Insecure (Frustrated) Writer’s Support Group

 
Hmm… This post could probably be called Frustration. Or… The Joy of Living with a Family Who Doesn’t Have an MS to Finish.
 
Because yes folks. Directly after discussing my book and how awesome it would be if I was like the next JK Rowling (lol I wish), in the car after a long day of meetings. After I said that I wanted to edit. I got called to waste almost two hours in the kitchen to clean up a mess that I wasn’t even there to make.
 
So yeah. I’m pretty sure I’m the only one in my family who grasps the magnitude of what this was. Because I want to start QUERYING at the end of the week. But I’ve just been set back yet again. I mean seriously. Packing away dishes that maids will come clean tomorrow if they’re there?
 
After picking up both my brothers’ slack for lame excuses such as pc gaming and such?
 
Not on.
 
So yeah. I’m still not finished. Which is frustrating the crap out of me.
 
That’s me for now. More frustrated than insecure.
 
So what about you? Does your family sometimes frustrate you as well? Or are they supportive?

How spectacularly the wheels came off…

So… last night sucked.

Well, last night and this morning, since I spent four hours trying to recover my lost manuscripts.

Yes. Lost.

They can’t be active undeleted. That can’t be system restored. They can’t be called up out of the hundreds of back-ups made, because according to the writing program I used, they never existed.

So I can’t open my Doorways rough rewrite, but I have a copy of it to Word, if I decline all edits I made.

Half of the original opening for Don’t Look Back is missing, but at least I hand-wrote it over to my notebook for NaNoWriMo.

Guardian seems to open and refuse at random, but I’ve managed to copy/paste it to Word.

No. My problem lies with Eden’s Son I.E. WiP2. The entire rewrite is gone. Poof. Up into the ether. All of the back-ups only read up to before I started it. There are no Word versions because I didn’t send it to anyone to read. I didn’t copy/paste because a) it’s freaking tedious and b) it’s safe as long as I back up? Right?

Turns out no. Turns out backing up manually to create an extra copy obliterated months worth of work in less than a second.

So lesson number 1: NEVER use freeware. It’s worth as much as you paid for it.
Number 2: NEVER assume that programmers think further than the tips of their noses. They don’t. So that thing that seems obvious to do because it’s what is supposed to happen? Don’t do it before going to help and making doubly sure that that isn’t the one that in his own words “DO NOT DO UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES.”

But now I have to wonder: If I risk losing my work if I don’t back-up and if I do? What action should I take? Print every page every freaking time? Because apparently it means bullshit to people that you spent most of a year on the work you lost, because apparently: “It can’t vanish.” is a satisfactory reply.

But like I said. I spent four hours last night looking for the data. My mother spent two this morning. It isn’t there.

I am starting to accept this. Slowly, but it’s hard, because now I know that my end of January goal for WiP2 is screwed. In fact, I downloaded the trial for Scrivener last night with the plan to buy the program in a month, but you know what? I don’t want to write. I don’t want to even look at my rough draft. Because all that I can see is the end of the document that’s supposed to be followed by 26 chapters or thirty five thousand hard-fought words.

And then I want to kill something.

But on the flip-side, I’ve never thought I could lose over a hundred thousand words of everything and survive, but here I am.

So… what’s your record loss? Got any horror stories to share? How did you recover?
Any Scrivener users out there? Is the program any good?
Any other drafting programs that I can look at?

Let’s talk about the dark side



It is necessary to write, if the days are not to slip emptily by. How else, indeed, to clap the net over the butterfly of the moment? For the moment passes, it is forgotten; the mood is gone; life itself is gone. That is where the writer scores over his fellows: he catches the changes of his mind on the hop. 

Vita Sackville-West


 




I’ve been thinking about this for the past few days, but I’m wondering what you all think of it. I wonder if you even think about it at all.  

I’m talking about the dark side. You know, that bit about writing that’s there, but that doesn’t get mentioned all that often.

Like the fact that it’s more of an addiction than a passion. Or else it’s a damn near all-consuming passion. One that makes me euphoric when I’m doing it, but leaves me suffering from withdrawal when I’m not. The more we write, the more we want to write. This is good in that few people are lucky enough to find something as constructive to be addicted to. Still, we’re stuck in our minds half of the time. The other half is spent with at least a small part of us wishing that we were stuck in our minds and writing. This can (and has) led to some aggravation, embarrassment and tension in the past. Fact is, it’s really difficult to maintain a balance when it comes to writing. If I stop paying attention for a few weeks, I spend most of my time bashing out words. And when I say most, I mean at least three quarters of my available time. And it’s not like I don’t have other things to do. I’m not saying that I just lie down and forget to live my life. I’m saying that part of me is always fighting the urge to write at the expense at some badly neglected part of my life.

Another thing: We’re more sensitive than people think. In fact, I’d say we’re more sensitive than we’d like to believe. Think about it. If something happens, normal people gloss over it and move on, or store it away to look at once in a while. We don’t do that. We put everything away for later. And then when we go poking at those things so that we can get the right words and emotions onto the page. So not only do we feel everything, but we feel them for a long time. Writing is a good way to get those feelings out, but I know from own experience how much it hurts to call up certain memories, but I can’t just avoid them, because they’ll crop up in my writing whether I want them to or not. So if I don’t willingly face something, writing will eventually force me to.

We go digging in the darkest corners of our psyche to find what we need when we’re writing. Think about it… those thoughts and emotions that you’re giving to the most evil villain that you can imagine? It comes from you. Your own fears. Your own prejudices. All of that comes from the dark places of your own soul. At the same time, all that is good in the story comes from you too. But the fact is, writing puts all of it out there. And most of us hope that our writing will be publicly consumed. I think that if we really think about how much of us goes into what we write, a lot of us would consider giving up. (Except for the fact that our writing addictions would run us ragged.) It opens us to a new and very special world of pain. Especially when it comes to rejection.  

The last point I want to mention is one that got me thinking on these lines in the first place: We’re self-aware – sometimes painfully so. When we dig about in our psyches, we discover things that take most people forever to even become aware of. We explore those things, so we get know ourselves better than most people. Think I’m kidding? Find someone you trust and if your conversation turns serious, start talking about who you are. You’ll find you’re far more aware of what’s going on inside of you than your friend about him/herself. Good? Most of the time. Until you find out something that you might not have wanted to know. I recently figured out a big motivation in my life, and it wasn’t what I thought. It’s actually quite twisted and after I discovered this part of myself, I took weeks to settle into this new awareness. Hell, I’m still not really comfortable and I know that I was doing just fine until I made this discovery. I can’t help thinking that I wouldn’t even have thought along the lines that lead to my discovery if I hadn’t been a writer. 

So was Vita Sackville-West right? Does writing help me “score above my fellows”? I’d say yes, but sometimes there’s a cost involved. A high cost? Possibly, but then nothing that’s worthwhile comes for free. And right now, there’s nothing that feels as worth while as creating and if used correctly and constructively, even the dark side to writing can be to our benefit

What say you? Thoughts?

Any other dark aspects to add? What gets to you sometimes?







Now I remember why I don’t play well with others…



WARNING! RANT TO FOLLOW.

There is nothing as stupid as a human being with herd mentality.

I’m sorry, but it’s true.

Usually, I fold away my annoyance and put it to the back of my mind, but now, I am tired and I am stressed.

My bullshit capacity is overtaxed. 

My inhibition – you know, the one that prevents me from turning into my dark, twisted, cynical bitch of an alter ego – is on its last legs.

And one of the few things that make me really happy has been soured (perhaps beyond salvage), because of the fact that people in the choir round on me without even bothering to see why I’m saying what I’m saying.

Hell, I even made sure I said it nicely. BUT oh no! In a crowd of over-forties, HOW DARE I HAVE AN OPINION? Moreover, how do I stick to it? Alone? Despite their attempts to steamroller me into their view.

One that is WRONG.

And this isn’t one of those chicken or egg issues. It’s music. Specifically the tempo. As indicated on the page and TAUGHT TO ME by the composer. I mean, I’d think that the music director would actually go through the trouble to READ what was written.

Sigh.

As frustrating as that is, it would not have bothered me if the three stooges sitting in front of me didn’t target me all the way through the practice, with tacit consent from the music director.

So now I’ve made a decision.

I only have so much time. I am not willing to spend it with childish over-forty-year-olds who are more focused on how they look in front of choir-mates than how they’re going to sound when they sing.

If this shit continues, I’ll find something else to do.

Because heaven knows, I have learnt to stay out of situations that bring out my dark side.

Digging Deeper

I’ve been thinking recently. (Yes, I know. Veeeery refreshing.)


Anyway. My poking at my dark(ish?) side made me realize something about how I write. I do terrible things to my characters. Horrible, twisted things.


I’ve let children die. I’ve made beloved wives cheat on husbands. I’ve mangled characters’ bodies.


But… I don’t delve into my own psyche. I don’t actually go digging around in my own fears and insecurities when I’m writing.


I guess I’ve spent so much of my life building walls to hide the weak spots that I forget that they’re there. It’s a long story as to why, but I’ve made a habit of acknowledging my faults and fears without exploring them.


I know where and what they are, but I don’t go into the whys and how it feels. Instead. I build around and over. I camouflage and distract. I poke at them from a distance.


Fact is, I hate being afraid.


So much so that I made myself forget how.


Maybe that’s why I took to doing things that scare me. Yes, it always feels like such an achievement to beat the fear. But now that I think about it, that feeling of fear is something invigorating that I don’t experience often.


I just push it down too far.


But not today. As it turns out, one of my characters has some back story that gives him a phobia that I have. It also happened that he would be forced into a situation that would be his worst nightmare. As I wrote the scene, I remembered my own terror. My heart went beating at a dull thud as I described a part of me that I hide from myself.


It hurt a little. It drained me completely. And I think it was worth it. But I’ll have to see. Other readers might not see quite as much as I did. So odds are that I’ll have to go there again…


Do you ever go delve those deep places to come up with something to write? Am I perhaps the only one that doesn’t write from there?

Awards (Part 2): A tour of the Dark Side

Hi all! Today, I’m finally getting around to handing out awards.
So… I have this award:



And this award x2:



So… now I have to state twenty-one things about me, which can be difficult since I tend to throw in some personal stuff at least once or twice a week. But let’s see what I can come up with. I decided to go with the darker, weirder, quirkier parts of who I am, because I ran out of light and fluffy yesterday.


1) I can’t seem to think straight if there isn’t some sort of sound to listen to.
2) Because of this, second worst torture would be to lock me into solitary confinement and keeping everything quiet.
3) Worst torture to my mind would be Chinese Water Torture.
4) Worst way to die: drowning.
5) Because I nearly drowned twice in one day.
6) When I was young, I was so afraid of heights that I couldn’t stand on a chair.
7) I have to take deep breaths and look away when I am injected or if my blood is drawn.
8) I actually have a deep disgust with people who ask me: “So tell me about yourself.” I cannot be summarized.
9) I don’t put books down that I started to read. Ever.
10) I warn people not to mess me around.
11) Three times.
12) The fourth time they’re that stupid… Let’s just say Darth Vader has nothing on me when it comes to efficiently destroying planets.
13) I would rather learn a new martial art before I take ballet or any conventionally girly sports.
14) But I do enjoy ballroom.
15) I like people as a rule. I just don’t like idiots and arrogant fools.
16) I am one of those people that think of something cutting at the snap of a finger when in arguments.
17) I have a deep abiding hatred of hypocrites. Especially those connected to churches and religions.
18) I HATE peas and beans.
19) I live according to a very well defined set of rules that I created for myself when interacting with other people. There are certain lines I don’t cross, because I know that I can end up in some very dark places if I took the first step over.
20) I like my humor like I like my chocolate: dark and bitter.
21) I’m neither a glass-half-empty nor a glass-half-full kind of person. I’m a glass-is-twice-as-large-as-was-necessary kind of person.


So yeah. That was a quick tour of my dark side. I will get around to the awards tomorrow. What about you? Have you as a writer explored your own personality? Have you ever let someone else see those parts that you explore? Do you think I’m insane to share these things?

Well excuuuuuuse me Princess!

Just want to remind all of you interested in a GPF spot to mail me. Next week’s slot has already been taken, but I need more people to fill in the rest of the month. I have decided to put the posts up at 06h00 my time on Friday mornings, so please remember to click over to show support to our first brave soul. My mail, for in case you don’t want to go hunting for it, is mishagericke@gmail.com.

In the mean time, on my last Friday post for the foreseeable future, some of you might want to leave now. I’m going to be showing a bit of my dark side. 

Yesterday, I was making my way down a certain Mr. McLinky list, looking for some new blogs to read and stumbled onto one that had someone (who will remain unnamed) who seemed to be deeply upset by the fact that she didn’t seem to be reaching anyone out there. Main theme of the blog as I read it being that she didn’t have a big following.

So I commented as follows:

I clicked over here from Grab a Pen.
How long have you been writing?
How long have you been blogging?
It took me three months before I reached seven people.

It took me three and a half to realize that if I follow other blogs and commented as often as I can, people come back to me.
I don’t say this to be mean, but rather because even though the post I just read isn’t the happiest ever, you have great style.
Style = Potential
Style=Skill
So there must be some other reason why you have few followers.
I also found that asking a question at the end of each blog post is an easy way to get people to comment.

But anyway, I can give you a few tips. I’m not even remotely close to big, but I do have over 150 followers and quite a few regular visitors.
If you want them, or just want to talk, feel free to e-mail me.

Now, please, anyone. Did I seem rude? Did I seem to be ridiculing or insulting her in any way?

Because honestly I was just trying to help her out.

But this is word for word the e-mail I got back (except for the name that has been changed):

Nice to meet you.

I clicked over here from Grab a Pen.
How long have you been writing?
If you have a chance to take a look at the rest of the web page, you’ll find I’ve been writing since I was 9.
How long have you been blogging?
Again, if you look at the beginning of my blog, you’ll see how long.
It took me three months before I reached seven people.
It took me three and a half to realize that if I follow other blogs and commented as often as I can, people come back to me.
I don’t say this to be mean, but rather because even though the post I just read isn’t the happiest ever, you have great style.
Style = Potential
Style=Skill
So there must be some other reason why you have few followers.
Thank you. I think I have style too. It might be the reason why I’ve published a book already and have another one coming out in the fall as to why I have a few followers.
I also found that asking a question at the end of each blog post is an easy way to get people to comment.
But anyway, I can give you a few tips. I’m not even remotely close to big, but I do have over 150 followers and quite a few regular visitors.
I appreciate that, but I’m quite happy to have anyone who wants to stop by. I’m not terribly interested in advertising.
If you want them, or just want to talk, feel free to e-mail me.
Sincerely,


Little Princess with No Manners.
 
 
Now, feel free to correct me if you think I’m wrong (as I will not send any snotty e-mails to those who dare to ask/say something not even vaguely impertinent) but that was so far out of line that I think the she didn’t even know it existed.
 
This is how I feel about this.
 
So freaking what. If I didn’t read the rest of the web page and I try to strike up a conversation, you either answer like a civilized human being or you shut the f*(k up. 
 
If you want to complain on your blog and want to suffer your pain in private: don’t link up to one of the most read blogs out there.
 
Yes princess: Headdesk is now appropriate.
 
Secondly: If you are going to staunchly refuse to do anything about increasing your readership then why in the name of all that is holy do you complain about it?
 
Who knows? Maybe she just wanted to be a martyr and suffer for her art or something and my attempt to help her out really rubbed her wrong.
 
But then this is what you do, Princess, you ignore me. You could have kindly not have taken me up on my offer.
 
Or… You could have gnashed your teeth and sent me an upbeat mail about how you really just freaked out that day and felt down. Because, like OMG! You don’t even really like followers.
 
Or something like that.
 
But bitching on someone – as far as I saw the first one to comment for at least five posts – for daring to comment after you complained about no one commenting…
 
Not. On.
 
In fact:
 
STUPID.
 
I have complained too. Hell knows I complained about few followers in the beginning too. It’s very hard to blog to empty space.
 
But every time I complain, I take the risk that – GASP! – someone who I don’t know from Adam or Eve is going to tell me to pick myself up by my shoe straps. And guess what? The normal reaction will be to thank that person and to ask them how to do it. Because if you post something on a public blog, someone might just answer and it might just not be what you would like to hear.
 
But that is not your commenter’s problem.
 
EVER.
 
 
 
 
 
 
*Takes a deep breath.*
 
Thus endeth the rant.
 
If any of you read through this, and I suspect that some of you will…
 
I just want to thank all of you who have told me to pick myself up by my bootstraps when others only offer sympathy. And thank you for those that always cover me with love and sympathy when I’m down.
 
I need both sometimes and I love everyone of you for it.
 
And really, if I misconstrued anything she said, or you differ in opinion about how my comment seemed, please let me know. Because I honestly don’t get what her problem was.