Wednesday, July 27, 2011

#Row 80 Check-In 7/27 & Major Doubts

On the Row front, I'm below my masochistic goal of 1000 per day. The 100 fall back has saved me. My lowest day resulted in 400. On the dot. My best was 707. I remember struggling for the 400. The only thing that stopped me from continuing after the 707 was the fact that I was slumping over on the keyboard and needed to get up for work in 3 hours. Story is finally coming, though. That is a huge relief. And I have to say that the fellow Rowers' comments are great. Thanks all around.

From here on is less Row80 business and more me semi-ranting. Warning - It will be lengthy.

So, I have an email in my inbox from CreateSpace that is asking my approval once again to go ahead with a new proof. This will be a printed copy. Good news, right? It would be, and I was ├╝ber-excited when I first opened it. The problem is that I was started another read-through of Where to Belong. I don't know how many times I've read it, but I can assure you that it is at least 2 dozen times. I've had it edited twice. Critiqued multiple times. I've rewritten it in ways that I cannot even begin to give an accurate number there. The only thing holding it up, once again, is me. I'm sure I am doing this to myself. And I know that one can tweak their work to death. But I'm looking at the message from my team and I can't confirm. It isn't that I want to tweak it. It's past that point. I now want to do a complete rewrite.

It is one of two problems: One - It does suck as badly as I think it does and I'm pushing for it to be released faster than what is healthy for the book. Or two - I am overly obsessing and need to pry my raving mad fingers off of it.

I know it will never be perfect. It would be naive of me to think otherwise. I'm not expecting perfection, but I am working for it to be close. And at the moment I feel that it is only dross.

This project was started with the goal of self-publishing in mind. I've done everything I can to keep it from falling into the pile of "vanity" work published for the sake of having a book in one's name. I've been careful not to throw some half-baked idea out there with the belief that it will rocket up the best-seller list. I don't expect much. I know that it will reach a very limited audience with taking the self route. I know there will always be critics and people who gripe & hate for the sake of griping & hating. I know some of them will be right. This is my first. I don't plan on it being my last. I desire to learn from any and all mistakes I've made along the way with it and hope that those mistakes don't brand me as a bad writer. I do want to eventually land an agent and contract with a publishing house. I admit that I chickened out with this one. I only submitted it to a pathetically small number of agents. No one replied, but then again, I assumed that much.

This crippling self doubt has been weighing on me for over a week now. Support from two friends has kept me from scrapping the entire project. One, I'll call a colleague, has been down this road before. He offered good advice and provided material that got me moving in a better direction. The other is a personal friend. He has had his share of trouble in his life as of late. He's a great guy with a less-than-ideal choice following him around like his own rain cloud. I hadn't told him of my attempts at writing. When he was hanging out with us this weekend, he asked why I was bumming around. I didn't realize that I was. Colt went on to tell him of my "hobby" and how I'm kicking myself as of late.

He didn't offer to read it or pat me on the back and say, "I'm sure it's great." He let me explain the main issue I am having with in my writing and why I want to pull it. He then went ask why I would even bother writing it in the first place. Well, I like the story and hope someone else does too. How do you find out if anyone else likes it? Put it out there. Publish. What happens if no one likes it? Then no one likes it. Will you stop trying? Well, no, I hope not. Cry like a baby, yes. But stop, nah. What do you have to lose? Oh, just any hope of a future in publishing. And if you don't try by first publishing? Yeah, point taken. And if I read it and think it sucks, will you kick me out and not let me crash on your couch?

The email is still waiting for my reply. I am very much torn. While I am wrestling with this indecision I will keep working on Oneiros. I'm pouring everything into it. This one is what I am aiming to charm an agent with. Maybe all this turmoil will help me give it more life and feeling as I try to continue growing as a writer.


  1. Letting go of our work is SO HARD! I once read of an author (can't remember the name) who would go into bookstores and make changes in his published novels with a pencil. HA! I fear that will be me (when an editor decides to take one of mine on, that is).

    I do believe we all go through those moments of doubt. I'm sorry you're feeling all that angst right now.

  2. Thank you, Angelina. And I can see myself still changing things if it ever gets published. I can't stop myself!

  3. This kind of thought and angst over your work shows what a true artist and committed writer you are. Brava.

    Doubt sucks, and I hope something persuades you to keep at it and find what's good about the piece.

    Good luck!

  4. I agree with the other comments. Be brave and let it go. Move on with something else and let that inspire you, instead of the other that is currently stressing you out. Just sayin.

  5. I think that every author through every step of their journey-- even when they are #1 New York Times best sellers, all wish they could change their books. I don't think we'll ever be totally happy with them.

    It sounds like you have edited and revised and done with your story everything that needs to be done. You aren't going into this blind. It sounds like you have thought through every single bit of this and know exactly the range of things that could be expected.

    When you get to that point, it's time to just let go and do it! I think you're right where you need to be!

  6. Ack! That is stressful. It sounds to me like the novel is ready to go and you just have to take the plunge. The worst that can happen is it won't do very well and you learn from it. But, if your critique partners have all been over it and you've polished it, it sounds like it stands a pretty great chance of doing well.

    Maybe you could give yourself a set time to freak out and doubt yourself. A day or two. Go crazy. Rant and rave. Gorge on fudge brownie ice cream or something. And then, at the end of that day or two, hit "yes" and publish the darn thing. :D