The Pre-NaNoWriMo Party Post & Post-Reading Freak Out

The Pre-Party & Mock Cover Pimp
First on the agenda, here are the two best (of 10) mock covers I made for my NaNoWriMo story, a supernatural/horror with a mentally defunct MC, courtesy of PicMonkey.com and DeviantArt.com. ^_^

nanocover 9 nanocover 10

The original artwork are both by this awesome artist seen here: My Solitary Ground. I was so lucky to find these. I’ve seen other writers do this on Pinterest, but I’ve never been enough for visual aids to put forth the effort. However, I came across a Pinterest page so awesome, it made a believer out of me, and I knew I had to try it. I needed to rest my wrist and brain for a couple of days anyway, so in between pages of this fantastic YA Paranormal/Horror book: SOME QUIET PLACE, I hit Google. When I saw these pictures, I was ecstatic. They are so perfect, you have no idea. The one on the left is my favorite. ^_^ (Yeah, I have a thing for that Bleeding Cowboy font, Lol!

The Freak Out
So, one of the downsides to being me, is that I do most of my reading in between writing projects. I finish a book or two, and I’m so pumped up and excited to start my next project — refueled and full of energy. But every so often, there comes along a book that is SO great, SO well-written, SO…everything, that it makes me want to Quit. Once upon a time, that book was Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. Hunger Games almost did that, too, but the content was so…not up my alley, that it ended up lighting a fire under my butt and inspiring me to stop dragging my feet like little else has, because nothing makes me want to write more than well-written books that annoy the crap out of me.

But today, the awesomefied book that has me wanting to quit is SOME QUIET PLACE by Kelsey Sutton. She’s a good 8 years younger than me. I say this because that book is fabulous. I had a couple of breakdowns while I was reading it. One because of the content. I was stressed for the MC and that brought up old stuff for me, and I was half a basket case for a couple of hours. The next breakdown was because this book is really, really good, and not only did I not write like that 8 years ago, I don’t write like this now. And I want to. So bad. It’s just so patient. And patience has never been a strong suit of mine. It’s practically non-existent.

I’m not saying everything I write is rushed, it’s not (at least not anymore). I’m just saying everything is like, so organized — it’s like I summarize things so well that scenes could always be a little longer, things could always have more substance. It’s like once I get the point across, I move on. I don’t linger. You can’t drown in it. I get pulled into some scenes I write. But I want to drown in EVERY scene.

My last story was the first time in a first draft that I’ve EVER been able to keep a character’s secret to myself until it was time for it to come out. Usually I have to cut a huge chunk out and move it further down in the book. Always. So maybe I’m getting there. Someone on the writing forums told me that I’m frustrated because I’m entering into the next level of my writing. I can only hope. I’ve just been writing so long that when I see something like this, I’m happy for her and thinking she’s great and ragingly jealous at the same time. And since this always happens between projects, I end up hating my previous project, even though, this time, I can’t think of anything I would change. I just want it to be better. I want it to be perfect. And no, SOME QUIET PLACE isn’t perfect, there’s no such thing. But it’s so good, and I know I’m not that good.

I’m just standing on this bridge with my stories tucked under my arms, looking over into the dark, turbulent depths of some angry river in the middle of the night, and I want to toss them all in. Screw them. Forever. I suck. It’s like, what am I missing? What’s wrong with me? I’ve been writing my entire life, why can’t I write like that? I feel like I’m holding a light up to my last story and it looks fine from a distance, but up close it’s just bland. I don’t understand why I keep going through this feeling of “everything I write sucks.” I don’t want to believe it, but there’s the sign, the blandness, telling me that it’s true.

I’ll get over it. I always do. In a few months, I’ll look at it and I’ll either love it because it’s great, like it because it’s good, or be horrified because it’s bad. There’s no way to know right now. I just keep looking at my word count and thinking, if only I made it 80k, it would be good. If only I had the right word, that sentence would be awesome. If only I hadn’t written it, I wouldn’t have to send it out. I wouldn’t have to get rejected. I wouldn’t fail again. Every time I fail, it’s harder to convince myself to keep going. Even if I’m not upset. Even if I’ve gone numb and feel nothing. It’s like, there’s no point. The glass has stuff in it, but it’s always empty. There’s a crack in it somewhere. All my stories, everything I’ve ever written, the best story is just a pretty glass with a crack it. It’s worthless.

I’m supposed to start a story in 5 days. I’m going to ruin it like I ruin everything else.

But each new story gives me control. It gives me hope. Maybe the next story will be better. Maybe I’ll never hate the next one. And it’s strange how all these thoughts are going through my head at the same time I’m deliriously happy because reading a good book does that to me.

So, yeah, I might as well start what I’m calling SOS for short (and it makes me laugh because it actually makes a lot of sense for the story in an upside down kind of way.)

Please, self, please don’t ruin this. I so want it to be good. 

9 Responses to The Pre-NaNoWriMo Party Post & Post-Reading Freak Out

  1. I like your nickname for your NaNo. I named mine after a song, but in reality, my mind wants to refer to it as "the easy story." I doubt it'll feel easy in two weeks.I can totally relate to feeling ragingly jealous while reading a good book. My fave book, Atonement, did that to me. I've read fanfiction that makes me ragingly jealous–wow, that plot point is so good! Wow, that description is so lovely! And they're not even using original characters. And don't you just hate it when the author turns out to be a teenager? Like, what are you doing with those mad skills?! I'm 27 and my book is still in dire need of rewrites.I think every writer goes through a "I suck" moment, usually several. I know I do; I'll be in love with my story and then I go back to re-read it and all I can see are the horrible bits. Someone recently said to me, "Oh, you're a writer?" I sort of waved it off and she said, "Yeah, that means you are." We're just a moody, bizarre tribe, but the point is that we learn something from each project and hopefully improve a little at a time. And that we vent to each other because who else is going to understand our freak outs? But you know why I haven't given up writing yet? Because I've realized that I'm a lot more balanced when I'm writing something. :-p

  2. "The easy story." ^_^I'm more balanced when I'm working on something, too. My mood is a lot more stable. 🙂 It's funny that I see myself as a serious, though slightly crazy writer, but when strangers ask me about my NaNo shirt or something I get all noncommittal about it. Lol!But gosh, I know. I see teenagers that are great and it makes me feel so behind! Like what in the world what was doing 10 years ago? Feel like nothing in comparison. Looks like nothing, too. Those horrible bits really stick out don't they? There are places in my last story that I know I think are awesome, at least I did a week ago, but right now…grr. It really helps to rant a bit sometimes to people who understand though. 🙂

  3. Try not to compare yourself to other people. As they're fond of saying on AW, . . . JUST DON'T. You're really not the best judge of you're own style, you know. This used to happen to me in my painting class. I would think everyone was so much more PAINTERLY than me, while my stuff struck me as childish. Then people started telling me they like me style. And I was like, "I don't a style." The thing is that I do have a style, I just couldn't see it as one because I was so used to my own ways of representing things. Same is true for writing, I think.

  4. I know what you mean. I can't paint, but I can feel pretty good about my drawings until I see someone who's actually good. But I have limitations with my drawing that never gets better because I don't do it enough. It's okay because I'm not trying to be an artist. I wish there was a way to stop freaking out with the writing though. It's almost like a reflex, like why I can't stop myself from grimacing when I step out into the cold. I will eventually talk myself down and use this as inspiration to work harder. That's the bright side, I guess. 🙂

  5. Oh, I love the mock-ups–and I totally know what you mean about drowning in a scene. I’ve been one of those minimalist writers too–get in and get the job done. BUT, the more I write, the more I’m learning it’s more about the emotions than the action. Every action needs to harbor an emotion, or draw one out. My editor did wonders in pulling me down to earth on this one.

Hi! ^_^