I think I made too many resolutions this year…and I didn’t make them all on New Year’s Day either. Then I told myself I was going to finish one of my fiction projects.
I did a non-fiction one instead.
I told myself that I was going to write a review and post it in Goodreads, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble for every novel I read.
Well, I did it the first week at any rate. Sigh.
Social media? I’d resisted it for so long and mastering it was on that New Year’s list. Still feel clueless about what it is supposed to accomplish for me because all it seems to do is gobble up time. I’m sure the clock goes into hyper spin the thirty minutes I thought I was going to spend somehow morphing into three hours! Bleech!
Figured I could start the summer off by recouping things and ordered myself to clear out all the other things on my to-do list, the lectures for workshops, the blog posts, so that as of July 1 I could concentrate on that still pending fiction project for two whole months and finish it!
As I write this it is July 3, I was supposed to have this blog turned in by July 2, and I still have three lectures to write to catch up to where I wanted to be, and spent all day yesterday writing another of those workshop lectures.
I’m a failure!!!
Well, at keeping promises to myself when it comes to writing what I’d like to be writing opposed to what I’m required to write because I told someone I’d do it.
Perhaps the trick is that I need to CONVINCE myself that writing fiction is the same as those contracted agreements even if there is no other person involved yet at this time. Well, other than my muse, and he’s off cavorting with the muses of other writers who are in the same state of frustration – and disgusted with themselves for having apparently moved to that state rather than just visit it occasionally.
Maybe I’m jealous that my muse is actually having fun while I fret!
Perhaps I’ll go into a decline after counting up how many !!!!marks there are in this post!
So how am I going to repair things, to shrug off this sense of failure? Well, if not failure really then of cheating myself out of what I want to be doing – which is writing fiction?
Step one: Give myself a mental slap for wimping out, for descending into the “oh woe is me” frame of mind (though it certainly helped get this blog post written since I didn’t have a topic before that!)
Step two: There are only three lectures yet to write to reach my goal. I know what goes in them. I can get them done in two days. That means I’ll be caught up and only four days behind schedule. That’s not bad. I’ve run three months and (once) more behind on contract deadlines with publishers when characters weren’t cooperating or illness got the upper hand. Four days behind schedule is a drop in the bucket.
Step three: when I finally open that document that has been languishing for far too long a time without me, I will not freak out when I reread it and realize I can’t remember what was supposed to happen next – which will no doubt happen – but instead I will take the advice that I dish out to everyone in my workshops. I’ll back up, evaluate, put some of the idea generators into play (I have plenty of them!) and then move on in whatever direction seems the most logical. It will no doubt be a better direction than originally planned anyway. I’ll find the plus-plus in what at first appears a minus-minus.
I’ll kick this bad habit because in the end the only one getting cheated at this point is me.
When really down Beth Daniels drags herself over to the bookcase to gaze at her shrine. It has 30 books on it, all written by Beth Henderson, Lisa Dane, Beth Cruise, Elizabeth Daniels, and…well, Beth Daniels, because all of these people are her. Add in the magazines and anthology with stories by J. B. Dane (also Beth) within the covers and there is even more sacred work featured here. It’s why it’s called a “shrine”, right?
The shrine is there to remind her that no matter what else has happened in her life – and a lot of that certainly didn’t go the way she planned – that the goal she chose when she was 12 years old – to become a published novelist – has been more than fulfilled. Even if it hasn’t made her rich – yet. There’s always hope that that will follow. Unfortunately, it requires writing one heck of a lot more books.
Sucking it up, Beth knows she has the capability and a lot of file drawers of ideas and already collected data to use. Whining is merely a sideline and she’s now used up this month’s quota.
Beth Daniels, aka Beth Henderson, J.B. Dane
Forged in the heat of many Savvy workshops, SO YOU WANT TO WRITE A NOVEL by Beth Daniels is a guide for those just getting their feet wet when it comes to following their dream of writing book length fiction. It covers everything from genre to length to pacing to idea generation to get the first time novelist from page one to THE END with a few nudges toward what comes after that. Available in trade paperback and for Kindle and Nook.