One step forward, two back

Yesterday I figured out everything that’s wrong with the book I’m writing.  Considering that I was only a couple of pages in, this is great. (Trust me, when you figure out everything that’s wrong with a book when you’re 3/4 of  the way through, it’s more than a little depressing. This was just frustrating.)

It meant scrapping my plans, literally balling up the sheets of paper that I’d scribbled all the plot elements on and tossing them in the trash in my best Lebron imitation. (My imitation sucks since this is a skill I’ve never mastered. Paper ends up everywhere BUT the can.)





Of course accompanying the realization that the book was all wrong were those voices. You know the ones. The sneaky, insistent ones that chant a chorus of, “You suck.” “You’ll never finish this book.” “You don’t know what you’re doing.” “It would be a lot easier to give it up.”

Those are insidious little buggers, sometimes I don’t even realize they’re in my ear and I start to believe things like, “I’m tired.” This is a stupid idea.”  “Who am I fooling?” 

But I pushed through and replotted the entire book

Sounds awesome, right?

It would be, except that in my desperate attempt to not listen to the “you’re a hack” voices, I totally succumbed to the “It’s perfectly okay to eat everything in the house except the kitchen table” voice.  Grrrr.

One step forward, two back.

So I STILL ended the day feeling like a failure.

Today is another day. I enjoyed the cooler weather, courtesy of yesterday’s rain, on today’s run (though I didn’t enjoy much else since my PF is flaring up…no really, that’s not a voice, that’s real pain) and I stopped on walk back in order to watch Mama Duck and her ducklings. She started off with twelve ducklings and now she’s down to seven. I wonder if she considers that a success or failure….

How do you feel about having to start over? How do you drown out those insidious voices?




One thought on “One step forward, two back

  1. One of these days, I’ll have to let you read the original incarnation of Djinnocide. Or the second incarnation. What you read is actually the revised and edited third version. The first two are totally different books. (Oh, and there’s the four or five chapters of a totally different idea for Djinnocide that I scrapped early on where she’s helping a human detective track down a killer that only she knows is a genie.)

    If starting over means that eventually you end up with the right story, then I’m all for it. If it’s stopping you from ever finishing a story (which in your case it’s not) then it’s a bad bad thing.

    As for drowning out the bad voices, look at everything you’ve accomplished and then tell them “Oh yeah? Well, if I suck so bad, why the good reviews, the book sales, the following I’ve achieved?? Take that!” And then kick the voices out of your head. At least until the next time they slip in.

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