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The Friday Five - Reasons Why I'm A Good Writer


Last night before I went to bed, I cut 7,500 words from my novel. From my novel that I fully intended to self-publish on February 10th. This wasn't an impulse, it wasn't a moment of hysteria (although I'm prone), but I suspect it had something to do with Shoulder Devil and Evil Internal Editor.

Evil Internal Editor tells me I can't do this. That I'm crazy for trying. That it's only a month and four days until February 10th and I might as well go to bed and stay there for the rest of my life. 

I really hate you, EIE.

So I'm going to look very carefully at the 7,500 words I cut and I'm going to revise, revise, revise. But I'm not the crappy writer those little internal voices say I am. This is something I really want. *Deep breath* What's the goal, Allison?

She's so evil, she walks on the points of
her heels and only has six fingers. See? Evil.
And for God's sake, put on a bra.
She kind of looks like she wants a hug.
Sometimes it's okay to say no.
This is one of those times.
To sell 10 copies. 

How many friends do you have?

At least enough to sell 10 copies (some of you might have to buy twice. Just sayin'. Have I told you lately that I love you guys?)

So, for FF here are five reasons I'm not the shit writer EIE and SD tell me I am. (And neither are you.)

#1) I love what I do.
If I didn't love writing, I don't believe characters would come to me and beg for stories of their own. They wouldn't come with their names already in place, a (sometimes) vague background and their own personalities. Sometimes they grab a moment and carry it away--and then I have to go back and fix it, but it's so worth it--making me forget there's a real world. I can't help it, I'm addicted to my own writing, which probably sounds a little narcissistic, so I apologize. It's like Field of Dreams. Only in my head and without Kevin Costner.

#2) I have already improved.
You should see some of the drivel I wrote after my long break. It was like I'd forgotten everything I ever learned about writing. Which is weird, because I'm an avid reader. Actually, not so weird. You catch a lot of readers who think they can write. And they probably can, but they need guidelines. I got some. Cannot stress enough--get a critique partner. You'll learn better looking at your work through someone else's eyes. True story. 

I wrote THL about two years ago. I can tell you what's original and what's more recent. And the more recent stuff is stronger, reads better and is more grammatically correct. 

#3) I'm funny.
Admit it, you laughed at the Paint drawing of EIE, didn't you? Or at least the captioning. Refer to #1 because half the funny stuff that shows up in my writing is courtesy of a character. Or at least my brain transmogrifies it into funny characters. I learned a long time ago that I don't morose characters very well. They're annoying and you kind of want to smother them with a pillow or chuck the MS across the room and find something more valuable to do with your time. Humor is my thang. Kind of like how action isn't.

#4) I'm not afraid to rewrite.
I'll admit it--I'm awful at beginnings. I'm all info dump this, forget interesting dialogue that. Left character alone with thoughts here, made up some really terrible dialogue there. Going back to #2, sometimes you just have to realize (or get someone else to tell you) that you didn't do a very good job. If you're very, very lucky, your critique partner can figure out what you've done wrong and how to improve it. I've learned to never be proud of a first draft. Bad idea. I might whine and moan because I have to rewrite it, but I know better than to ignore good advice.

#5) I won't let myself quit.
I read this quote one time: Hard work spotlights the character of people. Some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses and some people don't turn up at all (Sam Ewing). In 2009, I set out to write a novel. I put the first few chapters on Authonomy and while it was terrible, someone said they'd like to read more. Which spurred me on. I finished it. It was #$%^ing awful, but I turned right around and wrote another novel for NaNoWriMo. And turned right around and wrote THL. And turned right around and wrote another novella. By then it was time for NaNo again, so here came another one. Eventually I figured out I was going to have to start editing, but I had the time of my life writing crazy stories. I don't want to quit (see reasons 1-4). I have determination.

Those are building blocks and they're firmly in place, so go take a long walk off a short pier, EIE. Take your ugly high heels and bra-less triangle body and big Jersey-style hair and beat it. 

Comments

  1. What an awesome post--and yeah, I did laugh at your EIE picture and her jiggly, no bra boobs.

    And you're right--you are a great writer. I shouyld know because I'm one of your crit partners.

    But I understand completely the lack of faith we sometimes have with ourselves. i go through this crap every other day and it gets old, fast!

    I'm planning on self pubbing too--around the same time who are. I've worked on the novel I'm planning on publishing for...are ya ready...almost 4 years now. And I'm still nervous it may not be ready for the public.

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  2. As soon as I can get this "hitch" out of my side from laughing so hard--I'm going to help you boot that EIE plumb into cyberspace.

    You are awesome, girl! Keep it up. Loved your post.

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