Tuesday, June 15, 2010

I Have a Confession To Make....

I haven't been writing.

The last time I did any sort of writing was for the interview I did with Liz.

I've been avoiding writing because my self-confidence in my ability to write tanked completely.

Why? Why not?

I have 40 or so rejections from agents on my manuscript in my inbox, I've revised my manuscript til I'm bleary-eyed, yet having stepped away from it for a while, and having submitted it to other authors in a writer's critique group, then re-visiting it, I now know it needs still another major revision. And I've had that stupid nasty little mean voice in my head saying "Who are you to think you can really do this?" It seems that somewhere along the way, I let that voice take over and get to me.

Writing is hard. It's isolating. It requires focus and the ability to block out life's intrusions. There's no guarantee when you start something, that you will actually get to an end that makes sense and that works. And in the end, whenever you are done what you've been writing, there's no guarantee that anyone else will give a hoot about, or like what you've written. If you're writing just for yourself it doesn't matter so much. If you're trying to find an audience, then the next step is so sell yourself.

And that's even harder than the actual writing.

Imagine going door-to-door trying to sell something. After 40 door slams you might be thinking that it would be wise to find yourself another product to sell. And if you've spent months, or years, of love and dedication developing that product, making it the best you can, you start questioning your own sanity.

I've been questioning this journey that I've taken. And after a near breakdown (it's alright, I always survive my near breakdowns even though they are very ugly looking) I was doing the "Hello Universe!!!? What am I supposed to be doing with my life??!! Do I give this up? Is this stupid and useless and a really dumb idea? Do I need to find some other method of connecting with people, of finding purpose??!!!" Because I live my live always trying to find meaning, contributing in some way that is positive, trying to make a difference. That's just me, it's how I roll.

And so today I went to Google employment resources, thinking that on top of my private practice I might find another form of work to make me feel like a valid human being. Only Google refused to let me access anything. My screen just kept a big blank twirling around until I got so frustrated I walked away. Then I called my parents because I haven't called them in a while. I'm a bad kid sometimes. Sorry folks.

Now, I told my parents about this blog when I started it almost a year ago, but they forgot about it. Totally. Something must have happened, I dunno, maybe Dad found me by mistake on a Google search, but anyhow, apparently they recently found my blog, and started reading it. Dad started reading, then told mom to start reading. And tonight, when I was talking to mom, out of nowhere she tells me I have a gift for writing, and that she hopes I'm going to continue doing it. She kept telling me all this stuff about my writing, and how much she liked it. And dad was excited too and he gave me suggestions of things I might try. And then they argued, cause that's what they do, but that's why I love them.

Apparently the universe has spoken to me. I straight out asked it what I was supposed to be doing with my life earlier today while I paused to watch my dog Kita poop. It was one of those, "Oh, you think you have a big crap? Well my life is bigger crap than yours right now girl, and uh, hey Universe, tell me what I should be doing cause I have no clue."

Thanks mom. I love you. Thanks dad. I love you too. Funny how things work out. Thanks for giving me a kick in the right direction just when I needed it. Happy Mother's Day. Happy Father's Day. There. I've just sent you a card on the World Wide Web.

And P.S. Anything I write will always have those interesting universal synchronisities contained within it. Cause that's just how my life works. :)


Watery Tart said...

Lisa--NEVER give up! I think our early works maybe need a little time and space--I think you have a beautiful (writing) voice and will have several books that sell... it may or may not be THIS book, and I happen to think the best way to grow less attached to THIS book--so you can come back and give it an honest assessment, is to write ANOTHER book (maybe 3 or 4 more books).

I am at that point with my first manuscript right now (37 rejections)--I still love the story, but I've now written a couple more (4 more) and feel like I can see better WHY it wasn't getting takers--I know what to do. It's HARD to have five finished books and be back to 'nothing ready for publication' but I can look at the collection, figure out the most promising, hammer out THAT ONE just right and sell IT--and with my then greater skill, come back to ANOTHER.

We're in a marathon and it's hard not to believe the people from the sidelines saying we don't look very promising, but perserverence in the name of the game--glad you got the message from your parents!

Watery Tart said...

So I just stumbled across this link on another blog I read and it rang so true to what you are saying, that I thought I'd share it:


Deb and Barbara said...

ABSOLUTELY relate to this. I think most writers would. You do have a gift, Lisa. Don't let it go. And remember that there is virtually no "overnight" success in the writing biz. And if/when there is, they often aren't "here to stay". Why? Because it takes resilience and fortitude and revision, revision, revision.

I've been down the rabbit hole, but I'm gonna keep friggin' write if it kills me. And, hey, we can always "write" to each other!


Barkha said...

Don't you worry....you just got my vote.
Good luck for your publication