1/12/2010

Confession

funny pictures of cats with captions


This week everything hit at once. Crazy holidays led to crazy snow days which led to more housework than anyone should ever have to do. Ever.

I keep finding glitter in the most remarkable places.

I had Critique Partner reading that needed immediate attention, contest
winners to choose, kiddos to, y' know, raise and stuff, and laundry that insisted on making me its b%tch.

On top of all that, I have a Work in Progress that is ab-so-lute-ly killing me.

Killing me.

I've never written anything like it. It's dark, messy, involved, in third person and it doesn't contain a lot of funny. I like the funny. I understand the funny.

So here's my confession. I'm scared of this book.

I'm scared that I'm not good enough to write it. Scared that trying and failing will do me in as an artist. Terrified the words that want to be written might make me bleed, both from my pen and from my heart. I kind of want to call Holly Black (anybody have her number?) and tell her the basics and watch her run with it (with flames shooting out behind her).

I have struggled with depression in the past. Maybe a taboo topic, but I'm not ashamed to share. I deal with it by knowing my boundaries. There are some stories/situations/people I approach with caution. I need to laugh, a lot. My sarcasm and my wonky sense of humor are definite shields. I have a very carefully placed filter that I protect vigilantly.

That's why I read the ending first sometimes.

Writing is a process with many intricacies - not just the nuances of craft - but the emotions that have to be faced to do the craft well. Every character I write comes from some part of me. My best characters come from the parts that aren't so pretty.

This story might have more ugly than I care to handle at one time.

Yet while I'm afraid to explore what has been placed in my heart to transcribe onto paper, I know that I have an army of friends and family behind me who understand and who know how to love me well. I know that writing is my calling. I rest in the fact that I am absolutely doing what I'm supposed to do.

So I made a decision today, in the midst of all my folding/washing/cleaning/organizing (procrastinating).

Line by line, word by word, letter by letter ... this story is going DOWN.

Do or do not. There is no try.




42 comments:

  1. I wish more authors would talk honestly about their battles with depression. I have nothing as profound to say about my own, except that I too have a filter, and worry that my writing is poking little holes in it that might cause a flood. ::hug:: Thanks for sharing, lovely.

    ReplyDelete
  2. As always, you blow me away, babe.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Oh I am so with you. Skip beyond the occasional, I don't think I'm up for this, and step right into the WIP that wasn't. The main character scares me. The plot scares me. Why? Because I think she/it might be better than I am. Deeper than I can go. Because I don't think I can do it justice. And... and I know I'll bleed on the page and that scares me too.

    I have so many other irons in the fire right now, edits, revisions, finish a story to sub here and there that I have had good reasons why not to open that particular folder. Yeah.

    You encourage me, woman.

    ReplyDelete
  4. You are a talented writer. So remember that "A bad writer can take a good story and make it bad. While a good writer can take a bad story and make it good." You are that Good Writer. It's your story. Have fun with it. Otherwise, I'll have to stitch that sentiment on a pin cushion for you!!

    But, thank you. Often those of us who struggle with our own writing hear how Real Authors can just sit down and write a story in mere months. We never see the full spectrum of pain & joy which is part of the process. Thank you for allowing us to see yours.

    And you will so kick this story's a$$. You are, after all, a Ninja Warrior Princess in The Fort!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I don't suffer from depression, and I am grateful for that. Thank you for being so honest about it - no doubt your openness will help many.

    I can totally relate, however, to the feeling of being scared of writing a book. I often find myself thinking I'm not a good enough writer to bring my current wip to its potential. I then say to those thoughts, "thank you for sharing. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a story to write." And I keep on writing.

    After all, like someone very wise recently said, "this story is going DOWN!"

    ReplyDelete
  6. It's going to be amazing, I already can feel it. These are the stories that change you when you write them and change us when we read them. I applaud you for being so brave! Keep going, you're amazing!

    ReplyDelete
  7. hi Myra! Congrats on your book deal, btw. I followed Debra's twitter link to you. I so know what you mean about being scared to write a book. I'm rewriting/modernizing all of the Jane Austen novels for teens... and many times, i've just crumbled under the pressure and was like, "what are you thinking, jenni? You're gonna get yourself reamed for this. Do you know how many Jane fanatics there are out there? What makes you SO special you believe you can rewrite Jane."

    I've just sold my series to Valor Publishing... so hang in there. You're obviously meant to write it, so the book needs you just as much as you need it... though you might not see that yet.

    Jenni James

    ReplyDelete
  8. If the story is half as awesome as that photo, it'll be brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow--this post was like you speaking for me--thank you SO much for sharing. I've battled depression before (during a VERY unfortunate period of time where my doctor put me on hormones and crying became: "if I do it less than 5 times today I'm doing good." And I tend to surround myself in the silly and lighthearted and write the same thing. But I applaud your bravery. The best stories come when writers write from the heart, and if this is the story your heart is telling it's going to be AMAZING. I have no doubt at all that you will blow everyone away with it. And if you need cheering up as you struggle through you have your fort and twitter. Those will always cheer you up.

    {{hugs}}

    ReplyDelete
  10. Very Nice. When feeling down or doubtful, I like to recall my other favorite Yoda quote: "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."

    Shine on.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, thank you for saying this. I've felt the same way, too. Good luck with taking this story DOWN. I bet you will!!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi. I'm Sandra, and I'm a new fan. DebraLSchubert sent me. She said "You won't be disappointed." and she was right. Your post is beautiful. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  13. I sometimes think we're given these parts in life, some of them dark, in order to revisit their true nature. Writing about them is like looking behind the door your mama told you not to. Once you do, what you see and feel can be very painful, indeed. But once you come out of it, the results can be very, very rewarding.

    You are brave, you are feeling, you are moving through it.

    - Julie

    ReplyDelete
  14. Beautiful post, as always! I sometimes read the ending of books first too - helps with some of my issues.

    I understand writing a character that is deep and dark and worrying I'm doing him justice. I'm sure you will do awesome, because you care.

    ReplyDelete
  15. You can do it! I've gone through depression as well, although since I was probably ten I didn't handle it quite as well as you. Thanks for being so honest and open. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. And my hair totally looks like that while I'm writing too!

    My favorite stories make me run the gamut of emotions from black to scintillating. I suppose it's inevitable that the writing must cause the same.

    Fight on. Shine on. Write on!

    ReplyDelete
  17. You go girl. You can do it, you will do it. You have the strength and the friends to back you up. Maybe somewhere in the process you'll even find that you've healed something forgotten. Consider your army raised.

    ReplyDelete
  18. I am an artist as well as a writer - and I know that making process better and over a longer time. The things that scare you, the things you think you maybe shouldn't, the things you don't understand are always the things that you should grab on to and hold tight to for dear life. They will lead you someplace new. They will kick your ass. They will make you better as a generative artist and in the end empower you.

    Fantastic post.

    ReplyDelete
  19. And you've got one new friend right here to add to your army :-)

    Line by line. Word by word. Letter by letter. It's like placing one foot in front of the other... the only way to do it!

    ReplyDelete
  20. It's been my experience that if you aren't afraid of a book, it won't be a great one. It might be good and fine, but in order to push ourselves into greatness, we have to have doubt, we have to have fear.

    We risk whenever we write. But when we write something that scares us, we put everything on the table because that's the only way to do it properly.

    Good luck. Tessa Gratton

    ReplyDelete
  21. Can I ask a question? What is it that made you want to write this book in the first place? Was it the challenge of it? An opportunity to grow as a writer? Or maybe, just maybe, its a story that you can't stop thinking about. I believe that those are the ones where a writers skills, and emotions, rise to the occassion.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I think the fact that the story scares you, it can only be that much better when you conquer it.
    And conquer it, you will!
    Thanks for sharing your struggle.
    Good luck, Myra!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have the exact same fears when it comes to writing... Of course, you are getting published, and I am nowhere near that =) Still, I understand those fears, and am glad to here that someone feels them even after getting signed. The thing is... you have to get over them. I just recently started writing again, after 10 years (OMG! 10 years!) of NOT writer's block bc I let my insecurites get the best of me.

    Good luck with your story =)

    ReplyDelete
  24. Thank you all so much for not being afraid to be vulnerable here, for cheering me on, and for just generally being made of awesome! I'm at it today, and I hope you all are too.

    (((Hugs))) to all!!!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Hey! This post proves it! You're a professional author now! You've joined the ranks of many great scribes before you who have doubted their writing careers. Good on ya! So proud! 8D (Notice all the exclamations? Each one is special and completely necessary.)

    ReplyDelete
  26. Thanks for this, Myra - I'm jealous that you are able to so freely express what's on your heart here. I think I often feel that others are not able to deal with my "dark side." (Part of that whole being a minister's wife thing, for me...) I definitely think it is a writer's curse to become too involved in the dynamics of humanity, to FEEL too much - almost to where it can go to a dark place in our minds. But isn't that what makes the best writing sometimes? Just keep coming up for fresh air and encouragement as you need it! I think it's awesome that you're challenging both yourself and your writing. Stick with it because it is clearly a story worth telling - otherwise it wouldn't be so hard! (And here's my weak attempt at some vulnerability here - you will never know how much this post encouraged my own feelings of insecurity today in the same areas. So, truly, thank you.)

    ReplyDelete
  27. I really know what you mean. I've been rewriting the ending of my book over and over because I know it needs to be darker and my imagination just doesn't want to go there.

    And please insert eloquent encouraging words here that I would take time with except I see my son is dumping the salt canister all over the counter...

    ReplyDelete
  28. This is a really powerful post. Thanks for writing it and being so honest. And I have complete faith in your ability to tackle this story!

    ReplyDelete
  29. I am looking forward to reading you're novel.
    And hope you are well.
    (Like the fact that there is a Chuck Bass picture on you're blog)
    My best to the boys.

    ReplyDelete
  30. This is one of those posts that I wish I was good with words. I'd give you some encouragement & tell you how glad I am that you shared this with us. Sadly, you'll have to settle for that.

    ReplyDelete
  31. I think you can only write dark if you've known dark. I've experienced depression, it wasn't pretty, and I survived. I think you have to create/write without boundaries. It has to hurt a little. Thanks for the honest post, Simon.

    ReplyDelete
  32. You're going to knock this one out of the park. :) I'm here to catch your back when necessary.

    :)

    ReplyDelete
  33. I think actors are that way sometimes (afraid to go to the dark place of a character)...so then they say to themselves, but I'm not me when I'm on the stage.

    Maybe you can do that...become someone else when you're working on this book???

    In any case, GOOD LUCK!

    ReplyDelete
  34. I have a book idea like this that cries to be written. I'm more of a bubbly teen romance kind of author and this darker not funny story kind of freaks me out. I'll write it though. It may even become my nanowrimo novel. Oh dear.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Love the new Friday in the Fort feature. Awesome idea. Great interview. I am so looking forward to a slumber party in the fort with y'all!

    ReplyDelete
  36. I sometimes think we're given these parts in life, some of them dark, in order to revisit their true nature. Writing about them is like looking behind the door your mama told you not to. Once you do, what you see and feel can be very painful, indeed. But once you come out of it, the results can be very, very rewarding.

    You are brave, you are feeling, you are moving through it.

    - Julie

    ReplyDelete
  37. Hi. I'm Sandra, and I'm a new fan. DebraLSchubert sent me. She said "You won't be disappointed." and she was right. Your post is beautiful. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  38. Very Nice. When feeling down or doubtful, I like to recall my other favorite Yoda quote: "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."

    Shine on.

    ReplyDelete
  39. If the story is half as awesome as that photo, it'll be brilliant!

    ReplyDelete
  40. I don't suffer from depression, and I am grateful for that. Thank you for being so honest about it - no doubt your openness will help many.

    I can totally relate, however, to the feeling of being scared of writing a book. I often find myself thinking I'm not a good enough writer to bring my current wip to its potential. I then say to those thoughts, "thank you for sharing. Now if you'll excuse me, I've got a story to write." And I keep on writing.

    After all, like someone very wise recently said, "this story is going DOWN!"

    ReplyDelete
  41. As always, you blow me away, babe.

    ReplyDelete

Tell us everything: