Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Back home and a writing update!




Hello everyone! I am back from a lovely vacation! I actually didn't write as much as I wanted, however, I did outline quite a bit so I am pleased with that. As I have said before, this is my COMPLETE rewrite. I have only edited and rewrote pieces of CUTLASS since I was a Freshman in High School (and we all know I just graduate college). This was a huge step for me and I cried bitter tears. BITTER. I almost destroyed everything I wrote on the other story. I got as far as piling it up on the floor. I also change my Facebook to saying I wasn't a writer anymore. I basically didn't want a part of anything involving my writing because I felt so defeated.

I am sharing this with you because this was the lowest I have ever felt about my writing. There have been times when I wasn't sure about my writing, but I kept on going and never seriously considered giving up, but this feeling was different. I was both broken and lost. It came at a time when I was graduating and realized I had a degree in English Writing that I didn't know what to do with because I obviously wasn't ready for publication. That was a very hard realization, and since it has been my ONLY goal for a career for about nine years, what was I going to do?

Then, I'm not sure what happened. I exchanged a few e-mails with the wonderful and amazing Barbara Kloss and I began thinking about everything in my book and the things I had wanted to change for a long time. Before, I didn't now how...before it wasn't possible because CUTLASS in its old phase was a book I had written when I was younger, when I had less education...I was a different person. I needed this rewrite because I needed to fall in love with my story and with my characters again.

I like to believe that everything happens for a reason. One day I was reading through blogs and came to Barbara's blog and she has just posted that if we would like to read her book Gaia's Secret, she would give us a code and we could get the book for free. I read the book in about a day or two...(I couldn't live a normal life until it was finished, actually). Then I tweeted and e-mailed her about how amazing it was. Without her, I'm not sure I would have rewritten my book.

I'm 150 pages in...my goal had been to be at 200, but being in Peru and getting used to another creative space takes some time, so I wasn't able to write like I wanted. I'm very excited about where my book is going...but things feel different. Before I was focused on the end result of my novel...the agents, the publication...now I'm focused on the novel. I haven't even thought about agents yet or the grueling process of writing that query letter (which I STRUGGLE with so much, and so often asked for critiques on my blog), but I don't dread it...I just want to be a great writer.

I hope all of you have people around you to encourage you and keep you going like I do. All of my bloggers, friends, and my boyfriend help me so much. I stay motivated even when I feel lost and sad. 

14 comments:

  1. I have been there. I even deleted my blog once becasue I felt so worthless. But then I realized I couldn't give up. There was nothing I wanted more and writing has brought me so much joy even if I never get published. I'm so glad to hear that you found your voice again. Keep loving what you do and someday you'll get there!

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  2. Wow, Peru!

    I think many (most?) artists go through low points like you described. Not to minimize it at all, but just to understand that many who create art, music, fiction etc struggle with their ability and what they want to accomplish, and if anyone else will ever care. Personally, I think it's a mark of a good writer. If you didn't question your ability then you probably would be immune to the necessary criticism it takes to refine a novel. I think you're on your way.

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  3. You're rewriting the whole thing?! Wow, big undertaking. Good for you! I'm glad you're all excited about it again. :) That's sad that you reached such a low first though. I think you're a wonderful writer. I've really enjoyed what I've read of your ms. Good luck with the rewrite. I look forward to hearing more news. :)

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  4. Never give up. If you love it...keep working at it!

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  5. Glad to hear you had a fun vacation at least! Don't worry about the writing slump--we all go through it, and guess what, you'll come out of it even stronger. So keep on writing, keep on hoping.

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  6. Keep going! We all feel that "What the heck am I thinking" side, and just kick it in the teeth, and go back to writing. Every day, every minute we write, we get that much better. Also, we learn that much more, so the next time it all comes easier. You can do it!

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  7. That is a great story Ashley! Way to keep going girl!

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  8. Machu Picchu is incredible! I want to go so much, you have no idea.

    As for the writing, it just isn't worth doing if it isn't for love. Even Neil Gaiman says (that should be an internet MEME) he's only ever regretted the work he did just for the money (and he said he usually didn't get paid). Which means, you're one step closer to enlightenment, and one step is closer than me. I've already accepted that I am way too immature to reach true enlightenment... Just ask me about my favorite moodra.

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  9. What a wonderful vacation you have had, never been to Peru but your account made me feel I know it very well.

    Yvonne.

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  10. I love your attitude transition in the third paragraph! I think we've all found ourselves in that same dark place at one point or another, and I'm so glad you powered through. I would be totally sad if I didn't get to meet your characters one day! ;)

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  11. Wow, your vacation would have been amaaaaaaaaaazing. A lot of my family has been there, but not me. Someday!!

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  12. What a fantastic vacation!! I'd love to hop on a plane and visit Peru. So much there. What a great opportunity you had. Maybe all worked out for the best with your book. You're back to basics and enjoying what the older you has to offer. Your book will be richer for the depth you're adding. Write on, girl!

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  13. I'm glad you had a great time in Peru! Well you have family and friends to support you. You are a great writer. -Jennifer Chezem

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  14. Hi! Just found your blog :)

    I have a novel stuck in a drawer somewhere that I would looove to rewrite. But every time I pick it up, it seems so daunting because, like you said, I'm a different person now than when I wrote it. You're brave for taking on that rewrite!

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