Monday, March 1, 2010

Progress Report: 3/1/2010

And the Winter Olympics are over. Sad to see them go, although it does mean I will be getting a proper amount of sleep. I got the eerie impression that the coverage on NBC was all designed around a conspiracy to force viewers to watch bobsled. I like pretty much all the events except the ones where they have to slide down an ice chute.

So with regards to writing, I have entered Rose & Jade into a 1st novel contest on Wordhustler. Wordhustler is a writer networking site for finding agents, editors, etc., and does a bunch of other writer-related stuff. It seems a good service, though I have my doubts about the name. A "hustler" to me is either a con artist or a rather skanky porn magazine, and neither of those is the association I'd want to draw for my business. Oh well.

Much of my energy went into my job work last week, so not a whole lot of time for writing. Besides, my inner naysayer has come for a visit. The inner critic is an essential part of writing, but the inner naysayer doesn't have anything of value to add. This is the voice that just says, "It's terrible! Everything you've ever written is all terrible! Give it up!"

Anybody else get that? I expect it's not all that uncommon.

I've learned not to get worked up about this voice. I don't meet it with much struggle, just a kind of acknowledgment: "Oh, there you are, naysayer. I see you." It goes away on its own before long. Kind of difficult to work with it clattering around like a noisy neighbor, but as long as I know it isn't actually correct and that it's just a little bundle of insecure nerves that fires off every so often, it doesn't do any real damage. I'll see if it's quieted down this week. Meanwhile, more agent queries on the way.


Anonymous said...

There are probably several books about the "naysayer" and how to control it. I encountered two.
The first is "Taming Your Gremlin" - which kinda helped me (It probably helps that my thoughts are mostly verbal and are like a dialog with myself, unlike most people who just "know" what to do). It has a website, but it's pretty bad and it's better to check the book description page in Amazon.

The 2nd one was in Hebrew, for girls (Everone and her Dizzy). Didn't read it but it seems to be getting bad user reviews.

Roberto said...

(I know this is an old post, but I've just subscribed to your blog; Hi!)

I don't have an internal editor, just an internal naysayer. He's old and bald, and looks at me with straight face and pitiying eyes.

I'm not really a writer, but I do write technical articles for a magazine. What I've learned from that is that you have to ignore completely your internal naysayer and chug along. It's easier said than done, of course, but ignorance seems to be the best policy. My point is: first finish the damn thing, and when it's finished we'll do the judging.

More in detail, that means just writing what you have on your mind even if it's incomplete, wonky (I learnt this word today!), ugly, meaningless and incoherent. Put the words on the screen first, tidy them later. Close the door to the internal naysayer until that point.

I guess it takes a lot of stubborness and ego to handle it. You have to believe in yourself against all sensible advice, and it's not easy. I've not reached that point, at least. But I think that's the way to go.

Just my 2 cents.

Kate said...

Hiya, Grayson!

"Wordwrangler" would be better.