So I did something brave this weekend, something that was so nerve-wracking to me that it actually made me a little sick to my stomach.
I shared two of my WIP’s with someone, my mentor in my writer’s group actually. The only other person I have shared my projects with is my friend Stephanie. We’ve known each other for years and know just about everything about each other, so I have nothing to hide from her. It still made me sick to give her my partial manuscripts. So, imagine the nerves I had when sending the two files to a published author who also happens to be an editor at a publishing company.
It all started because I was lamenting on Twitter about not knowing how teenage boys interact. My mentor happens to have two teenage sons so the conversation went from there.
I’ve been really stuck the past month or so (maybe longer) for a number of reasons. Some of which I’m just now figuring out, some I still don’t know. So, my mentor offered to read my current project and after talking about it a little bit, the other project as well. The two stories have quite a few things in common. I started the first one and really liked some of the aspects of it, but didn’t know where it was going. When I started the second one, I had a fully fleshed out idea that was plotted (at least loosely) for a four book series. I ended up incorporating some of the characters from the first into the second.
But now, I can’t seem to make progress on the first of the series I have plotted out. I sit and stare at the screen with no idea, or no desire, to further the story. I don’t know if I’m just stuck in a part of the story that I don’t like or if I don’t like the entire story anymore.
I don’t think that’s true though.
When I think about the story in the abstract, I’m still excited about it. I like the IDEA of it, I’m just struggling with getting it out on paper, or the screen as the case may be. I end up with these huge blocks of time in which I could do nothing but write, but I don’t. I find anything to do instead, or nothing to do and just ignore my computer.
I’ve come up with all kinds of excuses. After looking at a computer all day at work I don’t want to when I get home (yet I spend the evening messing around on my iPad). I hate to ignore my husband (true, but he understands and doesn’t mind). I don’t have time (flat out lie – sure I have a full time job, but I know people with a lot more going on than me who find the time to write).
So, what does all of this have to do with being brave? By sharing my projects with someone else, I have to accept what is wrong with them (in the form of feedback) and acknowledge that I need to get moving on making progress.
Part of our monthly writer’s group meeting is to celebrate who met their goals for the month. I have yet to meet my word count goal I’ve set for myself on a monthly basis. That changes this month. That’s another part of being brave, putting my goals out there and keeping track of my progress in a public way so others can see how well I’m doing (or how much I’m missing the goals, as the case may be).
Here are the goals for the January meeting on the 12th:
- - 15,000 words (I didn’t specify a project, just word count on something, not including blogs)
- - Complete four Thursday’s Children blogs
- - Post on the GRRWG blog on Dec. 15
Now I just need to buckle down and get to work. And not make myself crazy waiting for feedback from my mentor.
Here’s hoping these little acts of bravery get my back on the right track…