Monday, November 21, 2011

Open Mike

21 days into Novemeber, and I'm woefully behind on my goal of finishing my book by the end of the month. I've managed to crank out 21,000+ words and 10 chapters, but I still haven't made it to the end.

I figure if I write a chapter a day for the next 10 day, I might make it. But that's a big might, because I've just reached another one of those awful bogged down and discouraged places, where I'm pretty sure my book sucks. Where I feel like every single book I happen to pick up, or hear about, or suddenly remember from freshman year of high school English class, has already done what I'm doing, or at least part of it.

I keep thinking of that Bare Naked Ladies song, "It's All Been Done." It's not like I've stumbled across another story exactly like mine. But whenever I come across similar elements or themes, I start to panic. Heck, I'll be honest, I start to panic if I come across a story that has a character with the same name as one of mine.

Then I start to worry that my story is too over the top, my writing is too wordy (yes it is, but I'm working on it) and that this is bound to suck.

But you know what, I'm not giving up. I happen to love this story, and I love my characters. They've been growing a lot over the past 6 months, and I want to see what happens with them.

The first novel I attempted to write will never be seen by another human in my lifetime. But this one, I'm putting out there. I will finish it, revise it, query it and receive a bunch of rejections. I'll show it to friends and fellow writers for input and I'll cringe as they point out obvious flaws, or give me a half-hearted compliment.

But I'm working on the theory that everyone has to start somewhere. It's taken this long for me to just start. But I'm doing it. I'm getting up there on stage with this thing, ready to take the boos. Hoping someone will sing along. Or to eventually get a hit.


  1. Do NOT panic when you stumble upon books with similar themes. I just read the synopsis of the book coming out in the spring that shares my premise, and you know's NOTHING like mine! You're writing is unique because it's yours...ideas people can have in common, but the voice will never be the same. So don't fret! Just keep going and don't let anything derail you!!

  2. Don't worry about it :) All stories really have been done before, but not by YOU. You'll do it your own unique way. And everyone has issues in their first draft, and they always feel like it sucks way worse then it really dose. Keep it up! you can make it :)

    Sarah Allen
    (my creative writing blog)

  3. I love and hate hearing about these doubts--because we all feel them, so it feels like we're not alone, and because it sucks so much to feel them. You aren't alone. You don't suck. Even though sometimes your rough draft might. I wrote about the push and pull on my blog today too. If it wasn't easy, this writing thing, I don't think I'd be compelled to do it.

    I'm hoping that you are in a better place, even as I write this comment!!


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