Friday, May 1, 2009

Beyond Mediocrity (hopefully)

So, I've got a decent start on one of my new WIP...okay, so I did some outlining and wrote the first chapter, but it was like pulling teeth trying to get it written. It would have been so much easier to just work on the sequel to the book I just finished, but I'm not writing that unless someone wants it (and book one wraps up neatly as a stand-alone). I distracted myself by doing some writing on 2 other MS, but it's time to put the nose to the grindstone and fully commit to this story.

And now, I feel like I officially suck. Perhaps I'm being a bit hard on myself, since this is really only the first time I've tried to transition from one story to another, but it's still the way I feel. This line of work sure isn't for sissies, is it?

If I hadn't read a post about this very same thing, I might feel worse, but I figure if Shannon Hale feels this way, then I'm in good company. I'm sure I could find the exact link if I weren't so lazy, but I'll paraphrase what she said. It doesn't matter how many books you've published, or if you've won the Newbery prize; every time you embark on a new journey with a new story, you're going to think you suck. And it just might be true! But that's okay, because you can always go back and rewrite until you get it right. You need to give yourself permission to suck.

When I started writing my novel last year, that was my mantra. After all, I wasn't sure if I'd be able to pull off an entire novel (I mean, I suspected that I could or I wouldn't have begun in the first place). But then as time went on, and the MS became more polished, access to the suckiness was denied and it was time to have the MS ready to submit. I guess what I'm saying is, that it's hard to let myself suck again. I don't want to suck. I know, who does, right? :)

So, what keeps me from going off the deep end? What makes my self-esteem bounce right back up when it takes a hit? In a word, gratitude. I have a great deal of faith, and that gives me hope for the best possible outcome in every situation. No matter what happens, I am always thankful. Am I grateful to suck? No, but I'm grateful to be able to learn how to not suck. :)

I read a quote somewhere that really struck a chord. "If you don't risk mediocrity, you'll never achieve greatness."

Here's to taking risks, and the quest for greatness - while maintaining an attitude of gratitude.


1 comment:

MeganRebekah said...

I love that you labeled this under 'Sucking', literally made me laugh out loud!

I think we all feel this way as we write. There are moments where everything falls into place and we just know that we wrote the next bestseller. The next morning we read through it again and mentally slap ourselves for writing something so stupid.

Good luck though on the new WIP!