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August 5, 2009

Info-dump...warming up my fingers for writing...

So, I'm working on a new story. This one will be more Urban Fantasy Romance. No Fae, no Shifters.

Vampires, yes. *watching Connie as she jumps up and down with glee*

Except, these vampires aren't undead. *GRIN* Nope, sorry, not going to say anything more. You'll just have to wait and see. Well, except Connie. She gets to read it as she's my peer editor.

Anyway...

It's slower to write than the first one. I think because I'm trying to put more into it than the previous. I'm trying to take what I learned about writing the first one and applying it to this as I write. Oh, I get my grooves and whip out 3000 words in a sitting, and then I have life intruding and I might be able to tear out 300 words instead.

I think that until I actually write something that actually makes money, my family thinks this is a lark and that there's no reason to give me my space to write. I know Spike alternates between supporting me and then asking when I'm going to be published. Like I have any control over it?

There are days I think I'm just failing. That I'll never be published because I'm a crappy writer. I can't edit my own work because I don't see where it needs editing. That's not from arrogance. I really cannot see WHAT and WHERE it needs work. Maybe I am a crappy writer.

Then there are days I'm so high on the creative process it's amazing. I'm whipping out the words, my fingers are flying over the keyboard that my mind can't keep up, and I'm PROUD of what I've just put down, AMAZED those words came from me. I have a shit eating grin on my face and I feel like I'm flying when I walk.

I still grin when I remember I just finished over 77,000 words and people LIKED the story. Yes, I posted it on LIT and SOL. I figured that I'll probably never submit that story to anyone. It's my first, it's...naive, it's cliche. It screams "BEGINNER WRITER". So, Moonlight and Magick was posted for "fans". Heh. I have fans.

One of the things I'm constantly reminded of is that I suffer from Depression. I know that it first appeared when I was in junior high and I've had it ever since. Much of it was because of my peers in school. I was not rich, pretty, or smart. I was picked on, harassed, and bullied. I know that I seriously considered ending it all and kill myself. Writing became my solace. Poetry at first.

I also know that it was in my mid to late 20's that I developed a mild form of Social Anxiety. There are days in which I do not leave my house because I know that when I'm in public, I am looked at, judged, and found wanting. I do not look at anyone in the eyes, and if someone talks to me, I can't answer. It took years for me to be able to overcome a lot of it by starting up a hobby I wanted to do, belly dancing. From there, I was even able to perform in public a few times.

Even now, when invited to gatherings, I go into manic bouts of panicking. What if they don't like me? What if what I'm wearing is horrible? What if I say something too stupid? What if they never invite me back? What if...what if...what if...? When I do go, I'm not sure what to say, how to reply, or even how to join in. After all, who am I really? Nobody.

Writing is an extension of role playing. When I write, I can be my characters. I live vicariously through my characters. I can be beautiful. I can have romance and be wanted. I can live dangerously. I can travel, or have a dream job, or whatever I want my character to have or live through. Everything that I do not have or cannot have, or will never have.

I'm also a bit Obsessive Compulsive. I believe in balance. I believe in checking my word counts obsessively after I come down from a writing groove. I LIKE to see what my word count is. I like the visual affirmation that what I just did was worth it, meaningful. I have no self esteem, so self confidence (part of the Depression), so seeing the word count add up as I write, it MEANS something to me. It gives me a sense of self worth.

Should it? Probably not. Does it hinder my writing? Maybe. Should I be worried about word counts? No. A respected author-friend has clubbed me over the head to death about not worrying about the word counts, to just write.

I do write! Every day. Punctuated with brief moments of checking Twitter, my email, making sure my daughter is not in any trouble, has eaten, the dog's been taken outside to potty, checking my word count so I can smile and pat myself on the back for adding more words to the work in progress, and then I'm back to writing.

I'm a multi-tasker. It's a habit that I acquired out of necessity and even now, I cannot break it. I cannot sit down and concentrate on one thing. I grow very bored with it. 30 minutes is probably as long as I can go without a necessary break, mental or physical. I have browser windows open, application windows open, and I go back and forth between them. It's amazing that I can even work on just ONE story at a time. Before, I had three going in various stages of completion. I feel that I've come along way since those days and maybe, eventually, I can close those browser windows to just write.

Does it make me a bad writer? Probably. All the good authors are dedicated and disciplined, and THEY are published but it works for ME.

Unable to find a local Critique group, I joined one online. I had one chapter of Moonlight and Magick critiqued. 210 words less, chapter one is now much improved. I still sit back and wonder why *I* didn't see it. I'm definitely glad I joined. Hopefully I can learn how to improve through their critiques.

I guess if I never find a mentor, a critique group is close.

In the meantime, I continue to write in the hopes that I can improve my writing so that a mentor will decide I'm worth the effort of mentoring.

6 comments:

xxcalmxx said...

Bael, I wanted to take the time to say that you ARE an AMAZING author. You have the ability to draw in your audience and capture our attention and actually hold it. There is so much more to you than you even realize. . I suffer from social anxiety as well and it sucks lol I can't go out in public without hiving up,shortness of breath or sweating. Its awful. But we work through it. I'm saying this because you are a wonderful person. Just by your twitters that you send out, it shows. Never let anyone tell you different. Much respect, xCALMx

RKCharron said...

Hi :)
Thank you for sharing such a heartfelt personal blog post.
The fact you finished a novel puts you above 90% of everyone else.
Keep writing.
Keep persevering.
I know I'll be waiting to read your novel when it is published.
Love and best wishes to you & yours
twitter.com/RKCharron
xoxo

Isobael Liu said...

xCALMx,

Thank you. It's nice to know there are others who understand. Depression and Social Anxiety is a pain to deal with and it's so all encompassing sometimes. People don't realize how it really affects lives. And thank you for the compliments. Words like those help keep me going, help keep me writing.

Bael

Isobael Liu said...

RKCharron,

Thank you for your kind words.

I fully intend to keep on keeping on. It's been a dream of mine and I do hope to one day become published. I intend to become published.

Bael

Shawni said...

I personally LOVE your writing and anxiously await every word you write.. I sympathize with depression and social anxiety, If i let myself i wouldn't leave my home. I was on anti depression pills and the side affect was no feelings, I almost lost my family because I didn't care, I was numb. I've been off them for a year now and I'm slowly learning myself again. and I STILL battle depression every day but I can feel again. I'm still not sure some days whats better the numbness or the overwhelming fear and anxiety some days. I appreciate you talking about your personal feelings and anxieties, it tends to help one feel less alone. Again I LOVE the stories.. all of them... So please keep it up no matter what works for you it works for your fans as well!!! (hopefully making sense...) Shawni

Isobael Liu said...

Shawni,

Thank you for your comments. It's always nice to know one's not alone. Depression and Social Anxiety tends to make one thing we're alone in the world and it's not something we're taught to talk about. I'm glad I can reach out and share my experiences with it with others. I'm not ashamed to say I have it and I want to be able to kick it. One step in that direction is to talk about and share.

Thanks for the comments on my writing. =) It keeps me writing when I know others like it.

Bael