critiques, and trying to read the library books I took out that I haven't had much time or desire to blog. So, my opinion is, if you need to step away, the do it. I'll be sad not hearing from you, but just know that I (along with everyone else here) will be around if you need someone to talk to.
Last edited by Cookie on July 1st, 2012, 1:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Claudie
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by Claudie » July 1st, 2012, 12:35 pm

Oh my gosh, I'm late but Tricia, screw Twitter and the blog and the internet if you have to. And especially screw other people's wordcounts. I so know how you feel on that one because at the start of the year I had the exact same problem. I would look at everyone's counts go up and all I had to show was a tiny 300 a day, sometimes even less, and most of the time not even on my WIP. Schoolwork it was. And I felt terrible because oh-my-gosh, I should be able to put out 25-30k a month, but I never even got to 10k! And to think I overachieved every year in NaNo! What kind of writer did that make me? The truth though is that the counts don't matter. What matters is that you keep working on it and don't give up. This is a marathon. And we all know how good you are with marathons. :)

As for the writers group, if you don't feel comfortable with them, leave. Maybe not leave forever but definitely listen to that red flag. I have to ditto what Sommer said about CPs being invested in your career and eager to see you succeed too. That's how you know they'll do it right, that they'll take the time to really look at your WIP. If they don't care or are just doing it for the return critique, it'll show. And that dude who thinks if you write it for your nephew it's not worth querying or whatever? Yeah, forget him. I agree with everyone here, especially Brenda's assessment of your very clear passion for that story.

But back to the first point.. seriously, if you need time off the internet, take it. Disappear in a puff of smoke! Whoosh. (just warn us (or at least me) so we don't die of worry).
"I do not think there is any thrill [...] like that felt by the inventor as he sees some creation of the brain unfolding to success... Such emotions make a man forget food, sleep, friends, love, everything." -- Nikola Tesla

trixie
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by trixie » July 2nd, 2012, 10:28 am

Holy cannoli, gang. THANK YOU.

Thank you for being the awesome super heros that you are and lifting me up when I was starting to feel perfectly content down in the dumps.

And an extra thank you for reinforcing my suspicions about the comment someone made about my story and how writing it for my nephews would be a problem when querying. I'm happy to know I'm not the only one who found that ridiculous.

I'm not sure what July will hold for me (and yes, I know there's a new thread for that. I'll get there in a minute!), but I hope to send some sections out to readers in the next few weeks. I'm going to let my blog sit for a bit longer. Maybe I'll come back in August. Twitter is a fun way to keep in touch with many of you, but I won't worry about "building a platform" until I have something to hang my hat on.

In the meantime, I have an inner Margo reminding me in the tough-love way that only Margo can do: there's no sense worrying about it if you haven't even finished the book yet. (That's a paraphrase, but you get the gist.)

And writersink, was it you who linked to the Pub Rants post? I'm sorry, I don't remember. Either way, thank you. I'm absolutely putting the cart before the horse. Back to writing I go...

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by writersink » July 2nd, 2012, 11:09 am

And writersink, was it you who linked to the Pub Rants post? I'm sorry, I don't remember. Either way, thank you. I'm absolutely putting the cart before the horse. Back to writing I go...
Ha, it wasn't me, it was wilderness! You were close - we both start with W!

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wilderness
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by wilderness » July 2nd, 2012, 12:37 pm

writersink wrote:
And writersink, was it you who linked to the Pub Rants post? I'm sorry, I don't remember. Either way, thank you. I'm absolutely putting the cart before the horse. Back to writing I go...
Ha, it wasn't me, it was wilderness! You were close - we both start with W!
LOL. That's it, I'm getting an icon!!! :D

writersink
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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by writersink » July 2nd, 2012, 12:58 pm

wilderness wrote:
writersink wrote:
And writersink, was it you who linked to the Pub Rants post? I'm sorry, I don't remember. Either way, thank you. I'm absolutely putting the cart before the horse. Back to writing I go...
Ha, it wasn't me, it was wilderness! You were close - we both start with W!
LOL. That's it, I'm getting an icon!!! :D
You can get an icon that says "I <3 writersink." I'm sure everyone would love it :lol:

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Re: The Coffee Shop - JUNE

Post by Sommer Leigh » July 2nd, 2012, 1:23 pm

I've made a new July Coffee Shop thread. I know the transition is a little wonky from one to the next, but I think if it remained one big long thread it would become too klunky and hard to follow.

Thanks for a great June and here's to a new July!
May the word counts be ever in your favor. http://www.sommerleigh.com
Be nice, or I get out the Tesla cannon.

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