Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Losing Faith - IWSG

Well hellloooo bloggie friends! Hope you're summer is nothing less than smashing so far. Been raining buckets in my neck of the woods. Soggy and sticky and algae growing on the sidewalks. Looks like my 4th of July will be rather wet.

So the first Wednesday of the month, as you know, is Insecure Writers Support Group day. You can get to HDQ by clicking on the picture below and check out all the entries. But don't leave yet! Read on for what I mean with Losing Faith ...


Remember the Garbage Pail Kids? They were pretty big when I was a kid. My brothers and I had an entire collection of cards, that unfortunately were lost over the years and I think some are actually worth money now. But one card managed to stick around and I have it on my desk:


LOSING FAITH

Pretty funny stuff, right. Those cards were always a riot. But ironic to me that this one stuck around, since this is what tends to happen to me after I write a story and start the subbing process. I begin to lose faith in the project. And that's exactly what I don't want to happen with the one I'm working on right now. All that subjectivity leaves me riddled with doubt.

If you remember a few weeks ago I mentioned I was experiencing First Draft Euphoria--feeling all giddy and psyched, but knowing as well that once I had some critiques and beta reads there'd be stuff to fix. 

Yep, that Euphoria is pretty much fizzled now. lol

Now I enter Revision Purgatory--the face-melter of story crafting. BIG changes need to be made and I feel like a nervous first time surgeon with a scalpel jittering in my hands, sweat beading at my temples. What if I mess up????

But everything can be fixed, right? And revisions are all part of the process. Editing is my favorite part of the process, but big revisions give me heart palpitations. Still, after much marinating of thoughts and jotting of mental notes, I'm ready to bite the bullet and get in there.

Nip and tuck. Snip. Snip. Snip. Hack. Hack. hack.

But here's the part that makes me insecure--every editor who may request pages, will have a different opinion that will leave me questioning my project, and eventually cause me to lose faith in it. So I'm wondering if I should even bother. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm all for making improvements and doing the work it takes to make it the best it can be, but that passion I feel about my story right now is worth more to me than anything a pro editor can offer me. I don't want to lose faith. Which makes all the author options out there right now a beautiful thing. 

We can go right to the reader and let them be the ones to steal our passion. LOL

Anyway, my Losing Faith card is a personal reminder that it doesn't have to be that way, and it makes me smile. 

So look who I met the other day:


Yep, that's Neil Gaiman signing my book in Miami. He spoke to a group of us and then I waited in a two hour line for him to personalize my book. To give you the mental image, I felt like Oliver Twist waiting in line for more porridge (or whatever it was they served at the orphanage) only instead of dejected children, we were all jacked up on caffeine and giddy to meet the man himself. And funny story, I told my hubby that it'll be our luck to finally get up there and then Neil will decide to take a break. 

Well you gotta give the guy credit, he sat there for hours signing books and it's gotta make your hand tired, but just as I predicted, I was next in line and he took a pee break. LOL. So that added another 15 minutes to my wait time, but his staff was super cool and because he made us wait, Neil let us snap a picture with him--which was originally against the rules.

I not only got a book for myself, but I got an autographed book to giveaway to one of my lovely blog readers later on down the line. So keep a lookout for that. 

Okay, I'm sorry this is such a long post, but since the summer has been kicking my butt, it'll be up for awhile. I can't wait for school to start again so I can get my life back. lol

How about you? Do you ever find yourself losing faith? 

52 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

You met Gaiman! Very cool.
I know someone who tried the site Grammarly. Approach with caution.
We can end up editing our work to death if there's too much input. Every editor will want different changes. You are the one who has to decide if those changes are merited.

Mark Means said...

I would have told Neil to "Get a haircut, hippy!"

O.k, I wouldn't have said that...I probably would have stood there, yammering like a fool. Neil is awesome, no doubt!

I think 'good writing' is subjective and we should 'follow our guts' in some instances....editors be hanged :)

Have a great Fourth and don't let the summer beat you up, too badly :D

T. Drecker said...

Holy crow! You met Neil!!!

Ask ten people for their opinion and you'll get twenty different answers. (or something like that) Why should it be different with editors? Hang in there. And don't let that self-doubt monster get the better of you :)

YVONNE LEWIS: said...

Most interesting post, As I self publish I don't have anyone to account to,......then see what I should have done in the finished book.
Hope your weather improves, I have gone from blog to blog experiencing all sorts of weather without moving from my seat.

Yvonne.

Mark K said...

I think losing faith comes under the job description. Unless you are doubting your own work how will you ever progress and strive to improve it?

Maybe you lose faith in your work, but maintain the faith in yourself; to revise it, improve it and nurture it into something it deserves to be.

Who said writing is an easy journey? It's a damned long one, sometimes miserable, inevitably lonely, but ultimately rewarding.

It just depends how you perceive that definition of 'rewarding'?

If your faith begins to falter to the point of making you question yourself, ask of others and you will discover how much faith they have in you.

Kudos on meeting Master Gaiman ;)

Stephen Tremp said...

I find myself getting discouraged from time to time, but not really losing faith. I have hope, and its hope that helps strengthen faith. But discouragement is a bigger enemy to me.

Norma Beishir said...

Personally, I hate Revision Purgatory!

Elizabeth Seckman said...

Oh dear. I'm going to have to go google Neil and then stay out from under my rock.

Best of luck surviving the summer and on the edits. I'm sure you'll rock them!

MollyMom103 said...

Ooh! Neil is totally my imaginary friend. That is so cool! Yes, I find that I lose faith somes time. Faith is a tenacious weed and if it gets even a cup of rain it springs right back up. That is what I have found.

New to IWSG. Hi!

Dianne K. Salerni said...

Big revisions give me heart palpitations too, because I always doubt I can pull them off ... right up until the point where I do.

And I always do pull them off. I wish I could convince my overactive flight or fight response of that!

sydneyaaliyah.com said...

Well, you know how I feel about your book, but now you're my hero. Editing is your favorite part. Can you give me some of that enthusiasm. I think we all lose faith and something or some moment reminds us why we do this. Keep the faith.

M. R. Buttars said...

You met Gaimon! So awesome!

I hear you on the losing faith part of writing. I currently in another bout of First Draft Euphoria, but Revision Purgatory is lurking around the corner. ;)

Good luck with your revisions, hold that scalpel steady and make your manuscript shine!

SA Larsenッ said...

Oh geez, the only thing pushing forward with writing the first draft of this new MG manuscript is the promise of end-of-first-draft euphoria. I hadn't thought about how quickly it vanishes. Ugh....

Really cool you met him!

Julie Flanders said...

How awesome that you met Gaimon! I had to laugh about the pee break.

Revision purgatory is such a good way to put it. I hope you don't lose faith though because I've no doubt your ms is excellent!

Tammy Theriault said...

OMG PICK ME PICK ME!!! Girl...I love garbage pail kids!!! Collected those suckers from the ice cream man. But never lose faith because as your beta reader I think about your story when I'm not working on it because it is good!!! Real good!

Vanessa Morgan said...

Oh yes, I loose faith quite regularly and almost always because of suggested changes. But in the end, you have to remember why we wrote the story in the first place and what we wanted to accomplish with it.

David List said...

I absolutely agree with "F(orget) the editor!" until you write 'The End' and the book is as far as you can get it. At that point, only listen to an editor who's in love with the book.
My parents wouldn't let us have Garbage Pail Kids cards! So we had to be sneaky

Linda King said...

Wow, how excited do you look in that photo?! Yes, I lose faith all the time. I wish I didn't because it stops me writing anything other than short stories. I find long projects so... long. And the longer they are, the easier it is to lose faith! Great post, thanks!

Andrew Leon said...

I am for sticking to your own vision of the story. That's actually what today's and next Wed.'s post are about.

My Gaiman thing is coming up on Saturday.

Isis Rushdan said...

I lose faith about every other month, sometimes it's a weekly thing, lol. Thankfully, I have my husband to keep me on track and remind that I do have talent and all of my goals will be achieved when the time is right.

Love that GPK's card.

Old Kitty said...

You got to see Neil Gaiman!! How wonderful!!

Awww you must never lose faith - all that hard work will pay off big time!! Yay! Take care
x

J.L. Campbell said...

Hi, PK,
It feels like a set part of the process to me. I always have moments when I wonder why I bother. Luckily, those moments don't last too long.

Natalie Aguirre said...

Awesome you got to meet Neil Gaiman. He'll be in Ann Arbor too but I can't go. I love revisions but get nervous about the big ones too. But I am getting less stubborn about making them and my manuscript has improved a lot. But it's often so subjective whether a change is needed or not. It's hard to know what's right to do.

M Pax said...

Awesome to meet Neil. That's a fan girl moment.

I often lose faith when I send a story out, biting my nails. When I read it again months later, I see the magic again. Then my faith is restored. Fan mail doesn't hurt either.

mshatch said...

I've lost faith before but Like MPax said, I often regain it at a later date. Very cool you got to meet Neil Gaiman!!!

S.K. Anthony said...

Ha... I'm currently in the BIG revision process and I'm ready to kill myself. I'm going back and forth with losing faith in my current plot and twists and stuff so I get it. Personally, I'm just too scared that I'm in over my head, ah well.

Yay for meeting Neil and the upcoming giveaway :D

DL Hammons said...

I never lose faith in the project...just my execution of it sometimes! :)

And you should have asked to take a picture of Neil while he was peeing. Now that would have been worth the wait!! :)

Cherie Colyer said...

Ha! DL is too funny.

Don't let yourself lose faith. I know that is easier said than done and I've been there too. But if you don't put your books out there then no one will have the opportunity to read them.

Lexa Cain said...

Don't lose faith! It's just like when we query: some (even most) of the agents won't fall in love with our stories. That's just a matter of taste. The editors are the same. Don't lose hope. Not that this will happen to you, but I know several authors with agents who wrote 2-3 ms's that never sold -- but then they wrote the one that did. Keep your chin up and keep writing! :-)

M.J. Fifield said...

Love that picture. How exciting that must have been!!

Loved the Garbage Pail Kids. I don't think my siblings and I had a full collection, but we had quite a few.

And yes, I do, on occasion, lose faith. But I also always manage to find it again. It's like a circle of life or something.

Heather M. Gardner said...

Take it all in but only change what you want.
Remember, its only 1 opinion.
The only person you have to please, is you.

Have a great holiday.
Heather

~Sia McKye~ said...

You know? It's hard to remain excited about something when you're stuck in fixing the innards.

You should hear my brother moan when he's deep in the innards of rebuilding an engine. What was a fabulous car a couple of months ago is now a worthless piece of crap and he cusses every part, lol! But, he keeps at it because he KNOWS it will all come together. When he's done it's like he forgets the whole headache and love/hate relationship he had with it. It's beautiful now.

At this point, everything is going to look bad. The things that made you laugh are no longer funny to you. That doesn't mean they're NOT funny but only you've read SO many times that you don't see it anymore.

I have several friends that call this point in the process the book that's trying to kill me. And all of them HATE this book while in this process. Once the edits and added layering are done, and you DO have some choices in this process, and sent back they get the finished galley, several months later, and reread it. Then it's omg, this so good. They now can remember what excited them about the story.

Hang in there. It will get better!

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

Margo Berendsen said...

Oh, the passion is so important to me too... so glad you mentioned that. I think that it's so important to find a good fit with an editor, so they don't inadvertantly crush the passion!

Julie Musil said...

Pee break!! That's so funny.

You know, I'm experiencing the same type of "losing faith" that you are. When I wrote this current book, I thought it was the best idea ever. Now that I'm revising it, I feel like the worst writer who ever called herself a writer. But hey, that's what revision is for!

Good luck to YOU!

Mark K said...

Actually, that's not Neil Gaiman, but Ross from 'Friends' pretending to be him. You've been suckered :P ;)

Siv Ottem said...

Great post. Do I ever lose faith? Yep, every morning when I turn on my computer...Glad you have a card that works for you, wish I had one of those too. Good luck with your revisions!

noonebutabloghead said...

I've not been through the editorial process with my fiction, but I always feel awkward when I approach someone for advice, and they give me advice I don't agree with.

There's no easy solution really, and it's easy to lose faith momentarily. Best just to try and distract yourself from the worry, and come back with slightly fresh eyes.

Denise Covey said...

So cool that you got to meet Neil Gaiman and get 2 books signed. Awesome! You look over the moon! It is always exciting to meet authors and get favourite books signed.

Yes, I'm sure we all lose faith at times, but we keep on keeping on. A book is a long process with many people involved, that's for sure. Good luck with it all.

Denise

Robin said...

so cool you met Neil Gailmen. I'm working on keeping faith myself, do we can be buddies :-) great post!

Nancy LaRonda Johnson said...

Great for you PK! And love your tale of editing woes. But unlike in a surgery, you can easily save the cut out parts, even if it's just to ease your worrisome mind, which will know that no matter what, the original is still put-backable. Go forward with yon editing! Writer’s Mark

Jeff Hargett said...

Always a wee bit envious when folks get to meet the greats. Glad you got the picture.

Don't lose faith. A little doubt can be healthy and motivate us to do our best. And you knew enough to know the doubts would come. Take heart because you also know that everything comes to pass.

jamieayres.com said...

Wow, super cool!!! Don't lose faith . . . you can do it! I don't want summer to end b/c then my life will end, lol. I love staying up late with my daughters and doing fun stuff, but then school comes around & although I LOVE teaching, it consumes all my time. Anyway, I'll be looking out for that giveaway :-)

Romance Reader said...

Wow! You got to snap a picture with Neil Gaiman? Awesome!

Lovely post!

Nas

Cally Jackson said...

I know exactly what you mean about the subbing process. That's part of the reason I decided to self publish my first book. Not sure whether I'll make the same decision with my next books but I've got lots of time to make that decision.

Facing down the barrel of major revisions is definitely intimidating but you'll get that euphoria back each time you nail a great re-write of a major scene. Go forth and conquer! :-)

Carol Riggs said...

So cool you got to see Neil and get your book signed--and a photo! That was worth the 15 minute extra wait. :) Yep, some of those major revisions do often make ya wonder if it's all worth the work. Especially when different publishing professionals have such varying responses. Good luck making your ms the best it can be!! You can do it, girl. :)

Misha Gericke said...

I usually enjoy editing. But I do believe in editing for myself first before letting anyone else see the WiP. The secret is in learning what works first. Than you know what you need to keep, no matter what anyone else says.

Best of luck with revisions!

shelly said...

Right now, I have no more critique group to bounce my stuff off of. We disbanded. We were together for five years. And each one had something to give to each critique. Oh how I miss them.

Hugs and chocolate,
Shelly

Jay Noel said...

That pic is awesome! You look like a little girl at a Justin Bieber signing.

I lose faith when the business side of publishing kicks me down. Stuff beyond my control.

Donna Hole said...

See, this is why so many authors are considered mentally insane - manic depressive. We're up, we're down, we're pretending its all ok, then we're secluded and nobody knows if we're ok or just crawled into our own fantasy world.

Precious . . .

I hope I'm the winner of whatever book you decided to wait in line for hours for then just give away! Love the picture.

Stay ~relatively sane PK :)

......dhole

Michael Di Gesu said...

Hey, PK...

Sorry about your anxiety and 'losing faith"... All I can say is DON"T!!!!!

I know you better than most bloggers because we've kindred Florida spirits and I hope to MOVE super close to you in the VERY NEAR future, so you will NEVER have those feelings again. LOL.

You're a veteran and you know the deal. YOU WON't lose your passion. If I haven't lost mine after FOUR years of beating my first novel to death and ready to do it again, so I know you won't with your new story,

Sending big HUGS your way....

Donna Yates said...

Revision Purgatory - lol, so perfect. I love it.

William Kendall said...

Ah, revision purgatory. Feels like I've been in it a long, long while.