I laid in bed last night and stared at my ceiling. I stared, and I thought. I asked myself over and over again what the hell was wrong with me. Why was it when I first started to write my book was I was full steam ahead, and now that it is finally all out in the open…I lost that steam. Like I have mentioned in previous posts, I am into the second draft. I am rewriting and editing things that were so blaring when I went back and read what looked like a sixth grader attempting to write their first book. Although, while I was writing this first draft, in my head the whole time I thought I was writing the next great masterpiece. After I read my words, I closed the document and asked my fingers, “What the actual fuck was that?”
Immediately, my Google search started to fill up with words like: my, book, sucks, and ass. I’m glad I did that because i quickly learned that pretty much everyone’s first draft sucks. So, I didn’t feel so bad. I sat my ass back down and started rewrites and editing. I started adding parts that I really felt needed to be there, took out parts I knew needed to go, and so on. Then all of a sudden about two weeks ago, I lost my steam. I lost the will to keep up with this wonderful habit I had established for myself of writing everyday. I found myself sitting down to write and then checking (and rechecking almost obsessively) Facebook, reading articles on Buzzfeed, checking Twitter, reading news apps on my phone, and looking up new videos on YouTube. Finally, after exhausting everything else to do other than write, I would decide it is time to open up Word only to realize it is 3am. I promised myself I would get up the next day and just write, nothing else but write. Maybe of course, eat and stuff, but NO other stuff. I even turned my wifi off.
But still, I found other things to do. And I didn’t know why I kept coming up with things to do. Last night, I think I figured out why.
I read a blog post a few weeks ago with someone asking what to do when they feel like they can not get any peace and privacy to write. The answer to this was basically: Get the fuck over it. People have kids, jobs, and other shit going on and they still find time to write, so get over it.
Okay, fuck you. Because everyone’s situation is different. You may be able to get in the zone with four kids, a husband, a burning down house and 25 animals running around. You may be able to be constantly stopped in the middle of what you are doing and just jump right back into the swing of things. I can not. And if that means I am not a writer, then so be it.
It has come to my attention that it feels as if the universe alerts everyone when I am finally sitting down to write. When writing my first draft, it always seemed that I could sit all day and do nothing, absolutely NOTHING but twiddle my thumbs and stare at walls and not one person or thing would bother me. But you let me open up Microsoft damn Word, and here come the phone calls, the dog needs to go out, text messages, or someone needs help. Never fails, ever. It is hard for me to ignore a phone call or a text message because I am never sure if it is my mother needing my help (my mother is disabled and 99% of the time in pain) and I would totally hate myself if she was calling for help and I missed it because I was being selfish with forcing myself to have some writing time. But even if it isn’t her, once I stop what I am doing and look at my phone to see who is contacting me, I have lost that zone I was in.
So I started to procrastinate. I procrastinated and found things to do, just waiting to make sure that everyone was okay and taken care of and not needing help before I started to write. I just wanted to know that I could put my earbuds in, turn my music up as loud as it could go without causing deafness, and write…in peace. And in doing that, I procrastinated until it was too late for me to even want to think about writing.
That is not to say that everyone else is to blame. I am to blame because I had not carved out a specific time to write and respected myself enough to stick to that time. Last night, I promised myself that starting today, I would do just that. I would carve out times to to write in my schedule, and I would respect myself and my story enough to proclaim that time for me. And if anyone finds that selfish, then too bad. Of course, if someone is on fire or something…I will help. But other than that…I’m sticking to it with no exceptions.
I know I love my story. I know I love my characters, and their stories. I just feel like I am stuck because i wonder if someone else will love them too. Or maybe there is something else I could be adding or taking away. I just have the fear that no one else will find them as lovable as I do. I guess I just need that reassurance that I am at least on the right road in the right direction.
So my solution to that is that I will be looking for beta readers for the first half of my second draft. I think that will make me feel better about what I have put down already and help me figure out the direction and path to continue moving down. I will be making a shorter post about what I am looking for in a beta reader either tonight or tomorrow.
Well, those are my conclusions and the two epiphanies I had last night before I went to sleep. I know it seemed like another post full of complaints, but I promise it wasn’t. It was a post full of conclusions and hope.
Whew, that was super duper long.