It is a Compulsion that I CANNOT Quench…

…this thing called writing.

It just won’t go away no matter how much I try.

Yet this same compulsion causes me so much agony.

Because I see no results.

My works languish like a worn out farm tractor sitting in a field.

Relegated to word documents that sit on my computer.  Filed away on some hard drive never to be seen.

I pray, “God direct me.  Use me.  Use this gift.”

And I feel no answer.

It frustrates me.

I’m not getting any younger.

I feel called to something more, something great even, but it never comes.

Or it’s too slow in coming.

“God’s timing.”

Yep, got it.  Doesn’t help me much though.

My YA paranormal is going nowhere.  Discouraging.

I’ve basically given up on the thing.

“Who am I?”

Not Tim Tebow.  Jenny McCarthy.  Bill Clinton.  Sarah Palin.  Or anyone else famous who has written a book.

Started a new novel this morning.

Well, not new.  It’s a resurrected idea that I plan to completely re-write.

For I can only write what I know.  What I have learned.  What I think others NEED to know before they learn it the hard way like I did.

And tears are shed…

Still, my heart remains heavy.  No relief.  Just anxiety…

I feel lost right now.  Debating about taking unpaid work (being a columnist again) just to satisfy this yearning deep within…

Debating a lot of things I could do.  Trying to come up with new ideas.

Yet my dream remains the same.

There must be room for me.  Hundreds of books are published every year.  I have a niche…

Somewhere…

For everyone has a story to tell.

I just wish (and pray) I could pinpoint mine.

When I’m Rich and Famous, I am SO Hiring a Professional Editor…

What I’m Dreaming Of…

I just spent 2 hours editing a grand total of 2 of my novel pages.

With every edit I tell myself this is the last one.  Then I convince myself to do one more reading…

Always my downfall.

So “this is my last reading.”  Was supposed to be quick.  Supposed to be…

Exasperation reigns right now.

I now know why every author thanks their editor on the “Thank You” page of their book.

And as soon as I get a novel published, I’m hiring one.

Because this stuff should DEFINITELY be left to the professionals…

Ode to the Struggling Writer…

Ode to the Struggling Writer…

 

I don’t know why I agonize

Does it matter if it’s “just” or “only”?

No one will ever read it anyways

It’s just for my eyes

Or is it only?

 

Still….

I continue anyways

Some dim hope glimmers

And pushes

Despite the meaningless I feel.

 

As time ticks by

I ebb and flow

But unlike the Moon

It matters to me.

 

And that is all I know.

Here I Go Again…

So, I’ve started going over my novel again after about a month of inactivity.  It’s one of my summer goals to finish up the editing.

Admittedly, I did not want to do this.  Thoughts kept running through my mind of, “Is this really my calling?  Why am I wasting my time again?  Maybe I should just give up…”

But you know me.  Giving up is not an option and I don’t like to lose  so I began.  I made little changes here and there that I actually liked.  And after about 2 hours of working on my first chapter, I ended the session with a bit of a high, thinking, “Okay, so this is better.”

And encouragement to continue in this endeavor.

I am also learning stuff about writing from my kids homeschool curriculum.  Where was this stuff when I was a kid?  I continually think my education was severely deprived or at least hindered when I see what my 8 year old and 7 year old are learning.  And at their age!

They are learning stuff I don’t even know!  In a way it makes me jealous, gives me incredible hope for them, and inspires me that you can teach an old dog new tricks (our saying for the week we are learning!).

It feels good to be back on track again.  I just pray this continues for the immediate future, long enough to finish this project and start seeking an agent for it.

Yet most importantly I feel continually blessed by God every day of my life.  I know no matter what happens He is there, always, by my side, cheering me on and holding me up. Forever.

When Can You Call Yourself a Writer?

I’m writing the synopsis this morning of my YA novel and I’m thinking the whole time, “This novel sucks!  Is this what I’m supposed to be doing with my life?”

I’m thinking of all the time I have spent working on this novel and the worst-case scenario flashes before my mind:  just another word document on my computer.  Just like all of my other novels and non-fiction work.

I’m frustrated, no doubt.  I think my stuff is good but if I can’t convince anyone else of that then it’s worthless and just a bunch of wasted time.

I never call myself a writer.  I just don’t.  Sure, I have a blog but so do lots of other people.  I would like to definitively say, “Yes, I’m a writer.”  But I just don’t.  I guess I don’t feel like one until I have something published.  Otherwise, I feel like a tinker.  When I say this, I mean one who works with something in an unskilled manner, an experimenter, a fiddler.

I fiddle.  I tinker.  I experiment.  Not create, enthrall, or inspire.

Sigh.  I feel this as God’s calling, but I also feel frustrated when I languish.  Give me something here, Lord.  Anything!

Words of encouragement only get me so far.  I’m results oriented.

And right now it seems like results are light-years away.

I Have a Serious Writing Problem…

I was working on my query letter this morning, tinkering with the wording because I have it almost where I want it when I was struck by a thought:  this query letter is better than my book!  I’d better make my book just as good!

So, I began tinkering on my novel again….my finished novel–at least what I had previously thought was finished.

I have had this problem with all of my work.  It’s never finished. I’m constantly tinkering and it drives me up the wall!

I’m wondering if anyone else has this problem.  Just now, I was tinkering some more (well, since I had already started, why stop now?).

I can’t stop myself.  I tell myself I’m done.  Then I’m at it again.

So, I’m wondering:  Is a novel ever finished?  And when?  When it’s in print and you can’t make any more changes?  This I see as my scenario.

Any comments would be most welcome (especially ones saying I’m not crazy!).

This Happens Every May…

God takes me down to remind me my place in this world.

I’m sick.  My throat hurts.  My voice is almost gone.  I have a runny nose and feel all around absolutely miserable.  I can’t sleep. I’m cold.

On Wednesday, our music teacher told me I looked really tired. I’ve been thinking for a couple of weeks now I need to take a break, not work out for a week, not set my alarm for a week but I haven’t.

So God does what I won’t do.

Since August, I’ve been faithfully working out 2-3 times a week, doing BSF every day, working on my novel, and doing all the kids stuff (school, activities, etc).  And getting up early every day in order to accomplish such personal goals.  Not to mention running a household and keeping the dogs alive and my husband happy.

BSF is finally over.  My final edit which took two months instead of two weeks is finally done.  I’m on the verge of being done researching homeschool curriculum.  School is almost over.

Obviously, I need a break.  NOW.

As usual, God has to hit me over the head in order to do it.

He got my attention.  I’m listening…

Nothing About This is Easy….

Have I said this before?  It seems like I say this all the time.

I am editing….again….and it’s driving me up the wall.  I keep changing stuff, hopefully making it better, but it’s such a slow process.  I hate it.  And I don’t use hate lightly.

Nothing about this is easy.  Nothing about this is fun.  Nothing about this is uplifting, inspiring, or even tolerable.

I keep praying I get this thing published mainly for one reason: so I can hire someone to edit my future work henceforth.

It’s boring.  I know this stuff like the back of my hand.  It’s mind-numbing.  It’s outright awful.

This will be my last time.  I just can’t take it anymore!  I am just praying for the fortitude to finish this round and quickly.

I thought (for some stupid reason), This’ll be easy.  Just one more quick read-through before querying.  It’ll only take a couple of days. Wrong again.

I should have known better.  It’s not quick.  I guess I just tell myself this so I’ll do it.  Because once I start it gets done.

But only from God’s will, not mine.  I would have given up long ago.

Just When I Think I’m Done…

I have been anxious to begin querying on my novel.  I’ve been this way since I finished really.  Last week, I thought I was done so I began to write my query letter.  I worked on it some more this morning when I read something on the internet that made me decide to rip apart my first and second chapters.

So, I spent 2 hours this morning doing just that.  Fine.  But I’m just that much further from being done.

Then I had a thought that I usually always have when I’m writing a book:  does it really matter anyways? Will anyone ever read this?  Does anyone care but me?

It’s just frustrating.  People think writing is easy.  It’s not.  Far from it.  It’s constant second-guessing. Constant wondering if this sounds right, if this is saying what I think it’s saying, and if anyone will ever read this stuff beyond, well, me.

And when the tough part is over (completing a novel) then the selling begins (an even tougher part for me)–convincing someone my novel is worth something to someone else besides me.

I dread this part but yet it’s the most important element.  I’m taking my time on this one, trying not to screw this one up.  Trying not to screw any of it up really.

So I pray and hope and keep working and maybe one day…

This is Worse Than Writer’s Block

Ever have one of those days where everything you write is crappy?

That’s my day today.  Nothing sounds right.  Everything is repetitive.  No brilliant thoughts or analogies. Just plain and simple and to be frank, horrible, words strung together.  My 7 year old can write better than this sometimes.  Every word stinks worse than a skunk on a hot summer day.

I think I’d rather have writer’s block than these days because I get the sense I’m a failure.  I keep thinking, “This sucks!  Maybe I’m not meant to be a writer.  I should just quit now and forever hold my peace.”

Writer’s block is legitimate.  It’s where nothing comes to mind.  But it’s something you work through or just return later when the creative juices are flowing.

Bad writing is a sense you can never improve this stuff so why bother.  The only solution is to stop and come back later.  But I always wonder, “Will it get better later or can you improve something that is just bad?”

There are bad writers out there and these days I list myself amongst them.  I just pray I’m a good writer tomorrow.