#ContactForm1 { display: none ! important; }

Sunday, February 6, 2011

But, I can't because...

Some time ago I posted about characters, talents, and developing talents outside writing. One I vowed to develop, and instantly ran from in terror, was artistic skill.

I can write.

My hand writing is legible. I can type accurately. I can actually convey a message through the printed word. I may not be widely read outside of this blog and Twitter, but I can use the written word effectively.

Now, if you tell me my life depends on accurately drawing something, we're in trouble. I can probably draw the chemical symbol for water. And only then because that skill requires stringing letters together with dashes. Em dashes are the entire reason I passed organic chemistry (wait for it.... there's a joke there... try to laugh).

But real art? That's harder.


I don't know.

Why do edits scare me?

Why have I been staring at the last 1/3 of my novel in terror for weeks?

Why do I make excuses?

Does this sound familiar?
I'm going to write a novel, but I can't, because....
...I don't have the time.
... writing is hard.
... my genre isn't selling.
... I can't think of a plot.
... my friend read my first chapter and told me I'm horrible.
... I'll never be as good as Big Name Author!

Oh, the excuses.

There's always a reason to not work on the chapter, not edit the scene, not write the query letter, and not send that e-mail.

You know what the people who make those excuses are called?

Not Authors.

Maybe we call them readers, or illiterates, or dead, but the simple fact is they aren't authors.

The writers are the ones in the trenches beating the excuses to death and getting through the hard parts.

I'll admit, this week was bad for me. I spent hours line-editing to fix a twist because I'd written myself into an unintentional dead-end. The pacing was dead. My characters were going no where. A change of direction for the subplot is the only solution I could find.

At the end of the week I finished with a negative word count. All that work and nothing to show for it but a few minor word changes and a lot of missing chapters.

Granted, the word change was from a dead pig found in the house to a dead body, so the emotional omph! is back. But still... I closed the book on my writing week feeling like a failure.

This emotional quagmire is where excuses breed like mosquitoes. Buzzing in your ear. Whispering reasons to quit. Reinforcing the idea that you will never be good enough.

When Monday rolls around I have a decision to make: Do I go back to the trenches and keep chipping away, or do I make an excuse and let another twenty-four hours slide by?

I'm working on editing chapters 19-24 so I can get back to writing. Chapters 23 and 24 may die execution style. I haven't decided yet. I like to think I can salvage something there, but chapter 23 is where I was sidetracked and the pacing died so horribly in November that I took a month off of writing, so maybe not.

All right, all right, some body hand me a cookie and I'll get back to editing.
- Liana >.<


  1. Ouch, ending up with a negative word count has got to be one of the worst feelings in the world. I'm about to enjoy some of that pain. In my second draft I'm dropping one of my Point of View characters which will take out a good FOURTH of the novel.

  2. Hey Liana? Now that you've gotten all that out of your system?

    Get back to work. ;-)

  3. Dldzioba - Ouch! I hope the character drop is for a good cause.

    Jamie - Yes, ma'am. *sobs and east a cookie*

  4. *applauds* Yay! Now, if only I could find some of your motivation for myself.... *nose wrinkle*