Always Wear Clean Undies

My Friday post usually starts out like this:

In my “Who? Me?” section, I called out Friday as the day to share my favorite posts of the week. To qualify, the post had to make me think, make me question, teach me, or inspire me.  In other words, I liked the post enough to click the “like” button so I could save it to read again some day.

This Friday won’t include a list of my favorite posts of the week.  I was on vacation for several days and didn’t get a chance to keep up with my blog reading.  By the time I got back and could sit down to read all the brilliance posted by the bloggers I follow, the list of unread posts had reached unmanageable proportions.  There’s no way I could catch up, particularly since I read them during down time from the day job and said day job kicked it into high gear while I was gone.  In other words, I’ve been super busy for the past week.  Something had to take a back seat to ensure I continue to collect a pay check and blog reading was it.

Sorry, folks.  I promise to get back on track for next Friday.

But I did commit to three posts a week, so I won’t leave you hanging…

The few posts I found time to read all seemed to run along a similar theme…doubt and uncertainty about writing and life.

Is there some cosmic thread of downness sewn through the universe right now that’s rubbing up against people like a rough seam in a poorly stitched bra?

Never leave the house without clean undies

Has the cosmos sent out a negative vibe?  Does that vibe bear a striking similarity to the anxiety one feels when we realize we left the house in mis-matched shoes and a t-shirt with a big hole under the arm?

Or is it just that time of year?  Spring is rapidly approaching, if not already present in your part of the world.  Are people experiencing a mental spring cleaning, overwhelmed by all the clutter that accumulated during winter’s hibernation, daunted by the mere prospect of cleaning it out and starting with a fresh attitude?

How did all this clutter get here?

I ask because I’ve been feeling those same doubts and uncertainties, at least where my writing is concerned.  I’ll clarify:

I’m 75% positive my novel is crap.

There are some parts of it that I believe to be good and worthy of saving (the remaining 25%), but I’m pretty sure the core of it is crap.  I’m in the process of doing edits and re-writes to flush it out into a full-fledged story so the possibility exists that I’ll be able to clean it up and pump up the conflict.  I’m not giving up hope because there are days when the writing seems to sing.

The experts suggest shoving a crappy novel into a drawer and moving on.  I’ve considered and rejected that idea.  This is my first novel.  I feel I need to finish it so I know I can finish a novel.  When I do, then I’ll move on to the next one.  This particular book will be chalked up as an educational experience.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

I did find something positive in the posts I read (after all, I’m a glass half-full kind of girl).

We are not alone in doubt and uncertainty.

We, as writers, are never really alone.  We all have moments when we wonder if we can write a novel, if we have talent, if we can make agent and publishing house deadlines (for those who’ve reached that point in their writing careers…you lucky, hard-working, persistent ducks).  In those moments, reaching out to the community we’re building through blog posts and Twitter and Facebook can be a saving grace.

Time suck or valuable resource?

Social media can be a time suck when we use it to procrastinate.  But when we use it to touch base with others like us, it can be a valuable resource to put us back on track and remind us that people are rooting for each other.  We have each others’ backs, which is freaking fantastic!

Now, I’m off to find a bra that doesn’t itch.

Have a great weekend!

Do you agree that the writing community is a place of comfort, knowledge, and strength?

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2 thoughts on “Always Wear Clean Undies

  1. I do find it oddly comforting when I read a post that mirrors my insecurities. My insecurities aren’t limited to just my writing – I’m not that compartmentalized, but it helps to read how someone else got up and trudged on when it would be easier to just give up.

    I can relate to the doubt – I finally put my first novel to rest (no more queries) because I don’t know what else to do with it. I put away novel number 2 because I lost the feeling for it by chapter 6. I still like the idea, but I have to rework it. I’m working on characters for my new novel 2 now, and trying to ignore the doubt that nags, telling me it probably won’t be any good.

    You’re not alone. I have to add that I suspect you may be your toughest critic and your novel is better than you think. But don’t get all cocky, now!

    P.S. if you find that non-itchy bra, please share the brand 🙂

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    • Thanks for the encouragement. I’m such a Newbie at the whole novel aspect of writing, that I sometimes wonder if I’m flailing wildly in a pool filled with pros. I try to remind myself that I’m a very good swimmer and that helps to keep my head above water. At the end of the day, I’m learning so much and that has incredible value to me.

      P.S. I don’t think the non-itchy bra exists. Those manufacturers are crafty…we get fed up with the itch and buy new. I think the itch is a marketing ploy! 😉

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