Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Perception - encouraging or misleading?

New Year's Resolution tracking:
Writing progress:  Fairly good.  In the midst of my favorite part:  random scribblings throughout the day as things come to me. 
Weight progress:  Maintaining weight loss and aiming for more...but slowly! 
Reading progress:  Still loving the many tips from "The Fire in Fiction"

I'm trying something new today...blogging at night as opposed to the morning.  My morning blogging has been conflicting with my coffee addiction and I'm not sure how much longer it can go on.  I've already left the house too late to buy myself a Starbucks treat three days last week and one day this week.  This madness cannot continue.  My awkward Starbucks guy probably thinks I'm dead or have had a serious accident.  It's up to me to assure him I'm still okay.  Here's to hoping I'll get both a tasty latte' tomorrow morning as well as some awkward conversation.

I've been thinking alot lately about how perception can sometimes be important when it comes to writing.  Every time I have a story or an idea that I can't wait to write, that's keeping me thinking at night when I go to bed and otherwise taking over my life...eventually I always end up wondering if it's just me?  Is it really good or do I just THINK it's good?  In the end, I write because it completes me and sometimes I need to get those thoughts out of my head and onto paper, but the confict of "wow this is awesome" versus "will anyone want to read it" constantly seems to plague me when I first begin a project.

Perception is excellent at motivating and encouraging.  I have no idea whether or not it's awesome and there's some magic in that.  If I think it's great then I'm going to write like it is...and that has to be a good thing.  Believing in one's self and your work has got to be positive.  I'm pretty sure no one has been motivated by thinking they are horrible at something or feeling like it was real "work".  I guess from my point of view, even if my pereception is misleading and what I'm working on is a true flop...if I get enjoyment out of writing it...does that make it a success in and of itself?  I think so. 

It's consuming me yet I'm in no way ready to talk to anyone about it.  It's tricky telling others about your current project because, well, I don't want to accidentally change it in any way, shape or form by what others may think of it.  I want to finish it the way I imagined it should be in it's entirety but I'm so thrilled about it that I feel like I want to tell everyone I know.  It can be quite maddening at times.

It often reminds me of having a child.  I am now a firm believer that every mother or father upon seeing their child for the first time honestly believes he or she is the most beautiful thing on the planet.  No matter what they truly look like, there's something about those mommy or daddy goggles that momentarily blinds us.  I look back at pictures of my son and wonder how in the world I honestly believed he was the most perfect thing I had ever seen.  He looked a little like an alien.  I'm not joking.  I had no idea.  The mommy goggles were strong.  The hubby and I joke about it all the time.  I really think he's the most precious thing ever...even now...but I occasionally wonder if he really is or if it's my "mommy goggles" tricking me again.

I feel like it's the same feeling I get (maybe not as emotional or strong but similar) when I start a new project.  I'm excited...pumped up...I know this is going to be awesome.  I love the thrill of a new idea and starting a new novel.  Those random scribbles in notepads that I try to decipher later, thinking about characters as I drive, going to sleep thinking about the storyline in my head...it's a magical time.  Obviously I am also a complete over-analyzer.  Wow. 

In other random news - I am planning on attending my first critique meeting tomorrow night.  I'm both nervous and excited.  I've been wanting to get a writing group together with some fellow friends that I trust in the hopes that maybe when I get half way through said new exciting novel I can get some honest, professional feedback.  I have heard only good things about critiquing groups so we'll see how it goes.  My job tomorrow night is just to come and listen to other's give feedback.  I hope to learn alot and possibly take what I learn to create my own group...or if I enjoy it...be brave enough to share some of my own work with this new group.  I will for sure let you all know how it goes. 

For now - bed time.  I can already see a new problem with my late night postings...no work to go to and therefore the mindless rambling begins....I can't win.

Happy Almost-Hump-Day,



  1. Critique groups are GREAT! I was scared to death at first, but now I'm in a guild, and a separate group (with some of the same people), and they are fantastic experiences. I am glad you'll just be listening in the first time (it can be overwhelming, but it will show you what to expect later when you share, which you WILL!!).

    I don't see your email address on your profile; my email is in my profile, if you wouldn't mind sending me a message. I wanted to ask you a couple things about your book!!

  2. I can't imagine letting anything get between me and my morning coffee. Not even blogging!

  3. This was a really great post, one of my favorites so far. Because it is so true. I think we will always second guess ourselves. But don't worry, you are awesome.

    I know what you are saying about writing a book. I'm scared one thing someone says will discourage me. I need to get over it. Good luck at your critique group.

  4. I've got to find one of those critique groups.

    Newborns are pretty alien looking, but my daughters were beautiful babies. I know it must be true because they all turned into beautiful women. I miss those babies, but now they're more fun to talk to and I don't have to take care of them.

  5. I usually blog at night rather than in the morning. It works for me :)

    Critique groups are wonderful!I have already received some good tips.

  6. I laughed out loud at the 'little alien' comment!!

    It's not just you. I've ideas for a dozen more books rolling around in my head. I can see & feel the characters, know the story... but most I am aware are just for my enjoyment.
    We just have to hope that the ones we choose to write will indeed appeal to others!

  7. I feel the same way about my WiP's as I did my babies. They're awesome in the beginning and then you're up late feeding and changing and you want to D-I-E.

    Good luck at crit group! They're my favorite nights of the month.

  8. Oh Kristi, I'm sure your story is going to be GREAT! But I completely understand where you're coming from, being a part of the over analyzer club myself.

    Good luck tonight! I hope to join a group soon! : )

  9. Holy cow, this is one of those blog posts that could have easily fit into my own blog! It sounds so much like me, it's eerie. I've thought everything you've mentioned here, even the bit on the alien baby. Haha! But the line that struck me the most:

    "but the confict of 'wow this is awesome' versus 'will anyone want to read it' constantly seems to plague me when I first begin a project."

    I'm so there at the beginning, all the way through, and even the end of a project. Ultimately, must try to focus on how much you love it, because the self-doubt can just about eat you alive. And what good does it do to worry if others will like it anyway? You're still going to write it, right? And, OMG, I don't like sharing my story either early on. Maybe because I worry that others will think it's stupid, or maybe because I don't want to be influenced, or (this one is awful), I worry someone will let it influence their writing (okay, yeah, that's really bad, and probably should be categorized under the overzealous, a tad vain "wow this is awesome" school of thought. hahaha!).

    But there you go. I think we're pretty much blog sisters ;)

  10. "first critique meeting tomorrow night"

    Yikes, scary. I hope you'll tell us how it goes.

  11. Coffee...ahhh, come to me my precious!

    Critique groups are the best thing a writer can do. :-)

  12. Thanks for the email Kristin...you rock! And you're the reason I thought about joining a critique group in the first place!

    Al- seriously...I don't know what I was thinking with the coffee. I'm much happier now. Although maybe I shouldn't have had that second cup so late....

    Eva - THANKS! That means alot...and for the record, right back at you...I think you're pretty awesome!

    Arlee Bird - You should definitely find one! Get out of your writing comfort zone...I'll let you know how it goes!

    Victoria - Thanks! I'm hoping to get some good tips as well..but it is very nerve-wracking sharing your work, is it not?

    Diane - glad I'm not alone on the "alien" thing...it still cracks me up.

    Elana - Thanks so much! Love your blog by the way!

    Kim - thanks for the email! You rock!

    Carol - we are TOTALLY bloggy sisters! All the way! I was going to list all the #'s I agreed with on your blog today but realized it was all of them and it would sound stupid. Great minds! HA! (even the legs crossed thing!)

    Holly - it was actually a bit scary!

    Shannon - thanks!!! I'm hoping it will be but time will tell!

    THANKS SO MUCH for all of your comments!! It makes my day reading them!