Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Insecure Writers' Day - where we get to celebrate our nervous nelly ways!

Greetings All - Today is Insecure Writers' Day - the first Wednesday of every month - and it is a trial for me this time. Why? You all ask in loud voices. Because I said so. No, that's wrong. Because I finished a HUGE ASS edit yesterday and I'm not feeling all that insecure. Oh, I'm sure something will rise up and slap me down any minute now - but RIGHT NOW I feel good. Nonetheless, I'll keep writing and find my insecurity to parade before y'all.

Revising is fraught with insecurity. If you are like me, and for the sake of my ease I'm going to pretend you are all identical, then you write your first draft as if no one was ever going to read it - including yourself. It is a glorious woolly mess  of a thing - with dangling story lines, characters that are tall and manly in one chapter and short and nervous in the next, and lots of shiny metaphors that have nothing to do with anything. So - revising can be a painful exercise of saying to oneself, over and over again, 'what was I thinking?' and 'I must be a complete moron' and 'who wrote this shite?' and so on...

Hopefully within that process, the woolly mess becomes a decent fitted garment with sleeves that match and a real collar - not just a cheap-way out boat neck. No! That's knitting. Sorry. Hopefully your woolly mess will become a coherent story with tension and structure, excellent dialogue and an ending! That would be great.
I think I got there yesterday. Oh, I have lots to still fret over. Just because I pared it down and got rid of all the tangential story lines doesn't mean it is riveting prose just yet. But I feel like I'm getting close. Just a few more weeks and maybe it will be ready to face the world.

Here's where I can find my insecurity - dough-land, moolah, the buck stops here, the bottom line, living in the red - you get the picture. Why I start sounding like Sam Spade when I talk economics I don't know - but there ya go. I get insecure because I spend a lot of time that I could be hustling up clients and charging them for my services - writing. And so far that writing has brought me in exactly nothing in the form of currency. Hold on! Not true! In university (not so long ago in my case as I'm living my life backwards) I won two poetry prizes and made about $300 overall. Not bad. And in my other writing - for govt. and so forth - I sometimes make ridiculous amounts of money. But no - doesn't count as we are going down the tubes NOW and I'm definitely fiddling while Rome burns.

There! You happy now! I found my insecure spot. Now I'm going to work. At my real work. Where I do something that people give me money for. Bye now.
I'm going to hop over to Alex's and see how the rest of the Insecure Writers are doing. Why don't you hop over there with me? Or not. Maybe you don't want to hang out with me cuz I'm a loser but I was just asking. Never mind. See you around. Maybe. Or not. Whatever.

12 comments:

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - I know exactly what you mean about the kind of insecurity that comes from juggling earning a living with writing. I have precisely the same struggle myself. Which is why I keep the hours I do...

Clarissa Draper said...

So far, I've made about $50 in sales. How much have I spent. Yikes, I don't want to think about that. It's hard to justify the expense and convince family it's more than just a hobby when all you make is pittance. It does make me insecure.

lissa said...

that is exactly me, everything you said here seems to be what I fret over. now if only I can complete that first draft...

hope you have a lovely day.

L.C. Frost said...

I'll hop over with you and hang out! :-) Yeah, the money thing is a definite insecurity thing for me, too. My parents--I'm a fresh college grad in a poor market, what can I say...--don't quite understand why I work for no money. A bit annoying at the dinner table, I must admit.

Mark Noce said...

I fell your pain, but you're doing too well to stop now. Plus I luv the Sam Spade reference:) Cool blog!

Liza said...

Oh yea! I hear you, as you know. But we'd be miserable if we weren't writing. So, write we will...in gentile poverty, I suppose. :)

Faith Pray said...

Major pats on the back to you for the finished edit! Wahoo! I am thrilled for you. I waver between pleased and horrified at my own work, then galled that I could ever send out, then pleased again, all in one crazy repeating whirlwind. And the money plays its part. "Someday," I tell myself, "I will prove to my other half that this endeavor is Worthwhile. or worthMoney..."

H. L. Banks said...

Congrats on your edit. I take strength from your post as I'm still waffling with mine.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

I feel like I just met my sister-in-humor. First, I love anyone who uses the word "ass" in their writing. I was reviewing some of my work today and thought "I sure overdo it with the word 'ass'." "Butt" just doesn't work, though. I'm sure you agree.

I've been thinking about posting regarding the money thing too. It's such a sore spot. I'm doing social services work at babysitting rates to make ends meet.

On a happier note, thanks for dropping by and following. I'm very glad to do the same.

xoRobyn

Lynda R Young said...

Yes! The problem with writing is that it's often not seen as a 'real' job. I'm so thankful I have a hubby who actually understands. He also understands my passion for writing, so I get to stay home and follow my dream... but I do feel that insecurity about not bringing in any money.

Joanne said...

Haha! I love a sense of humour mixed in with the reality of writing insecurities. Very nice. I definitely gel with all that you say, which makes me want to hang out with you! :)

Miriam Forster said...

Wednesday was TOTALLY an insecure writer day for me. And I'm planning to have another one soon because I just finished this round of edits and now I'm scared my editor won't like them. *sigh*