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How to Talk Yourself Down From the Ledge

Check-in:  Editing is happening.  Slowly.  Too stressed about editing to write.  Taunt’s still at 6k since Sunday.   Shake some pom-poms at the more successful ROW80ers right here.

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Oh.  My.  Dayz.  You know when I started pulling out the zs that I’m being extra serious.  😉

I cannot function right now.  This editing bollox is driving me mad.  I have never worked this slow in my life and it is the most frustrating experience ever.  (I honestly don’t know how people who write one book every couple of years do it).  I literally can’t write the next book while I’m editing this crap because I can’t switch between the different headspaces easily.  Different characters and stories, yep, no bother.  The same character at different stages in their life/experiences and it is impossible for me.  So I decided to concentrate only on editing and get it out of the way.  It’s snail’s pace right now.   I hate it so much that I voluntarily filled out our census form (7 people’s worth) instead of editing. 

That says it all.

There’s just so much to remember.  I’ve to keep track of the major storyline of each book, the arc of the entire volume and then the over-reaching arc of the entire series.  That’s not counting the side-plots and foreshadowing and ever-expanding backstories.  This week I’ve done more note-taking on future books than I have on editing this one.  (I watched the latest Harry Potter film tonight and OMG, it just reminded of all the junk JK had to keep track of – why am I complaining?)

It.  Is.  Awful.

I don’t know what’s holding me back so much.  I don’t know if it’s the response to Thirst or simply that the draft of Taunt is so bad it can’t be salvaged.  If it’s the latter then OMFG shoot me.  Now, please.  I don’t know if it’s my frame of mind right now or if I’ve spent too much time in the same world/genre.  If I knew what was wrong I could fix it. 

So fooking frustrating!

I’m really behind on the editing plan and I’m dying to just write Tempt already.  Although I’m dreading the editing stages of that one.  I have a bad habit of putting too much humour in the first draft of the fluffy stuff.  Or so I’ve been told.  And I have a tendency to laugh out loud at my first drafts although that might not be quite the same thing.  😉  I have to go back and edit the humour out for a lot of reasons so my instinct is already to make life harder for myself.  If editing Tempt (that’s if I even get that far) is as bad as what I’m going through now then I might as well pack it in and take up photography or something. 

I can’t believe I typed that.  :O 

If I’m not awesomely great at something then my instinct is to give up and not try at all – and I’m bad at editing.  The fact I require so much editing probably doesn’t say anything good for my writing either.   I mean, look at my freaking blog posts.  Perfect examples.  Now imagine how much editing my drafts need.  Yeah, I know – scary.

I love writing, it’s just everything else I hate.   😀

So I’m not cut out for this.  So I’m trying to imagine giving it up and leaving it alone.  Um, not working.  I’m going through a bit of family guilt right now, because I’m putting so much time into something non-family related, but if I didn’t write, I wouldn’t be all there anyway.  Writing has kept me sane.  Well, almost.  🙂  When I’m not writing, I lose myself in my head so at least when I write it down, I can step away sometimes. 

Ugh. 

If I give up, what exactly will I do?  How do you give up something that you feel like you have no control over, something that takes over all by itself?  I’m inviting this stress because I love the stories, I want to know what happens.  Does anything else really matter?  Well, yeah.  But.  If I could give up, wouldn’t I have done it by now?  Would I really still argue the point?  And so what if something isn’t working right now – that doesn’t mean it will never work.  I’ve always been all about learning the craft, improving, experimenting with new styles and ideas – and when I wrote non-fiction, I dreamed of writing fiction.  One of the best months of my life happened the first time I took part in NaNo. 

*Remembers the joy*

And finishing a story always feels crack-a-lacking.  Like you’ve achieved something, like all that effort was worth something.  I think I’d like to feel that again.  I think that might be worth all this ffs stress.  Tomorrow might be better.  I’ll get better.  It’ll get better.  Maybe the struggle is because of a bad chapter, too much splitting and merging and confusion.  Maybe the next chapter will be easier.  I won’t know if I don’t try.  There’s this episode of Biggest Loser and this chick says what if I go there and I can’t do it.  And her mother turns around and says, what if you go there and you can?  Or something like that.  So, feck it.  Failing is better than not trying; it’s better than not ever knowing what might have been.  I’ve always hated what ifs.

*Is back on track*

And that is how Claire talks herself down from the ledge.  Therapy might be quicker.  😉

Published inclaire farrellrow80row80 updatewaffle

29 Comments

  1. I tried to stop writing, it came back there’s no escape, as I’m going through the first draft I’m making mental notes of how to break the editing down into sections so I can see what I’m looking at. Improving the writing quality will be the last thing I do.

    Now Claire lie down on the couch, place your hands at your sides and repeat after me I love editing. But seriously, hope it gets easier for you soon.

    • You’re right, there is no escape! You’re better off getting organised now then making it as messy as possible, like me. 🙂

      I. Love. Editing? ;D

  2. I can’t really relate since this is my first time writing. And I have not been in the process of big chunks of compositions. But I hope you’ll do good. Wish you Luck!

    • I hope your first time is a lot of fun. Ignore my post, I exaggerate. 😉

  3. You can get through this! 🙂 It can only go up from here. Good luck! 😀

    • Thanks Jenny – yep, this is me at the bottom of the barrel right now. 😀

  4. I’ve so been where you are, thinking about chucking it all. It always helps me to just tell myself it doesn’t matter if anyone else likes my work — if I manage to attract a following, it’s just a bonus.

    • My logic is so ridiculous right now. I keep forgetting the important stuff and getting stuck on things that haven’t even happened yet. 🙂

      Thanks Nicole!

  5. You know the evil, evil voices in your head won’t let you stop. 😉

    Seriously, can you put the editing monster away a few days until you’re fresh or at least until your head stops pounding? Mebbe you’re just on overload right now.

    Breathe, girl, BREATHE!!

    • LOL Heather, I’m sorry if I’ve stressed you out too. 😉

      That’s what my OH keeps saying but I keep thinking I have to do it right now this second. Maybe I’ll get to the end of the chapter I’m on and try and work on something completely different. I’ll see what happens. Thanks for the comment. 😀

  6. I’m going to borrow the advice that a wise and talented writer left on my own blog – we know you can do it. And you know you can do it to. All those questions your back brain asks are just red herrings and I’ll be happy to help you tell them to be quiet, if you like. I know it’s frustrating but speed doesn’t matter, effort doesn’t matter, all that matters is that you are a writer writing and you will succeed!

    • Thanks Ben. It’s just too easy to let it get in on you when the wheels are turning but you aren’t moving forward. All I’ve ever wanted is to write and now I’m doing it but stalling myself by worrying about other stuff. Idiot Claire.

      I’m going to do better. *Swears* 🙂

      • I know you will, and no idiot, you. We all do that, I think – let the chatter get in the way. That’s why we, your friends are hear to help you talk yourself down from it! I think I’m paraphrasing what that same writer said to me. 🙂

        • LOL – much easier to give advice than to take it, eh? 😀

          I don’t know what writers did before blogging. 😉

          And really, thank you for that.

  7. Shew! Okay. So I’m really not alone in my struggles. 🙂

    I’ve been there when it comes to editing. Once I spent an hour and only got three sentences. After that experience, I was like, why am I doing this. I must be crazy…

    • LOL, nope you’re definitely not alone! Maybe you have to be crazy to do this. 🙂

  8. I think you do have to be a little–maybe a lot–crazy to do this. I’ve said for years that I think “Writer” should be a diagnosis in the DSMIV (that’s the diagnostic book psychitrists use, right?).

    My hubby does a lot of the Voice of Reason stuff for me. He listens to me rant and rail about how I write nothing but CRAP, I don’t know what I was thinking, it’s all drivel, and I should just go back to being a full-time mom, but I sucked at that, too, and why is he even married to me, after all? He listens and nods and smiles. Then he pours me wine, kisses me, and says, “you’ll feel better tomorrow.”

    And I usually do. It’s like magic. 🙂

    • Are you my twin? LOL. I could have written that paragraph right there. The baby and I are sick right now so maybe that hasn’t helped with the feeling better tomorrow so much. Maybe the day after tomorrow then. 😉

      • Oh honey… It’s never good when the baby AND you are sick at the same time… Cut yourself a little slack.

        I love it when other writers think we’re twins or we share a brain, because it reassures me that I really AM a writer… 🙂 I know that’s a weird kind of twisted logic. See my note about the DSMIV.

        Feel better soon!

        • I’ve never really felt like I was like anyone else – until I started talking to writers. It’s nice to see there’s a wide circle of similar crazies out there. 😉

  9. I’m wondering if the problem might be that you’re trying to edit out your natural writing style? I mean, if writing with humour is how you write – I say you should go for it! 🙂

    I like stuff with humour in it, anyway. 🙂 I can rarely wade through anything that has no touch of humour in it at all. It’s part of life. It’s often the part of life that makes the rest bearable!

    Maybe you write comedy-urban fantasy-horror-romance? (Or something like that?? :D) Maybe that’s your thing. Maybe you’re pioneering a whole new genre and you just didn’t know it! 🙂

    • Oh the horror! 😉

      Humour is so personal though and it’s way too easy to get slapstick with it – it’s the one style/genre that’s never really appealed to me. I’m not comfortable saying a story is funny, I think that’s what puts me off.

      I do have trouble with editing, sometimes I over-edit and it loses everything I liked in the first place. *Screams* I think maybe I’m paying too much attention to what I think other people will think and not enough to what it is I was going for in the first place. Thanks for helping me type myself to this point. 😀

  10. Therapy may be quicker but probably not half as much fun 😛
    Sometimes the best way to move forward on a project is to completely ignore it for a few days. Then, when you come back to it, you’ll be rested and able to look over it with fresh eyes 😀

    • Rebecca, that’s what I’m doing now. I put it aside yesterday and haven’t looked at it since. Then I went through old files of stuff I didn’t have time for, scribbled out some outlines, and got all excited and my OH was like, it’s nice to see you looking like you’re enjoying it again.

      So yeah, maybe a break is for the best! 🙂

  11. Now I see what you meant by your comment on my blog. I agree with Amy about feeling better tomorrow. I always think I’ve come to far to give up and the what ifs, like you said. Just put on your inspirational song and dive in. I need more Ava!

    • I think I need to take a bigger look at it. Not sure if I’m going in the right direction, particularly in regards to her relationships with other characters. I don’t know, I’m on the fence about things and I’ve lost my confidence with it a bit. Think maybe over the weekend I might go through chapter summaries and see what I can do with it.

  12. I know you probably hear this all the time – but you are not alone! I’m shaking my pom poms at you, right now! Good luck and see you at the next check-in!

    • Thanks Tiffany, I can always use a good pom pom shake! 😀

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