Thursday, May 12, 2011

I Love It, But I'm Biased...

Morning, y'all! It's already hot as blazes in the Deep South this morning, and I've already been almost killed on my scooter on the way to work, and my cat—the outside cat, who has already had about a grand's worth of doctor visits—is back in the vet to treat an abscess on her tail. Yeesh.

On mornings like this one, how do you even know where to start? Can you trust your emotions, your decisions? Most importantly—to us writer folk—can you be be a true judge of your own work?

I don't know about the rest of y'all, but when I'm having a bad day, eventually I start to feel bad about everything: myself, my writing, etc. Whereas when I'm feeling good about myself, looking over the same writing brings me a sense of joy and accomplishment. Maybe I'm a little moodier than the average person (I am a cancer, we can be crabby, lol!), but I know there are times when I can't trust my own opinion, and that usually has something to do with my ego.

I'll let you in on a little secret, though. Come closer. I won't bite. (Although I didn't eat breakfast this morning, so if you have any granola in your pockets or anything, that would be magical!)

Since I stopped comparing myself to other writers/authors/NYT Bestselling authors, my bad days seem to be fewer and farther between. At least, the days where I've deflated my own ego with jealousy and feelings of inadequacy, anyway. Now if I could just get traffic and the heat and my cat to cooperate!

There's still one problem, though. Sometimes, when I'm reading this new stuff I've been writing (42K words, woohoo!), I start to get excited. Like, heart pounding-pulse racing-butterflies-in-the-stomach-OMGWTFBBQ-THISISTHEBESTTHINGSINCEHARRRYPOTTERMWAHAHAHAHA!!!


What I mean to say is, is feeling too good about your work a bad thing? As long as I've got betas to bring me back down again, I'm not sure it is. I love that sense of being in love with a manuscript, particularly one I've read, re-read, edited and revised so many times. It's a little magic of it's own, that writer's high, that elusive feeling that this time will be the one!

So what do you all think? Can being too in-love with your manuscript be a detriment? Or is it a moot point, since the honeymoon never lasts that long anyway? ;)

I'd love to hear your thoughts!


Abby Annis said...

Loving your ms is a very good thing, especially while drafting. Nothing stops me faster than a case of everything-I-write-sucks. Without those moments of thinking I'm the best writer EVER, I don't think I ever would've finished my first novel. Which sucked, despite my awesomeness. But you already know that. ;)

Don't worry, Tere. You are as awesome as you think you are. You just forget sometimes. :) So, in saying that, am I shirking my beta duty to "bring you back down?" ;)

And, um, sorry I can't help you with breakfast. I stopped keeping granola in my pockets a while ago. Got tired of picking out the lint. ;)

KM said...

I think it's really good to be in love with your work when you're rough drafting. That will keep you writing. But when you edit, you need to have a bit more critical eye, you know?

Icy Roses said...

You have to savor the moments when you're too in love with your work. At least for me, they don't last long and they aren't very often, especially in the middle of the story (beginning and the end are always easy to feel excited about). Like KM said though, things are a little different when you're editing.

I meant to tell you this 40000 years ago, by the way, but I got the stuff you sent me. I don't know what it is yet because it's at home, but I told my mom to put it in my room for when I go back, which is tomorrow. So I'm excited. Thanks again for all of the hassle I put you through with my dysfunctional address.

JEM said...

Wow, compelling questions. That's tough for me. I love when I read over a line and it thrills me, like "I wrote that?" It doesn't happen very often, but when it does it pleases me. I don't know that I have a real answer...I'm so good at being critical that I haven't gotten that fluttery feeling yet!

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

It's hot as Hades in St Pete too.
And I know all about those bad days. But you're right, it helps to stop comparing ourselves. I just have to remember not to do it.

Plamena Schmidt said...

Haha. Nice post! I don't think being too in love with your manuscript is a bad thing. Isn't it the "this time will be the one" the feeling that keeps us going a lot of the time with writing? (As long as you can still make changes to your manuscript and you know it's not perfect, there's nothing wrong with liking it!)

Girl Friday said...

Haha, love that pic. I think being in love with your writing is a great thing, because that excitement can only come across on the page and make it more fun to read. plus if you're having fun you'll get it written quicker!

As long as, like you say, you're prepared to listen to your betas and do the hard revising/editing work afterwards.

Tere Kirkland said...

JEM, that's how I know I'm happy with what I've written. My inner editor shuts off and I start enjoying the ride, the story that I'm telling. It's a good feeling!

Karen, hope it's cooled off a little for y'all the way it cooled off here over the weekend.

Plamena, that feeling of "the one" defintiely helps motivate me, even if it's not!

GF, I must have been having fun, I'm almost finished with the rewrite, and it's coming in at about 10K words fewer than the old version. Still need to work on the ending, though. I can't wait to get it to betas and see what they think!