Wednesday, March 7, 2012

War Post: 7th March Mashup & Insecurities

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With today's Mashup we have a special surprise.  Rather than explain my goals with ROW80 to you I thought it would be better if I shared with you an insecurity of mine.  As I'm sure you noticed today is the Insecure Writers Group and it is a wonderful forum to recognize other writers who have challenges and insecurities just like you.  So I thought today it would be best if I chose some of our Mashup folks from those blogs.  And then we'll get to why I'm insecure at the moment.

Sunny Smith shares with us how she gets through the 15 minutes of doom in: "Insecure Writers Group: March 2012."

Mark Hoopman reminds of us the difficulties of writing with children in: "IWSG: Worried about WIP."

Cherie Reich reminds of one of the most important parts of writing in:"IWSG: Believe."

Erin Shakespear brings us a boost of enthusiasm to write in: "A Strange Thing."

Ingrid shares about several of the blogs that both her and I love in: "A Little Blog Love."

I share Ingrid again (because what she has to share here every person on earth should listen to) in her post on: "When someone shows you who they are."

Bayard and Holmes share their honest feelings in: "Bayard and Holmes Cybersmack: Rush Limbaugh."

Kim Switzer shares about the process of finding direction in ones writing in: "Which Way to Where?"

Kristen Lamb shows us the similarities of the history of warfare and of writing in: "The Modern Author: A New Breed of Writer for the Digital Age of Publishing."

Morgan Dragonwillow's contest is still running!  Here a link to check it out: "Fantasy Fiction Writing Contest I: Day 16."

Team Oyeniyi gives us a taste of Autumn in Australia in: "Autumn."

Karen Sandler promoted herself (as opposed to me promoting her) in: "Tankborn Sequels."

Carl Duzette tells us all about Try/Fail Cycles in: "Why three is a magic number."

And now for some creative stalling so I don't have to tell you what I'm insecure about yet.

Okay that's probably enough stalling.  I should tell you why I'm insecure at the moment.  I've been doing a ton of writing of late.  I write emails, blogs, comments and I spend hours at this a day.  I try very hard to have a blog that is of a professional quality and content.  However, it has taken away from my time to work on my WIP: "Crimes of the Umbramancer."

Now I know how my drafting process goes when I write stories, and it scares me a lot more when I'm working on a novel that I do this.  Typically I write a certain amount of the essay or story, about a third and then I start over.  Then I write about half to two thirds and then I start over.  And then during my third attempt I finish my first draft.  Then once again I start over.  Sometime after that the final draft is done.

I hit the point recently in the book where everything inside me is saying that it is time to start over.  And I'm fighting it because I don't want to.  I've gotten about 40,000 words into this story.  The last thing I want to do right now is start over.  An essay is only a couple of thousand words.  So is a blog.  (Though my blogging process only requires about a single to two starts before I have a finished product.)  So I guess I'm scared at the moment.

To top it all off, I've been reading Larry Correia's Monster Hunter International (next month's promotional book), and I realized why I need to start over.  The beginning of my story is flawed.  I knew it was flawed when I began, but I now know why and it is bothering me day and night.  I know that I need to start over differently.  But is it wrong for me to feel this way?

Now I'm not really looking for advice.  I know the answer to this problem.  It is pretty simple.  "Write the damned book, Jayrod!"  I hear this from folks who hear the synopsis and really want to read it fairly frequently (omitting the damned part, of course).  So I am at a place where I want to be finished with the draft by the end of April, but I know I have to start over and I'm scared.  That's my insecurity this month.  By next week I'll have about six thousand words on my restart.  How do I know that?  Cause I'm depending on ya'll to keep me honest.

I know that if I share a goal like that with everyone who reads my blog they will push me to be the best me that I can be.  And part of that is getting my words down.  I know, pretty lame isn't it?  I need peer pressure to write.  Well honestly I need social interaction to write.  Which is one of the reason's the blog is healthy because it gets so much more interaction that I do when I'm doing the WIP.

I'm a social person.  I'm not your typical writer (at least I don't think I am).  I need social energy to write.  I realize to generate this energy sometimes I need to do things that are weird, such as be a part of several writing communities.  Or support writers that I think are awesome.  Or share a little bit of who I am with you.  That's part of the reason I'm giving away one bundle of books this month.  Karen Sandler's Tankborn (Did you notice her blog earlier?) and Samuel Delany's Dhalgren.  For each person who follows the blog (inclusive to those who joined since the beginning of March) I'll put your name into the contest three times.  And for each person who comments on each post for the month I'll put you down for one per comment.  I know I need interaction, I know I need to support the writers I believe in.  This really is a way for us to continue our conversation and also support those I believe in.

Next time I'll have my next blog series prepared on weapons.  Hey we aren't just about culture here, the sci-fi and fantasy kids need to get some toys too.  I just hope the ideas presented enable all writers to find tools to generate more diverse fiction.  This is Jayrod Garrett, the First OG, with just one question for you.  Do social networks help you to write?


  1. I think all writers need a certain social energy to write, even the introverted ones--or maybe I should say especially the introverted ones.

    1. I would be inclined to agree with you. Though that was offhanded, thanks for making me feel a little bit more part of the community. :D

  2. Ummm... criticism, criticism, criticism, snide comment and ending with humor so you know we're still friends.

    That also took three attempts, and I'm satisfied with the resulting draft. Thanks for the Zelda music video with the string instruments, very classy.

    -Adam Berman

    PS I also tried to do a novel on my experiences, chose one event, got 90 pages in and realized that I need to read another thousand books before I can write one that I'm willing to read myself. In other words, I feel your pain.

    1. Adam, thank you. Your validation helps. And when you are up to learning the craft of writing, I'm more than willing to help you so that you might not need to read another thousand books, but instead maybe only a hundred more. :D Love ya, man.

  3. First of all, that video of the Zelda songs -- AWESOME!! Second of all, don't start over, yet. Everyone gets to a point in their WIP when they hate every single word, but it's better to plow through and get the story down, take a break from it and do re-writes later. I had to re-write my first two chapters a couple of times and now I'm re-writing the 2/3 of my book. But you know what? I'm glad I wrote it all down first, becasue this time around the story is cohesive and that much more charged with energy.

    P.S. You should join me for #wordmongering at 1:00 if you can :) (and I use write or die, it's really motivating becasue it's starts erasing words if you don't write for a length of time. Talk about something to push your writing!)

    1. Your totally right Jennifer. I'm just going to keep my goal and worry about the next rewrite when I finish this version. Theres a lot more story to go and perhaps by the time I get to the third draft I'll have some more of the answers I'm looking for to make this better, instead of starting over now when I have one of the answers. Thanks for your kind words.

      P.S. I would join you for #wordmongering, but I'll be on my first day at my new job then. No time to monger. :D And that is a great problem to have.

  4. I've started reading Tankborn and am loving it.

    1. I purchased it last night and I'm looking forward to reading it. Glad to have a reading buddy for the experience.

  5. You know, it's been less than a month since LTUE, where I would say the biggest single idea suggested by the majority of the presenters was that of social network presence and self-promotion. Since then I've gotten involved in blogging, Twitter, and our online writing group, and I can tell you, having this digital support group has made a world of difference in my writing; in just one month!

    I definitely feel that, although these social networks can be (very) distracting at times--stupid Words with Friends--they are such a great support and source of inspiration and motivation that it makes it all worth it.

    Thanks for your thoughts on this, buddy. Don't start over. Finish the dang book.

    1. ... Seeing as my support group seems to all be saying the same thing, I'll treat this like NaNo and continue despite what my censor says and see where I am lead by the end of the book. Thanks for your support Josh. :D

  6. Rad blog, just came over from J.A.'s :)

    1. Thanks for the support Mark. Glad to know you like what's I've done with the place..

  7. I know what you mean-- blogging takes so much time, yet it's what gets us this wonderful, amazing support group! I love the writing community. Best of luck on your rewrite!!

    1. Thanks so much Peggy! I need all the support right now I can get.

  8. Absolutely they help me write! I think the freedom blogging gives us is refreshing! I'm an extrovert too and without blogging, it's way harder for me to write consistently.

    Thanks for including me in your mashup :) And as far as your WIP, have you ever taken a class that taught story plotting from conception to finished product? Kristen teaches a great one. Once you learn that, you'll have a much easier time I think! I'm not a fiction writer but that's my two cents ;)

    1. No problem Ingrid. I love reading your blog and I try to keep up. Reading every blog as they come out is difficult for me, but I often go back and try to catch up on conversations and either like or comment on them as I can. It is the conversations that help me to write too.

      Thanks for the suggestion. I've never thought about that before. I'm actually heading to a writing conference in about a week. I'll address the panelists there on that particular subject. Perhaps I'll get some of the advice I need. (I'd look up Kristen's class, but I don't know where to look to be honest.) Thanks for your two cents Ingrid. :D

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