Wednesday, February 19, 2014

02/19/2014 Writing Wednesday!

Hello everyone and welcome back! I hope you all had a fun and happy weekend. Mine has now made it so that I have to take a few minutes to figure out what day it is, which is always a fun way to wonder if I'm crazy. Hopefully today will be better though, even if I am tempted just to crawl back into bed and take a nap. There is just so much work to be done I just don't think I have time to do all of it.

With things coming together with 'Rending the Seal' I wanted to talk about something that I have discovered only recently (and by recently I mean experienced within the last 24 hours) and realized it would be a good topic to bring up. I mentioned before about beta-readers and how they have all the best intentions in the world and such, which is all true, so please don't forget that. I also mentioned how your brain will try to trick you into either not completing something or doing something until the end of time just to satisfy the need for a comforting habit. Today I wanted to bring up what happens when those two worlds collide.

Yesterday I finished the first round of edits on 'Daughter of the Shackled King' and also received back one of the copies of 'Rending the Seal' which means that I'll need to switch gears and start some hard work that I don't really enjoy, but needs to be done. Immediately when I opened the file I felt like I had slammed into a brick wall and was compelled to close everything down though. Luckily I didn't, but that may have had something to do with the fact that my lunch hour was over and I needed to run back to my desk. However I hadn't been prepared just how much my brain was going to come to a grinding halt when it saw the file. It was really weird, because I knew there was going to be comments, and I knew there were going to be changes necessary, but because I had was going from the end of one thing to the start of another so quickly, my mind just wasn't going to cope.

I don't know if everyone else goes through this, but I wanted to bring it up because if I experienced it, it can't possibly mean that I'm alone. It was really scary to think that I could be overwhelmed enough to be afraid to work on something. I had known going in that the file wasn't perfect, but instantly I had gone on the defensive just by the first page and I couldn't even look at it. I felt ridiculous, because seriously, I knew logically that it needed the work, and all of those things I had said previously were all true, but for that brief moment I couldn't get a handle on it. It was really weird.

As an author you are doing something really difficult by writing out a full-length or just a short-story, but sometimes letting someone else read your work and do things do it is like letting a stranger drive your car. I think I made that comparison before actually...but it is all true. You are so protective of your work that even if you logically know and understand that it's not perfect, there are errors all over the place, and that things need to be smoothed out before any sort of public looks at it, but that when you get it back it feels like no one understands. In that moment, as an author, it's true, no one does, but you can't let that take over. Yes I am still a little scared to go and look at 'Rending the Seal' but that doesn't mean I'm not going to do it. It needs to be done, good lord it does, and if I don't it will never be finished. It'll be hard, but it's not the end of the world.

I'm not putting this up to discourage anyone from using a beta-reader or any form of copywriting service or however you do your editing. I am trying to give a real example of what happens during that process. beta-readers are wonderful people who offer their time to read your work when it's not polished and give you feedback that is needed. A lot of them do it for free because they like reading, like to help, and are often times good friends and/or family members who want to support you. Their feedback isn't meant to hurt or discourage you as an author (unless it is being needlessly hurtful, then it's time for a sit-down conversation with that person) it's to help you grow as a person and to help mold your talent into something that everyone will love. The most important thing is to not take it out on your reader, if you have a question that's fine, but don't come at them all red-faced and angry. It they put something down it means it needs to at least be considered because if they were confused that means potentially your final readers would be too.

My experience might not be everyone's but I wanted to bring it up here. As I said nothing will stop me from working on my stories, it just freaked me out a little when it felt like I hit that wall. If you know what this is like, or want to let others know your experiences and that it's ok, feel free to post below. The point of this blog is to help people as much as possible.

For now, I'll be off so please enjoy the rest of your week! We'll see what Friday has in store for all of us. There is a potluck that day and I haven't 100% decided what I'm going to be bringing, so what I decide will determine how much time I have in the morning. I hope you all have fun no matter what though!

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