Wow, there's been all sorts of good news going around here with Kristen's book deal. I can't tell you how very exciting it is -- not only for Kristen, of course, but for the rest of us as well. I think it adds a sense of validation that publication Can Happen when someone you know, someone you've worked with and been friends with for a really long time, is able to reach that pinnacle of success. I couldn't be happier for her. Yay, Kristen! You rock, girl!
In the comments of my post last week, I mentioned that I keep a journal. I'll be honest, I haven't written in it for a while now, mostly because I haven't had much time for writing (real life is INSANE at the moment). But when I'm actively writing, I try to jot down thoughts and notes in it as much as possible. Not only do I use it to document certain ideas I might have, about both my current and future books, but I also use it as a...Jen, You Don't Completely Suck Pep Kit.
I'm a neurotic writer. I am. There, I said it. I have unbelievable highs and lows when I'm writing. One minute I will be soaring in the upper stratosphere, the next I will be crashing to the ground, where I'll lay like a lump. A big ole' hot mess that no one wants to deal with. Just ask my writing buds what it's like when I'm in the heat of writing/revisions. I can't tell you how many times my peeps have talked me down from the proverbial cliff. I've convinced myself more times than I care to remember that I'm not a good writer, that I need to find a new hobby, that publication will never happen, and that I should never be unleashed on the poor, unsuspecting reading public.
If there's a negative thought to be had, I've had it.
I've also thought the direct opposite on just about every front (occasionally), but that's not what I want to focus on right now.
Let's face it. We are our own worst enemies along the journey to publication. We put ourselves down, we create obstacles for ourselves, we make excuses, excuses, excuses and then some MORE excuses as to why we're just not good enough to be professional writers.
"Such and such is a much better writer than I am. Why am I bothering at all?"
"My story is too similar to such and such book, and not even close to being as good. What's the point?"
"I've tried writing this scene in so many different ways and none of them are good. I'll never get this."
I've learned over the years that just about anything can throw me into a downward spiral. A negative crit. A positive crit (yes, it happens). A crit that is too fast in coming...a crit that is too slow in coming. No comments on an excerpt..a ton of comments on an excerpt that all sound a little too similar (it's gotta be group psychosis making them say these things).. It's ridiculous.
You know, a lot of writers go around saying that everything is sunshine and daisies for them. I don't buy it. Now, I'm not saying that every writer is as neurotic as I sometimes feel, but EVERYONE has their down moments when you need someone or something to pick you back up again. To help remind you that you DO NOT suck.
That is where my journal comes in.
When I first told someone about this, I think it came across as rather vain. But let me assure you, vanity has nothing to do with it. I simply know myself well, and know that these down moments are going to happen. To help curb the severity of these "episodes", my journal does double duty as a scrapbook of sorts. If I receive a really glowing crit or comment from someone--something that made me think, even for a fleeting moment, that I know what the hell I'm doing, I print it out and put it in the book. The same goes for when I simply have a really good writing session. I journal about it to remind myself that an hour ago, a day ago, maybe even several months ago, I felt confident in what I was doing. Then, when I'm having a bad day, I flip through these little clippings/passages and they sometimes help jog me out of the funk. Not foolproof, no, but it definitely has its benefits more often than not.
I'd share a snip, but my journal is for my eyes only. :)
Does anyone else do this? If not, what do you do to get yourself out of those inevitable funks?