Wednesday, September 5, 2012

How Is A Raven Like A Writing Desk (An IWSG Post)

The Insecure Writer's Support Group is the brainchild of blogger extraordinaire, Alex J. Cavanaugh.  Click on the picture to the left in order to find out more about this group or see a list of all participants.  And in the event that clicking on that picture doesn't take you anywhere, click HERE.

So, here's the thing.  I've got nothing.  I've been sitting here in front of this computer for a couple of hours now, trying to hash out an IWSG post that makes a little sense and has some semblance of a point.  And it's just not coming.

I've tried writing about my failing quest to write a back of the book blurb.  That looks like this:

Hey, buy this book.  It'll make you cool.  You do want to be cool, don't you?

But I already know it needs work.  Peer pressure should be more subtle, don't you think? 

Then I tried writing about this whole waiting thing I'm doing while my manuscript's with the copy editor but even that fizzled out.  Here's the condensed version:  I'm only good at waiting when it comes to midnight Harry Potter movie releases.  But isn't that every writer?  Maybe not the Harry Potter part but waiting's hard and we all have to suck it up and do it.  And I am doing just that.  Really.  Even if, in this moment (or any other moment), it doesn't seem like it.

What I think is happening here is more of the same.  I am getting close to running out of excuses to not publish my book and I am freaking out about it.  I don't know how all of you do it.  How you just so calmly publish your novels with grace and ease.  And I know it's not easy but damn, you make it look easy.  Seriously, kudos to you, all of you.  I am in awe.  I am not worthy.

Because I am freaking out.

And I can't even articulate it well.

I'll try to do better the next time.  Until then, happy writing all.  I'm off to go to some yoga.  Or maybe just hit myself in the head with a baseball bat.


65 comments:

  1. I freak out about my writing as well. I waited for years and years before I finally sent in one of my stories. My writing mentor told me "at some point you just have to push away from the shore. Publishing is hard work, it will always keep you on edge, but it is all worth it." You will find the courage to publish, I know you will. And it will be awesome!

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    1. "It will always keep you on edge"... I really agree with that. And I haven't even done it yet. Thanks for the kind words.

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  2. I think you won't really be able to chill out about it until you've done it. No matter how it turns out you'll have done it and have a better handle on what to expect. No real way around that.

    mood
    Moody Writing

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    1. I really can't imagine I'll be able to chill out after I've done it either, but it's certainly a nice thought. =)

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  3. Freaking out is only natural, it just shows how much you care :) Stay away from the baseball bat though. That will only give you a headache :)


    Siv Maria's blog, Been there, done that...

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    1. Yes, yoga would be smarter, healthier choice, wouldn't it?

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  4. Oh, I don't think it's ever as easy as people make it seem! I was genuinely terrified about releasing Game On, but I realised that until I took the step, I'd never know if I was any good. Most of the time, I'm still not sure. But, the relief once it's out there is amazing, and when those great reviews start pouring in, you'll be glad you did it!

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  5. First, put a helmet on before hitting yourself with a bat. Unless you intend to hit yourself in the foot, then make sure you have steel-toe boots on.

    I think everyone is terrified the first time they publish. It's only natural because once it's out there, it belongs to everyone, in a sense. But being a little freaked out is okay, just as long as it's not crippling. Very few people on this planet can say they've written a novel and fewer have published. Just get it out there MJ. You'll be glad you did. (:

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  6. We freak out quietly, that's how!
    I like your back cover blurb. Maybe shorten it a little to "Just buy this damn book!"

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    1. Hmmm. I like it. Short, sweet, to the point. That just may be the most perfect blurb ever.

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  7. I'm not at the point where anything I have is ready to be self-pubbed - I freak out enough just subbing my pages for a conference crit! So, yeah, I hear you. :)

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    1. You should've seen me trying to read a scene in my writer's group yesterday. I was shaking so badly, I probably registered on a Richter scale somewhere.

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  8. Haha, yes I think I will have a total freak out session when I finally get to that stage. Ack! The thought does sort of make the stomach contents rise, doesn't it. But you gotta do it so we can buy the damn book. :)

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    1. Oh, I'll do it. Probably. I know I'll do it. Maybe. I'll just be a nervous wreck before, during and after. Definitely.

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  9. Start the next book while you're waiting. Get writing, woman!

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    1. I have started the next one. The first 300 pages are done. It's the chapters that come after that that are messed up.

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  10. I don't know if anyone publishes books with grace and ease. I know I don't. LOL!! It's a lot of hard work, sweat, tears AND excitement. It's a crazy journey. Keep at it. : )

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    1. Excitement? There's excitement? Oh good. Can't wait to hit that part.

      Thanks for the like on Facebook, by the way. It's much appreciated.

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  11. I hate waiting too. I've learned I'm a stress eater. :) Grace and ease? What does that mean, exactly? Good post!

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    1. I've done the stress eating thing before and I'm a little surprised that I'm not doing it now but my stomach is just not interested in food of any kind.

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  12. For me, it was so much work getting everything together that I didn't have time to freak out. For me, it's the trying to get people to buy the book while still trying to write other books that causes me to freak out.

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    1. I already know I'm going to be an epic marketing failure. So while knowing I need to do it is in the back of my mind, it doesn't worry me. You know, if that make sense.

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    2. It does. But wait until after when you start obsessing about it. I think everyone goes through that for a few weeks, at least, because you'll have some immediate sales and then they'll stop, and, well... yeah...

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    3. What makes you think I'll start obsessing about it? Oh wait. That's right. I'm me and obsessing is what I do. =)

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    4. LOL
      Well, I was just saying that because everyone obsesses about it at some point, even people like me that don't much obsess. But you... well...
      oh, man...

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    5. I know, right? That's the kind of thing that has people scrambling to their bomb shelters. =)

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    6. Oh, dude! I need to build one of those!
      >goes off to find a shovel<

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  13. I spend a lot of time freaking out and such, but it's not worth it if you can find something else to occupy your mind.

    *hugs*

    I think you actually did articulate the freaking out rather well. Good job! And I suggest kick-boxing or something involving hitting things that aren't your head (because, sweetie, you need that to come up with your stories)

    The first time I saw someone ask the question "How is a raven like a writing desk?" I scoured the internet for the answer and was quite disappointed. Now I feel like I'm on the "in" in a secret club of cool people. lol

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    1. Oooh. Kickboxing sounds like a great idea. I think the local gym offers classes. And when I end up breaking something (because that's just the kind of spaz I am), it'll totally take my mind off this whole publishing thing. =)

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  14. I totally get the freak out, but here's the thing. You HAVE to publish your novel because there are some of us out here who are dying to read it. So when you freak out, think of us! :)

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  15. I really like the blurb you have above. If nothing else, I'd have to read the first few pages of you book just to see what it is. So, yes, please get it out there for all of us reader!! :)

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    1. Hmmm. Maybe there is something to peer pressure after all...

      =)

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  16. Are you kidding? Grace and ease. It may look easy, but it surely isn't. Sometimes we just need to bite the bullet and do what we fear anyway. If you care at all about someone else reading your words, you will publish. For me, that was the question. Didn't want my book to languish in a drawer after all my hard work. Keeping fingers crossed for you.
    karen

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    1. I admire the making it look easy part. I guess they all freak out in the privacy of their own homes and not on the internet. =)

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  17. I don't think anybody finds it easy, so you are not alone! Waiting is hard. Good luck :)

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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  18. I love that blurb! And I love the phrase 'running out of excuses not to publish'!

    I think publishing, especially indie publishing, is like being a swan gliding across water - beneath the surface all hell is breaking out, but all you see is the smooth ride.

    I'm not sure I can offer any good advice, having not been through that process, but I wish you swan-ness :-)

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  19. You aren't suggesting that we aren't supposed to be 'freakin' freaking out, are you?

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    1. I think I'm suggesting that if other people are freaking out, they hide it much better than me. Of course, had I just not blogged about this today, I would've hidden it too.

      Live and learn...

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  20. It sounds very exciting though! I have yet to move beyond the many printed pieces of paper attached to a clipboard with a red pen!

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  21. Hey MJ, we are definitely not calm cool and collected out here! We feel your pain! It goes with the business! Just grit your teeth smile and keep going, when you get to the end you can relax your shoulders and breathe!

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    1. Always nice to hear I'm not alone. =) Thanks for stopping by.

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  22. I think most people just keep the freaking out to themselves. Not sure which is healthier, though.

    Try to imagine yourself on the other side. It's all done. There's nothing left to freak out about. (Yeah, I know, there will be, but pretend for a moment, K?)

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    1. I'm getting that impression. I'll keep the next freak out (which will probably happen in about twenty minutes...) to myself and see what happens. =)

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  23. You articulated it perfectly, MJ. I'm in awe of YOU. I really am. I'm decades, it seems, from being at a point of being able to wait on an editor. But you are there. I know that doesn't ease things for you, but, while you admire others, you are admired by others (e.g., me).

    Keep faith!
    xoRobyn

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    1. That is really sweet of you to say. I appreciate you stopping by.

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  24. I'm three months away from my deadline (the latest one!!!) of sending to an editor... so I hear your freaks, but We. Can. Do. It. (as Morgan would say :)

    Yes you can, I swear :)

    (I just looked in the mirror and said the same to myself :)

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    1. You can hear me freaking out all the way in Hawaii? Man, I have got to tone it down...

      Yes, we can. And yes, we will.

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  25. Book blurbs can be really tough. I have a formula I usually use and then polish it a hundred times.

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    1. I'm thinking about cannibalizing/playing Frankenstein with some past synopsis drafts. There's got to be something in there that'll work.

      Or maybe I could write it in haiku form.

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  26. a way to start that blurb is to use that snark we all love, or the voice of your mc. how does she view the story? the voice helps draw the reader in =)
    2 cents =)

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    1. Two comments ago, I thought I'd try haiku form. Ooooh. Or maybe a limerick!

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  27. M.J.,
    I totally understand! All of these amazing bloggers, posting daily, publishing, writing consistently. I'm in awe, I'm humbled, and I'm really, really angry at myself!! What we must remember is that as long as we keep trying, as long as we keep writing and editing and querying, we are on the right track! The worst thing any of us could do is stop!

    Best of luck to you in getting your novel published! It will happen if you work hard and are patient (and I know the hard work is waay easier than the patient part!)

    Cheers,
    Jen

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  28. I'm sure you'll do great. It's hard to put our 'babies' out there, but whats the alternative... sit in a dark corner? No they need to be out there and shine. :)

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  29. There's no grace and ease in this corner. My directionless flailing on the path of becoming published has only just recently gained momentum. If I were more organized and less of a chicken, the book would be out already.

    Enjoy the Yoga. I don't recommend the baseball bat :-)

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  30. Love your humor! Thanks for the chuckle :) It's funny because I'm SO there with you on this one! Nice to meet you- from the ISWG

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  31. You have a great sense of humor! If you use humor to write your blurb, your books should fly off of the shelf.

    (late posting from an (IWSG)

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