Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Insecure Writers Untie!

It is the first Wednesday of the month and you all know what that means! Insecure Writers Untie!
Untie the ropes and chains that bind you to your conventional mind. Untie all those strings and things that have you sitting bolt upright in the middle of the night exclaiming Ne Touche Pas! Or other weird French things that have nothing to do with your life. Unless you are French in which case you are probably muttering Belgian sayings in the midst of your dreams.

I'm insecure about lots of things - not just writing. I don't know if you are aware of this but I neglected to get one of those guide-books to being Human that everyone else got sometime in third grade I think. That is when things went off the rails for me. Well, and the fact that my mother and brother wouldn't let me quit grade one even though I'd already learned to read and therefore had no need of any more formal educating!

So, because of that, I often make huge mistakes. I'll stick to the writing ones for today as no one wants to hear about my first several marriages. In writing I constantly make the mistake of writing a first and second and sometimes third draft without really knowing what is going to happen next! Then I have to work backwards and do beat sheets and little index cards and big huge mindmaps and so on until I've got it all figured out. Then I need to rewrite it a few times. GAH!

Right now I just finished a set of beat sheets for Bright Angel. It's good. I can really see what needs to be fixed and what can be allowed to stay. Now to do it! But I'm also writing a play for the local theatre group and I have to work on that and oh today I have THE WHOLE DAY to do one set of MANY tax year returns I have to do or I'll be going on a different sort of writer's retreat. I've watched Orange is the New Black and I ain't interested.

So my support for all of us floundering about - be kind to yourself. That's it. This is a tough process this being a human bean and also a human writing bean. So be kind. Go at a pace that works for you. Celebrate achievements often. Put cinnamon in your coffee. Watch something funny on the web  (I like those talking animals but that's just me). Keep on keepin' on - one word after another. Be kind to yourself.

Jan, who writes, laughs and plays the accordion by the sea until October and then by the Northern Lights.


Julie Flanders said...

So I'm not the only one who never got the Being Human guide book. Glad I'm not alone.
This is great advice and something I always need to be reminded of. I am much kinder to others than I ever am to myself.

Johanna Garth said...

Oops, were we actually supposed to know what happens next when we write?

If you happen to find that book would you please send me the link to where it can be purchased...PLEASE!!! Pretty please!!

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

I missed out on the Being Human guidebook, too! I don't think of you as being insecure,'s somehow a bit comforting to hear that (although that's not nice of me to say!)

Words A Day said...

Curious as to know what a beat sheet is - I missed the instruction book too... think I live the way you write:)

Hart Johnson said...

HA! I don't think I got that manual about being human either. I LOVE the beat sheet method... but need to remember to use it! I have been struggling with what I'm working on and think this may be the solution! Thanks for the reminder!

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I'd like to see that guidebook LOL! I must have been absent the day they passed it out.

Mencara Mitchell said...

Kindness to yourself is one of those things we really need to teach future generations. When my friends get down on themselves I act like they are talking about someone else and I say, "Don't be so mean to my friend. She/He's a good person and doesn't deserve that."

We are often meaner and less patient with ourselves than we are with anyone else. If someone talked about me the way I talk about myself, I'd be in tears. It's been difficult, but so important to learn that beating myself up for being a human with failings will never give me positive results. It will only make me feel worse.

Thank you for the reminder!

Trisha F said...

I think I'm pretty kind to myself, though I do have moments of irrational self-hatred that thankfully pass quickly. :)

Stephanie said...

I didn't get that guidebook either, though I've been searching on amazon for a used copy.

I've heard that jail time really can do wonders for writing :-) You have tons of time to just sit and write :-P But it's probably a bit of a drastic measure.

Margot Kinberg said...

Jan - What a stunning 'photo! And thank you as always for the reminder that we're not supposed to get it all right. Not the first time, and sometimes not even after several tries. That's just the way humans are. And that goes for writers too.

Patricia Stoltey said...

There was a manual?? Darn it.