Author Adventures: Abandoning Projects

Back in July I wrote about 20,000 words in a project that I poured my soul into. And I ended up completely abandoning it. Why? Because it was really, really bad. It was one of the first fiction pieces that I’ve ever composed that made it over a few thousand words. It would have been a very obvious self insert to anyone who knows my real life. It was cringey (to me, who knows if the real world would despise it as much as I was in the end).

The story overall has potential but I wrote about an issue that was plaguing me personally and it was an extremely cathartic writing process. It helped me to mourn a situation that was causing me a lot of problems and move forward. It let me tell a story that I needed to tell in order to heal. There might come a time when I revisit the story but in recent weeks I was inspired by the possibility of two new stories which is great because I haven’t written anything other than poetry in months… And if I’m honest I haven’t written any poetry in a while either.

I’ve always felt this inherent guilt over abandoning projects. But I think the more that I shelve, the more I realize what I’m doing wrong and what I can do to improve. I may be a panster when it comes to writing but I think I actually need to learn how to outline. I’ve never outlined, in school I used to literally write my project/paper and then do the outline if I was required to have one. I like being able to write whatever scene is inspiring me at the time, but that comes at a cost. If I had an outline to follow, I could still do this but instead of just randomly writing really good scenes, I would be writing good scenes in their proper place in my manuscript.

Right now, I’m actually researching (WHO EVEN AM I) for a project that randomly came to me the other day and I’m taking it really slowly. Life is a lot right now and while I totally want to have results *RIGHT NOW* I think that I want to try to not abandon this project… And to do so I need to have my shit together. Which means doing a lot of research and compiling a cohesive outline.

When it comes to abandoning projects, I think I’ve started to take a more “it’s not goodbye, it’s see you later” approach. Though some projects I might never write in again, I’ve definitely started to borrow themes and scenes from old projects in my newer ones. Recycling at its finest!

It’s important to foster the works that you can be proud of and if abandoning something you don’t really want to see the light of day is what it takes to point you to something you could be proud to publish some day then abandon it. On the other hand though, I think it’s also important to not abandon something that you just get momentarily stuck on. If you have more ideas for one project, just keep writing through the stickiness, the editing will help fix it later. (Oof, that sounded so preachy and I apologize haha)

So I guess this was just me confirming that I abandoned a really big project and might potentially be starting two new ones now…

What do you do if you realize you might need to abandon a project? Do you abandon projects? Do you ever pick them back up again and if so how do you know it’s time to revisit it? Let me know in the comments!

P.S. It is October 12 and it is snowing…. Absolutely despicable.

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Author Adventures: Poetry

So I started writing a collection of poetry. I don’t know how I feel about it. I’m in that mindset where I feel like this industry is oversaturated with books and that nothing I write could ever contribute to something big. A lot of the poems that I have written are some of the rawest things I’ve ever written. It’s the kind of stuff that usually stays in my journals and never gets past those hand written pages.

And even writing these I wonder what the point in sharing them would be. It’s dark stuff and there’s just a lot of intimate detail about mental health struggles and toxic relationships.

My ultimate goal would be to self publish this collection but I definitely feel the pressure of criticism even though only one poem I’ve written has even made it out into the wild. And trust me, I know that not everything that I say is going to be of the taste of everyone that reads it but I try my best for perfection… Which is obviously impossible.

Honestly this makes me think back to high school during all of my more creatively based classes. Some of these classes I thrived in, though I usually had to force myself to turn in projects because it was never quite good enough for what I wanted to do. But then I took an AP art class my senior year and it completely ruined me. I wrote a post about that a few months ago. The words of that teacher ring through my head constantly when I post something that I am somewhat proud of.

TRITE IT’S TRITE AND NO ONE WILL EVER LIKE IT.

I fucking hate the word trite.

Ever since then I feel like I have been set up for failure. And it doesn’t even matter how much praise I get for the creative work I do, it never feels good enough. I never realized just how much that year of criticism hurt me. It probably doesn’t help that there are hundreds of people out there just looking for things to criticize. Just looking for reasons to cancel people. I’ve been part of book twitter for a while and it genuinely makes me sick to my stomach to see how quickly people will blame someone for something and just want to ruin their whole career. And I feel like I can never speak out about things because I don’t want any backlash.

This is a time of overreaction and not listening to any explanation that anyone could possibly provide. It’s cancel them now and never change your mind. I don’t know, it all just overwhelms me. I’ve been tempted to get rid of all my social media completely but I mean, where else am I supposed to get my daily dose of memes?

And now that I have gone completely off topic of what I was originally writing about…. Yeah, so I’ve been writing a lot of poetry recently and I’d really like to publish it sometime either this fall or maybe this winter. I’ve started working on cover designs and so far I’ve finalized six poems. I’m hoping it turns into something that I feel is worth sharing.

 

Author Adventures: Camp NaNoWriMo Week 2

I think I’m officially calling it that I’ve failed Camp NaNo yet again. I’ve been sitting at 12,413 words since last Tuesday, I think?

Anyways, I know that I didn’t want to talk about mental health on here anymore but I figured I might as well say that I’ve entered a really bad depressive episode and I just have no motivation to do anything. AKA: What’s the point in writing anything? (It’s not like you’ll ever get published) What’s the point in trying to be happy? (You’re just going to end up sad again) Why bother doing anything? (The world is horrible and we all die in the end anyways).

Sorry if that was really negative but that’s about all I’ve been thinking about. Like I even got to the point with these blog posts that I was writing them the day of trying to get them published before my normal scheduled publishing time. I just started feeling like everything I do is completely pointless and I wanted to give up. So with Camp, I did.

Usually I get a bit more creative when I’m depressed but more recently it just turns me into an unproductive crying mess. Like yesterday I spent hours watching Black Mirror and true crime documentaries and doing crossword puzzles. And then I forced myself to go to bed because I was sad that I hadn’t done anything productive all day.

Things are just going really poorly in my personal life and it’s hard to feel like anything is worth doing because I’m pretty sure I’ll never get out of the hole that I’ve been in for 2+ years.

So yeah, that’s basically what’s been going on. Here’s a really short excerpt from what I have written so far (I know it’s not great):

“I didn’t know what forever felt like until I met you. Forever was a tattoo, a bad decision, something that would ruin my life. I never knew that forever could be home. That forever could be family.” Alyssa turned towards the rest of us then, I can’t tell if she’s on the verge of sobbing or laughing. Her smile is radiating and Beth grabs onto her hand.

I sit back in my seat, thinking about the concept of forever. I don’t know what I think about forever, the evidence is all around me. Happily ever after runs rampant in my family. Beth and Alyssa are further proof of that. I think about my friends back in Minnesota. Of Carter, Adam, my roommates, and then of Austen. It never occurred to me before that maybe Austen could be a forever. That maybe I had finally met someone that could love me the way that my parents love each other, or the way that Beth and Alyssa love each other. I can’t help but wish that Austen was here with me now, thoughts now wandering to him driving me to the airport when I left for Washington for the wedding. 

He’s my best friend and maybe I love him. Maybe he’s the one I’ve wanted all along. 

Alrighty then, hope y’all have a decent week. Happy writing and all that jazz.

Author Adventures: Camp NaNoWriMo Update Week 1

Well everyone, I survived an entire week of Camp and I didn’t give up! I actually wrote something every day! Yay me!!

So as of right now, I am at a whopping 10,417 words. My progress has slowed down immensely since the beginning of the week and I am definitely starting to struggle. I never realized just how hard it would be to write the cheery parts of a love story when I have almost no good opinions about romance at the moment.

I also have spent a good portion of my days streaming shows. I started watching Letterkenny on Wednesday and have made it almost to season 6. And yesterday I started Stranger Things 3. What I feel like my brain is doing right now is the thing that it did back in September where literally all I did was watching Vine compilations for hours on end because it was the only thing that I could concentrate on. Like if I wasn’t staring at nothing, I was watching Vine compilations on Youtube. With watching all this TV I can feel my brain doing the same thing. It’s getting harder to come up with stuff to write and I also can barely read more than a page in a book at a time.

Yesterday I tried to be really productive by cleaning and doing laundry so that I could feel like I was doing something. In the end, though, I felt like I was incredibly unproductive because there were so many other things that I could have been doing too.

Anyways, back to the writing progress. My story has been interesting to write. I think that I have finally realized how nice it is to have an outline when writing but is that going to change the fact that I like to pants my stories? Nope! Once the story is completely finished though there will be a lot of things that I’ll have to go back and rewrite in order to make the story mesh into what I’m trying to make it become. But of course, that’s what editing is for!

Another thing that I’ve realized through writing is how terrified I feel about the possibility of being published someday. Like I know how I tear apart books and I see how other people tear apart books and I just really don’t want my book to be teared apart like that. I know that there will always be people that don’t like what I do but I just want my story to be liked by people. So I find myself questioning everything that I’ve written. I’m questioning the entire plot itself.

Since this is the first book that I’m ever going to finish writing I’m not sure it will ever be published. But if it ever gets to that point my fingers are crossed that it is something that I will be proud to share with people.

So with that, I’m going to try and get as much writing done today as I can. If you’re participating in NaNo I hope it’s going well and good luck with your writing this week!

Author Adventures: Camp NaNoWriMo

According to my Camp NaNoWriMo account, I have attempted this challenge (and failed) three other times. I feel like I must have a second profile floating out there though because I know I tried this before the April 2016 session but that’s the first project that I have listed on my profile. I vividly remember staying up until all hours of the night back in high school trying to research things for books and then giving up by the end of the first week.

Shockingly, one of the projects I did a few years ago actually made it to 20,000 words! I spent a lot of my time locked in my room writing that because I was in a really bad relationship and I was trying to keep my mind off of that. I would love to go back and work on that project in order to publish it but at the same time, I feel like a lot of my viewpoints from that time have definitely changed and I’m not sure if I want to attach my name to it. In case you’re wondering, it’s a really faith based self care book and I was really proud of it at the time but I feel like it isn’t the best thing I could write and I’m not sure that I didn’t just BS a bunch of it to get my word count up.

I’ve been messing around with a novel idea right now, one that I actually have a really solid story planned out in my mind (which honestly never happens). Usually when I come up with a new story, I think of the opening sentence and how it ends and almost nothing else in between which makes it really hard to try and keep up with writing the story. Years of honors and AP English classes have turned me off from outlines so much that I feel physically ill at the thought of trying to fill one out. Which really sucks because I know if I could actually outline a story it would probably go pretty smoothly with the rest of the writing!

So if you’re wondering, yes, I have decided to give Camp NaNoWriMo another try. I figure with reapplying for schools this summer I might not have the time to write in November so I might as well try it out now while I have some creative motivation. I’m not doing too hot mentally so maybe letting myself live in a fictional world for a little bit will do me some good!

Today is the first day and I’m going to try and get in some good writing both at work and after work. I’ve got an extra day off this week with the 4th of July so I’m hoping to get in a good amount of writing. Anyways, I think I’ll be posting Camp updates once a week, possibly on Sundays? But I’ll see what I end up doing!

Now to those of you who are reading this that are also participating; what are you writing about? And good luck to you! I really hope we can all get through this together! Happy writing 🙂

Author Adventures: I Don’t Like My Writing

I think that one of the biggest reasons that I really haven’t pursued writing a full length novel is because I actually hate my writing. And yes, most of that reasoning is simply because I think that nothing I ever create is good enough to be shown to other people, but there are also a lot of things about my writing that I could improve upon.

I have always, always discouraged myself from pursuing creative careers.

“There are too many artists”

“Your work isn’t good enough to ever make you money”

“You would never succeed, you’ll be broke for the rest of your life”

These are just a few of the thoughts that would go through my mind when I would consider pursuing something creative for my future career. All of these thoughts and more are still incredibly prevalent when I think about what I want to do with my future. Though I have finally decided upon what I really want to go for school for I still question whether or not I’m truly making the right decision. But that’s a discussion for a different day. Art classes ruined my creativity for the most part (I talked about that more in depth in this post) and I’m not sure if I would ever feel confident enough in my creative work to pursue it as a career.

When I think about writing I think that there is no way anyone could ever possibly be interested in what I’m writing. And eventually, with every story that ever comes to my mind, I turn away from it. I shut the file or the notebook and I push the ideas to the side and never return to them.

My writing, to me, is too childish, there’s too much detail, not enough detail, the plot makes no sense, it’s not unique enough. I mean the list goes on! My motivation for writing can disappear so quickly that it’s discouraging. I want to write but most of the time I feel like there truly is no point in doing so. And then, when it comes to writing novels I always write a number of pages and then stop because I just can’t keep the plot going.

Sometimes I really wish that I had either a co-author to help me with longer stories or just someone who would help to push me to write more. But I really don’t have anyone who could do that so it sucks.

I, in all honesty, really wish that I had more confidence in my work. But I think everything I do sucks. Even these blog posts never truly live up to my expectations. Sometimes I really wonder if I even want to continue writing because who will ever read my work even if I do get it published someday?

And now that I’ve thoroughly depressed the 2 readers I have with my depressing post, I bid you good day. Talk to ya next time.

 

Author Adventures: My List of Impossible Projects

Here it is, the return to my attempt at becoming a published author eventually. I guess this means I’m actually going to try and write. Let’s see how long this lasts.

Today I’m going to share with you some of the ideas that I have for possible projects. Some of them are going to be pretty vague while others I’ll go into more detail for. Not many of these ideas have been stirring in my brain for a while, I’ve actually forgotten a lot of stuff that I once wanted to write about. One of my future projects for this series is actually going to be going back and rereading some of my old journals for tidbits of info regarding writing. I also want to see if I can find any of my really old NaNoWriMo projects and talk about those more in depth (because they were really bad and I feel like that post would be pretty comedic).

Anyways, here is a list of my (im)possible projects… calling them impossible because I really have no idea if I’ll ever finish any of them.

First off is really stupid, I’d like to publish a collection of my poetry. I feel like this market might be incredibly oversaturated at this point but I have always had an affinity for writing poetry and I don’t think that what I write is awful. However, I do feel like the collection of poems that I have already written in the past is incredibly angsty and I’m not sure how much of that I would ever want to see the actual light of day. If I were to ever publish a poetry collection I would have to do extensive rewrites of my old poems and really think about what I want the overall meaning of what I write to be.

Next up is actually a project that I’m currently working on, it’s a fantasy novel about a princess that is in the midst of not only training to eventually become queen but is also the leader of the entire kingdom’s army. (And spoiler alert: they’re going to war). I have the very beginning of this book written so far as well as a very big plot point that’s going to occur somewhere around the halfway mark. I think if I’m going to be serious about this book that I really need to write an outline (even though I’m very much a pantser when it comes to writing).

A contemporary novel with *redacted*… I had a whole thing written out for that but I ultimately had to delete it because I feel like this story is better off with little to no information given out. There are a lot of elements to this story that I’m iffy about, I actually got the idea off of a writing prompt, and I’m a little nervous that if I don’t write it correctly that it could look really problematic. So I think that this is definitely a story that I will have to sit down and outline. I also think that further into outlining/writing this that I’m going to have people read it to see if it’s coming across the right way or not. And if the original concept goes awry I can totally flip this and write a completely different story that would sort of follow the original.

Back in high school I took a creative writing class and for our final project we all had to write a short story. I wrote a horror themed short story about a doll that came to life and to this day it’s still a story that I’m incredibly proud of. My teacher actually told me that it came across with Stephen King vibes which, to me, is still one of the best compliments I’ve ever been given about my writing. This story is actually an inspiration for another project idea of mine that would basically just be a collection of short horror stories. I’ve never been good at plotting out really long horror based stories but I think that the genre is such a fun one to delve into that it would be fun to just write short stories and finally get all my horror stories out there.

Another idea I have is to write a series of middle grade books that are within the historical fiction genre. Books like this were a pivotal part of my reading as a kid and I would love to contribute to other children’s love of history through my own writing. This could also depart into me just writing a regular adult novel in the historical fiction genre but I’m kind of leaning towards younger readers when I think of this project idea. I have numerous concepts that I’ve been mulling over and I’m not sure if things like American Girl books and the Little House books mean that there wouldn’t be a place for more historical fiction middle grade books but we shall see.

The last idea that I’m going to share in this post is just going back to the nonfiction book that I had mentioned in my first post in this series. I would really like to try and finish that book even though now that I’ve thought about it more I really don’t think it was that great. But I’m hoping that maybe the motivational message in it could be useful to someone else so I might eventually revisit it or write an entirely different sort of self-help motivational book in the future.

Now that I’ve rambled on for quite some time I think I’ll stop here. I really am excited for some of the ideas that I have and really hope that I can finally find the motivation to flesh out some or even all of these impossible projects that I’ve outlined here. Anyways, hope you all have a nice day! I’ll talk to you next time.