Major Encouragement, Minor Meltdown

Okay, I’d like to start by saying that I am thrilled, delighted and a little amazed at the response to my excerpt in my last post. I mean, wow.  Thank you to everyone who took the time to comment or even like the post. You gave this writer the heart to write until very late into the night last night, fuelled by compliments and a renewed belief that maybe I’ve got at least some of what it takes to really do this. WP really does have an awesome community.

In other news, I’ve hit another milestone with the first draft of The Nine, which is great. What milestone? 40k.  Yup, after writing 2,609 words on Friday, and 5,327 yesterday (personal best for this draft thus far), I found myself at a very satisfactory 40,442 words total.  Not bad for 12 days, but still quite a way to go.

I’m still not quite halfway through the outline, but the action is picking up nicely.  I love a good scene where a main character gets attacked.  Always useful for getting this writer’s blood pumping.  I’m not sure the characters agree that it’s a good thing, but they rarely get a choice in the matter. From here on, things start moving toward warp speed.  Things are going to get complicated for Fay and Tavis, and for me at times, but I’m feeling good about it, so it doesn’t worry me.  I’m trying to let go of the length thing and this morning at least, I’m mostly succeeding.

I’ve gotten the rest of the feedback in for Bound, and it was something interesting that requires thinking about and pushes me to want to go back and reread a couple of sections so I can think more clearly about them.  Aw, hell, I’ll just admit it, this makes me really want to sit down and do another editing pass with Bound.  I’m going to restrain myself or I’ll lose the thread of where I am with The Nine and what I need to do in that book.  Probably. Almost certainly, knowing me, despite the relatively detailed outline I’m working with.  What can I say, I am:

I discovered though that there can be a downside to writing until sometime after midnight.  When something drops in my email box, I’m not always at my best for dealing with it at that hour.  Case in point last night.  The deadline for the quarter on that contest I entered my short story in was midnight last night (March 31st after all), and their system auto-emailed me an invitation to the achievement awards ceremony they’re having in LA in April.  As I have no car and don’t live anywhere near there, I won’t be going, but it was a pretty invite.  So, where’s the problem, I hear you asking?  The problem was near the top of the invitation.  They had a list of all the judges for this contest.  There’s a lot of them, and I won’t be replicating that list here, but needless to say, there are a lot of writers on that list I respect the hell out of and I felt a wee bit intimidated.  Um, okay, I swore a long time ago that I’d always be honest with myself here, so let’s try that again.  I flipping panicked.  Flashing in neon, the thought ran through my mind, “But these are really good writers, they won’t pick my story, they won’t see it as awesome, omg what have I done.”  Repeat.  For about ten minutes.  Solid.  I had already started writing this entry before that email arrived, so this nearly got taken over by that.  Instead, I did the smart thing.  I went to bed.  I woke up.  It doesn’t seem so bad, and while the list is still a little intimidating, no panicking was done when I looked at it this morning, and I still haven’t drunk my coffee yet (it’s next to me, don’t worry).

The experience made me think though that it’s probably best for everyone, including my heart and brain, that I’m planning the self-published ebook route.  If I get this worked up over waiting for the contest to close and a simple automatic email, I am, perhaps, not mentally suited for the rigours of submitting to agents and editors, begging for their attention.  😮 At least I’m being honest with myself here.

So, as it’s still raining here (In Vancouver? In Spring? Such a shock!), I’m going to stay home and write all day again.  Don’t anyone choke laughing at that statement of the blindingly obvious. Still lots to do and it keeps me focused and moving forward. I will resist the urge to edit, at least for now.

And, last but not least, today’s picture.  As usual, I have no idea what kind of flower this is and only the vaguest recollection of shooting this one, but that never seems to bother me. I like the shapes and colours.

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About Julie

I'm a writer and photographer. I always have something with me to take notes for ideas or writing projects I'm thinking about or have on the go. I also like to go around with my camera and take pictures of anything that strikes me as beautiful or evocative. I'm perpetually working on one story or another, while waiting for enough distance to judge the last one (or more). I'm always working on several projects at once, developing the next book, even as I'm editing the last. Beyond that, there's always plenty of scraps and twists of ideas rolling around in my head, eventually turning themselves into full blown stories.
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15 Responses to Major Encouragement, Minor Meltdown

  1. Ottabelle says:

    I’m proud of you, for going to sleep and not obsessing. I’m also proud you realize your limitations and aren’t going to place yourself in a situation that could be dangerous to your mental health. Good job all around!

    • Julie says:

      I have mental health? You know, someone should have told me that. 😀

      In all seriousness, that isn’t the big reason I want to do the whole self-pub thing, but it does tell me that this is probably the right path for me. Then again, this might also be a result of the fact that I haven’t submitted ANYTHING for publication for… well, let’s just leave it at a long time. I don’t want to count the years. It’s bad enough that I have a birthday coming up to make me feel old. :p

  2. Israel says:

    I always love the pictures you put up, very peaceful. 🙂

  3. I always laugh (or shake my head) when I see those quotes about not letting the sun go down on a bad thought / mood etc cos there are times when laying down, closing one’s eyes and ignoring the world is exceptionally wise.

    All my life I’ve been a “sleeper” when the going gets tough I just crawl into bed and pretend it’s not happening then when I wake, once sufficient caffeination has taken place – I have a hack at dealing with it .. whatever IT may be ..

    So well done you, for not freaking out alllll night .. a little freak out was completely justifiable I think. (And we all look fwd to hearing the outcome of this competition!) 🙂

    • Julie says:

      Yeah, sometimes you’re just not able to deal with something at the time and it’s wiser to know when you’re likely to make a bad decision. That was last night at 12:30 am for me.

      As for the results of the competition, I still think it’ll be a big fat rejection, but there are a lot of reasons for that, most of which aren’t within my control, so I’m not going to worry about it. There is a small part in the back of my mind high on the dreamy dream of winning, it just doesn’t get very loud. It clearly needs to party harder. 🙂

  4. 4amWriter says:

    I don’t blame you for freaking out. I think the whole process of submitting your work to people who have already ‘been there, done that’ is intimidating. We have to decide as we go along what we can handle, and it sounds like you know yourself well enough to just take it easy right now. You calmed yourself down (by going to bed) and the next day, with a fresher mind and spirit, it didn’t seem so bad. I think that’s how it works, though. Even well-known authors get freaked out. Remind yourself you are in good company, it’s reasonable to feel intimidated, and you’re doing this because you love it.

    Pretty flower!

    • Julie says:

      Thanks Kate. I know you’re right and I am a little proud of keeping the actual freak out to myself. And there is some comfort knowing that famous authors do things like that. I’ve been through that on the subject of first drafts with a couple of authors, including one of my favourites. It’s heartening to know that they suffer from “this is crap” moments on first drafts too, because it means that a) I’m doing this right, and b) if they can get through that to write the books that I read from them, then I can do it too. Except they’ll be my books 😀

  5. Yikes . . . I’ll have to check out your previous post and read that excerpt!

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