Thursday, April 10, 2008

Catharsis

Okay, I've had this growing burden for the past couple months and I just have to get it off my chest: I'm pissed at myself.  PISSED.  (And for my international readers, I mean that in the angry sense, not the drunken one.  *g*)

Why?  Mainly for completely avoiding the Firsts Workshop and missing the opportunity of a lifetime as far as being at the point where I needed exactly that kind of advice.  I dunno, maybe I just wasn't in the right "place" mentally or emotionally with the story to get as involved as I needed to be.  But I just can't accept my own excuse.  And I feel that terrible triad of shame, anger, and guilt for the shortcoming.

The guilt, I think, is largely responsible for my hesitancy to re-enter the Forum and get back into the writing world.  Visiting CompuServe and seeing all the posts from the Firsts Workshop - and all the posts referencing those posts - would be one slap in the face after another.  "See!  See what you missed out on!  See what you SHOULD have been doing?"

And of course those spin off into feeling utterly lost and adrift with regard to rewrites.  I'm growing to despise even the memory of my opening, because I know in my gut it's not "right".  And I know that in the (sub) genre I'm writing in It. Has. To. Be. Right. or an agent won't spare my story a second glance.  And I've already run through 6-7 different versions of just my first 300 words or so and I'm not satisfied with ANY of them.

So who needed an intensive firsts workshop more than anyone?  Me!  Who's paralyzed because she didn't participate?  Me!

I do of course realize that most of the people who were the instigators/major participants in said workshop happen to be my friends and [probably] reading this blog, but I'd feel crappy to ask you do to it all over again with me when I had the golden opportunity and dropped it.

There's always the sister workshop, but not everyone whose opinion I value and would have wanted participates over there.  Still, some help is better than none, I suppose.  And I'm considering doing an intensive revising workshop, but it co$ts and for all that I make decent money, we're still a single-income family on a fixed budget.  I can't justify dropping $400 here for a commissioned portrait (hence my determination to raise the money on the side) and $700 there for a writing workshop.  Especially since I work 50-55 hours a week as it is, so the "free" (ha) time available to try to earn extra cash is practically nonexistent.  My big moneymaker research study fell through, and spending 4 precious hours a week donating plasma for a spare $45 or so will take for-ev-er.  I'm running out of options.

But I do feel better at least publicly owning up to my mistake of not participating and acknowledging the trickle-down effect it's having on my writing.

And I actually did venture on to the Forum this evening.  I skimmed some threads and looked for something to catch my interest but I think I need to reconnect with my characters before I can get back to actively writing.  I let them go off on a honeymoon of sorts, after finally getting their HEA, and I need them back fresh and vibrant in my head.  If Jas ever has enough time to get back to his commissions, I think the portrait will go a long way in that regard.  Until then, I've got my "soundtrack" playing - I swear, this music is inextricably linked with the book now, since it was on a continuous loop my last few intense days of writing - and I'm visualizing the characters and just trying to get back into the "zone".

The silver lining in all of this is that I finally feel motivated to do something, anything, to move forward on this book again.  My other "distractions" are much less of a temptation to me even tonight than they were this afternoon at work.  Just don't anyone send me Flair on Facebook; that stuff is addictive and time-consuming.  *w*

3 comments:

Aerin said...

I'm not sure I'm coherent enough to make a reply, except for the vague - I totally, really understand how you feel. All the way down to the addictive flair.

All I can think is - admitting it is the first step, right? So you're well on your way!

Precie said...

Jenny--Try not to let the "what ifs" about the Firsts Workshops get to you. Yes, there was some great information exchanged, but there were a few speedbumps too.

Personally, I burned out halfway through...I think I stopped after First Page. Reading and commenting on so many other varied works while trying to absorb my own feedback from others taxed me mentally.

The First Five Pages and the First Chapter were so big and required more of a time/attention commitment than I had in me. Sounds like you really would have been strapped for time too.

And...as great as my experience was in the workshops I did, I don't think it was so pleasant for others. So I sometimes found myself stressed out by the trials and differing perspectives regarding other people's openings.

So what I'm saying is...there are always other opportunities for feedback and rewrites. (I soooo want to do Barbara's Next Level Workshop next year. Have to start saving my $ this year!) Don't beat yourself up over this. Ever forward!!

Deniz Bevan said...

If you post on the sister forum I'll read ya! I've got three more crits to do there before I can post one last piece and, like you, I need some bloody motivation to get sunk into rewriting *soon*! And cleaning up a chapter or two for posting is as good a motivation as any. Missed you this past month! :-)