How to write a book; When facing doubt, just keep writing

For those who are following the progress of my book, I’m at that rewriting phase of “My gosh. Who wrote this crap? I hate this so much! I want to quit.” Seriously, why in the world am I doing this to myself?
I don’t need to write a book. I can sit back and watch America’s Got Talent everyday and then flip the channel and make fun of politics. I have no clue why I’m writing a book. I’m sure at some point I enjoyed this, right? Someone remind me that I actually enjoyed writing, because I’m at the point of chasing people around with chainsaws and getting lost in hedge mazes. 
I know I do like writing. I just need to remember rewriting can be difficult. I mean, how many times can you read a book over and over before you get sick of it? Well, that sometimes applies to your own books as well. Especially when you have to read one sentence a hundred times, then you realize that it doesn’t work in the story anyway. That can become frustrating, but it’s a perfectly normal feeling (having the urge to drink is also normal, at least for me it is). 
become-a-writer
The hard part I’m facing is, this rewrite is going to take me much longer than I expected and I will need at least one more personal rewrite before I can send it to an editor. I’m not looking forward to that last rewrite. I can see me facing tons of self doubt and it won’t be pretty. I’m pretty sure there will be tears. I don’t cry the pretty TV tears. Nope. I have the red puffy eyes, swollen face, and snot running down my nose. When I cry, it’s an ugly cry. 
It’s no secret I also suffer from occasional bouts of blues, depression, anxiety, frustration, grey hair, stinky feet, and severe doubt in my personal abilities to do anything great. To be fair, if a person survived almost 50 years of living on this rock, raised a few kids, and survived a few divorces, without gaining a few mental diagnoses they weren’t trying hard enough (I just happen to have more than a few, but that’s for a different conversation). 
Now, don’t get me wrong, most of the time I actually have a strong sense of self worth and a bigger feeling of self confidence, but there are those times when I know this is all a dream (or nightmare) and the world will fall out from under me and find out none of this was real. I wake up and I’ve been living in a mental facility the whole time. Yes, I know. That’s a pretty specific fear, but the way TV portrays mental facilities, it’s a pretty rational fear. 
The crazy part is, in both my fabulous careers, I succeeded in everything I set out to do. I’m very critical of myself and I work very hard. At every step of the way, in spite of my anxieties and fears, I won many awards and made some great memories. But I always have this little voice telling me that it could be all a mistake and I’m not really good enough. (I really hope I’m not the only one who feels this way sometimes. I would feel so much better if I knew others suffer from anxiety and self doubt. It would be really good to know I’m not the only one who is slightly off balanced.) 
Before becoming a writer, I could hide these self confidence issues. I could plaster on my smile, pull my shoulders back, grab a cup of coffee, and prepare myself to tackle the day (Hiding in the bathroom from time to time to face the fact the world out there is willing to crush me like a little bug). 
When I decided to write, I found out writers are vulnerable to the public. I didn’t want strangers judging me for my shortcomings, while they were hiding behind their keyboards. I wanted to be remain nameless and unknown.  I almost quit before I even started. 
Now, I’m writing a blog, I fight against injustice, and I’m writing a book. How? I took a look at all my anxieties and instead of avoiding them, I looked those damn anxieties in the face, grabbed them by the neck, squeezed them like a shampoo bottle the day before payday. I made them into a bubble bath and jumped my butt right in a tub full of my anxieties. I wanted to keep them close and control them. The crazy part of trying to control something, sometimes it still tries to act out. Even after years of success, in many different fields, my mind still questions my abilities. 
After writing a few chapters, I look in the mirror and wonder, “Why in the world did I ever think this writing thing was a good idea?”
 
It may be a few years before I ever write another book. I’ll need time to recover from this personal beating I’ve given myself and I’ll probably need some serious therapy after this book is published (Yes. I know I need therapy now, but that’s besides the point). 
But no matter what, I’ll keep plowing forward and so help me I will finish what I started.
That’s the most important thing. If you face even a little of what I go through, don’t quit. You are allowed to acknowledge the pain and the agony of putting yourself out to the world, but don’t let those feelings paralyze you. 
 
If you are writing a book, you have to stick with it. Don’t let doubt get you down and Writing - Self Doubtconvince you to quit. Telling a story isn’t something that happens overnight. When you want to hit delete or toss the whole thing out, take a break, get some coffee, stretch, and breath. This is a marathon, not a sprint. We need to breath and take water breaks. The time is not important but sticking it out and finishing is. When you body wants to collapse from pain, your arms are weak, and your brain tells you to quit, don’t listen. Keep going. When your brain tells you no one will judge you if you drop out right now, don’t listen. Keep going. Keep typing and keep writing. You can do this. I can do this and you can do this. We can do this. 
I promise this, if readers don’t like my book, it won’t be for lack of trying. I’m pouring my heart and soul into this book. I’m going down the rabbit hole and I’m taking the readers with me.
 
In all the craziness and pain, I will bring you stories of survival and happiness. I hope you will laugh and cry with me. This is why I will keep writing. I don’t want to tell you what I’m writing, I want you to read what I’m writing. I will continue to write, no matter how many times the black dog barks at my heels, and no matter how many times doubt enters my mind, I will keep writing. 
I want you to keep writing too. 
I know it’s hard, but no matter what, never quit. Just keep writing. 
dorymeme -- just keep writing
Until next time…be safe, be kind, and always be happy.
(and of course, when I’m done, you need to buy my book.)  

My book for my birthday. Time to “Get er dun”

The time is very near. Follow my journey into the self doubting, self abusive, mentally tiring thing we call writing.

31July2016 at midnight starts my 31 day marathon writing month. I’ll still pop in from time to time to update how I’m doing, and to take a mental break (some of my stories are super heavy), but this is my birthday present to myself.

I’m not buying myself anything “normal.” I’m paying for editors and artwork. (Unlike some people think, books don’t create themselves for free).

I’m not going out this month. I’ll be writing. The only reason I might go out is to hunt Pokemon, but only to write about them and to take those highly needed mental breaks I mentioned above.

I’m sure there will be lots of coffee, Monster drinks, and sandwiches eaten this month. When I’m done, I will celebrate with the drink of writers. I plan to purchase the best bottle of Scotch a novice writer can afford (does good Scotch come in Airplane sized bottles?) and take photos with it.

I’ve been writing and experimenting with Photography since before I can remember, so it’s time to put these passions to work.

If my phone goes to voice mail (which I don’t have set up), there are about 5 different ways people can contact me (Facebook, Twitter, text, email, blog, carrier pigeon, and my goodness, even regular mail stills delivers to my house).

I promise that I will call and email everyone back, at least every other day, twice on Sunday if I’m lucky. 🙂

For the real fans!

My first book is pretty tame compared to what I normally write about. This book is going to be about the animals in my life. It is not a children’s book at all, but real life, heart wrenching stories of love and loss, and how animals go on this journey with us. There are stories of happiness, joy, sadness, and of course, as with all animals in our lives, there are stories of tragic death. There are even a few scary stories, which include spiders and snakes.

If anyone would like to follow my writing journey and be some of the first fans know when my book will be published, feel free to join my blog and provide an email for First Look updates.

Here is the first update on my journey.

 

https://gritshugsandsweettea.com/2016/07/23/time-to-finish-my-first-book/

 

*** Seriously, you can provide a “spam” email, that’s okay with me. 🙂 I know I do when I join stuff. But I promise not to over load your email with constant updates. That’s what Facebook is for! 🙂

The reason for the email is, when my book is eventually published, the people registered for email will receive first look, discounts, and there are plans for signed postcards of animal photos I haven’t published yet, and other goodies I haven’t come up with yet.

Also, don’t fret too much. I know my grammar and spelling is sometimes horrifying, but that’s what great editors are for. They make writers, like me, look good. 🙂

Wish me luck.

 

Until next time…be safe, be kind, and always be happy.

An Interview With Future Book founder Sam Missingham — Catch The Moon, Mary

Sharing this interview of the wonderful Sam  Missingham….

Originally posted on Words Are My Craft: Anyone who knows anything about the publishing world know that an interview with Sam Missingham is a Big Deal. Having worked for publishing giants such as the Bookseller, FutureBook and HarperCollins, she has forged an immensely successful and influential career in publishing and marketing within the books industry.…

via An interview with FutureBook founder Sam Missingham — Catch The Moon, Mary

Time to finish my first book

August is the month. The month when I will do what other writers and creative people have done for centuries. I’m going to lock myself away and not come out until I’ve accomplished my goal of finishing my first piece of serous work. Now, don’t get me wrong, “locking myself away” isn’t going to be the same as The Man in the Iron Mask. I’m thinking I’ll be more like Benjamin Franklin during the June 1787 conventions. I’ll still be sociable with people, but I’ve got to get my work done too. Plus, I’m 99% certain no one will have to come get me from a bar in the early morning hours (I leave that 1% open so I don’t make a liar out of myself and let you all down).

Many people participate in National Novel Writing Month, better known as NaNoWriMo. This event, which takes place in November of every year, started in 1999 to encourage writers to build a habit of writing everyday. The only issue is, I love working outside in November, so I never participate. I’m not going to give my writing month any special name. I’m just going to write and write, until I can’t write anymore.

There are some wonderful tools and information on the NaNoWriMo website, so I would be remiss if I did not include it here:

National Novel Writing Month – NaNoWriMo

Another reason why I’m not going to wait until November to finish my novel is I already have the novel written (mostly). It may read like a second grade report on the migration of ducks, but dang it, it’s written. I have written over 80,000 words and many of them actually form enjoyable sentences.

I’ll  be giving this first draft some serious TLC and personal editing. My time to do my personal editing and re-writing starts at midnight of July 31st and ends midnight August 31st. I may not finish during this time period, but I’m really going to try.

The reason why I’ve decided to give myself this deadline is the same reason many artist have a hard time letting certain paintings leave their studios; it’s not perfect enough for me.

Quotes from Amanda -2.jpg

I’ve been messing around with this manuscript for almost a year now and it’s time to either finish it and send to my editor or scrap the whole thing and start over.

Since I know I will not be scraping the whole thing, it’s time to finish it.

The problem I’m facing is my own doubt. I keep coming back to previous written chapters and re-writing them so much they no longer look like the original work. The original work I wrote with passion and love, not with a critical eye of someone who’s trying to impress others. So, it’s got to get out of here before I ruin it.

I also need to finish it now so, if for no other reason, I can start a new one. I have so many ideas for future stories, if I don’t get this one done, I’ll never get the other ones started. Even if it’s not perfect (no work of art ever is) I’ve decided I’m going to make this one as great as I can in August and hope for the best.

I’ll keep everyone updated on the progress… Maybe, I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress… Hopefully, I’ll keep everyone updated on my progress. Okay, I can’t promise this at all.

There will be so many hairs I’ll pull out and tears I’ll shed, I might take the time to load a photo of what I look like while deep down in crazyville of re-writes. I think there may be Scotch involved. Yes, Scotch. I can’t write a proper novel without the drink of authors.

During August, please expect many updates which only include photos of cats, photos of coffee cups, and photos of Scotch. Those updates may be the only thing left of me when I’m finished.

So, that’s it. Simple as can be.

No more doubts, fears, or worry. I’m going to write it and send it out on the wind to see where it grows.

(Also, I really hope all of you read it. I’m sure the Pokemon Go gods will reward you for your purchase.)

 

Until next time…be safe, be kind, and always be happy.