Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I’d stab myself in the back, if my carpel tunnel wasn’t already keeping me up at night.

I am the self sabotaging type. I’ve convinced myself I can’t sleep, and since it’s likely true I wont. I wrote this whole thing in my head, as it lay on my favorite pillow. I turned on my laptop just before I could dream.

I will sleep in the nude tonight, if I sleep at all. Today everything restricts too much, cuts too much, is simply too much. My self made deadlines are upon me, and in a rush my soul lays withered, dead, before the line. It taunts me as I lie awake, insomnia my friend, please piss off. You are the worst sort of acquaintance, you don’t pay rent, you keep hours that no woman should, and you leave ruined words on crumpled bits of paper by my bed at night.

Tonight I read words that were not my own, and normally, as I don’t always do three pieces at once that’s normal. This week it’s borderline barbaric, but I needed sweet, sweet release.

I messaged my critique partner and said “My book sucks.” With a period and everything. The end. {I won’t tell you which book I was talking about.}

Then I grabbed the book I have been meaning to read for a week and dove in. If it had been a contest, I would have found myself being counted off for the splash. I must have read the first paragraph five times before I realized I wasn’t reading my own work, and there weren’t any missing commas.

You try turning of AngelaEditNow mode after a week. It can’t be done. If it could I wouldn’t be writing this blog in the middle of the night.

I wont tell you which book I’m reading but it’s a big to do book with a big to do writer, it had a lot of buzz.

The story is great, but AngelaEditNow finds all sorts of things she wants to change. Repetitive use of the word: Knives. The same mediocre descriptive phrase only a few pages a part to describe completely different events. Sentences that ruin the poetic feel of the words.

It’s not perfect, I realize on page 127, and I think I should have picked up on that before. Maybe the standards I set for myself, are so out there, even the people who make more money doing what I love-- even the people who are supposed to be ten times better than me-- maybe they aren’t.

Maybe I feel better now.

I am the self sabotaging type. I have convinced myself I can’t sleep, and since it’s not likely true, I will. I wrote this whole thing in my head in the dark, on my favorite pillow. I turned off my laptop just before I could dream.


Lori M. Lee said...

It gets a little frustrating when you editediteditedit and then you pick up a NYT bestseller and find all the mistakes you were told you couldn't get an agent without getting rid of first. But we do owe it to ourselves to write the best book we possible can, and since that's the only thing we can control, might as well get to it. And if it has a lot of adverbs then dangit it has a lot of adverbs and that's that! haha

Larry Kollar said...

I think everyone feels that way about their work. "It sucks." I guess it's the occupational hazard of being a writer — but when you're told to remove the things you think are really great, I guess all that's left is the sucky stuff.

I agree with what Lori said, editing has really suffered in publisher cutbacks judging from what I've seen. Thus, it's on us to make the editors less necessary.

Going through my own work, I found I used "a bit" a bit too often. That's one of the nice things about search & destroy. I'm taking the Klingon approach: "this book will never be *released* — it will ESCAPE, leaving a bloody trail of editors and publishers in its wake!"

Allison said...

I love the way you write! Even your blog posts are poetic :)

Louisa Bacio said...

At some point your question the work, and then there are those moments, those passages that stand out. Sometimes I look back at what I've written and I'm amazed at what I wrote.

Good to *find* you via Twitter (#amwriting game I play with myself). I followed. Will you follow back?