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Jersey Shore, United States
In case any of my friends or family members actually read this Blog, please consider all Names, Characters, Places and Incidents to be the product of the author's imagination and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales are entirely COINCIDENTAL...Muaaah!! Now, really, about me: I bring the crazy wherever I go, so I've been told...I make fun of myself more than anyone else ever could. I hate: the awkward silence in elevators, watches with no numbers, picky eaters, Cancer and legalism. I love: coffee, stalking Hugh Jackman, my Spanx, COMMENTS, sarcasm and writing: Middle Grade, NA, YA Paranormal and Urban Fantasy.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

IWSG- Zombies, Britney Spears and Writing, Oh My!

I have to start this post by saying big, huge thank you to everyone who left me comments as well as asked about my family and I, here at the Jersey Shore. We are bracing ourselves for yet another storm today. (My poor sister just got evacuated. Again!) The nor'easter that's coming looks pretty ugly. It's supposed to hit early this afternoon...which means there is a very good possibility we  will loose power. Again! If that happens, I promise to visit as many IWSG posts as soon as it's possible.

As for the IWSG, I owe you all another great big thank you! Thank you for welcoming me and my wild insecurities with open arms last month. It really helped to find out I was not alone in my neurosis. Although, now you've done it, because you welcomed me so warmly, I plan on staying. And you'll have to read posts like this one. Muaaahh!!!


So, Zombies, Britney Spears and Writing, Oh My. I know what you are thinking- my gawd this girl really has gone off the rails on the crazy train. But I promise I have a point and it is relevant to the  IWSG.

My hella cool friends, Mark & Becca at the Zombie Walk in Smithville, NJ
Just call me Britney bitches, because oops, I did it again!  I write something off the cuff and it may even be good, as is. But then I go back and reread it. I convince myself  it's all crap. Everything I've just written is so cliche and stupid. So I rewrite it. Not once, not twice, but three times. I rewrite and edit and revise it to death. I'm not happy until I kill it. And then kill it again. I'm not satisfied until what I've written has been fully Zombie-fied. All numb and dumb and virtually unrecognizable as what it once was. Why, oh why do I do this to myself, every single time? Why can't I just leave my work alone? It's Toxic. And I keep falling into this trap again and again.

I torture myself.  I wish I had the strength to just let something I write stand on it's own, before tearing it apart. But how do you stop yourself, from being your own worst enemy? We all sat by and watched poor Miss Britney spiral out of control and self-destruct. As a mom of three girls, it was especially painful for me to watch. I wanted to reach out and help. I wanted to hug her and tell her to slow down, stop the crazy and pull it together. I wanted to fix it. But no one, not her parents, or her partner or her manager could help until she acknowledged the problem herself. Thankfully, she seems to have finally conquered her demons and worked it out. How can I do the same? Because I fully realize I'm doing it, yet I just can't seem to stop myself!

Do any of you suffer from a  serious case of  the Zombies and Miss Britney? What helps pull you out of  a self-destructive spiral, when editing your work?

 

46 comments:

  1. Loving the Britney analogy lol! I suffer from a similar issue!

    Don't worry though, after all,I was Born To Make You Happy with the reminder that you will get out of this eventually!

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    1. LOL- thanks Kyra! Loved your Britney reference too.

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  2. I try not to cull too much when editing. I usually refine and extend and leave the judgements to my wonderful critique partners.
    I am glad that you have enjoyed positive experiences with IWSG, I hope you have many more!

    CarolynBrown-Books

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    1. I wish I could just sit on my hands and not change a thing, but whenever I go back and start reading, I can't seem to help myself!

      And, the IWSG is amazing! I'm loving it. Feels like free group therapy to me. LOL

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  3. Find some critique partners and let them read it after just one or two edits. They'll let you know where you stand without killing yourself or your work with rewrites.

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    1. Just set myself up with some. I bet they will want to kill me before the month is up...but yes, I need to let it go and stop the madness!

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  4. Listen to L. Diane - send it to me. I'm waiting. In the middle of a dialog revision and then I will send at least the first few chapters.(Hopefully by this weekend, hopefully you will have power, HOPEFULLY you won't lose it.) So glad to have found you.

    Now hunker down and ride out this storm as best you can. Prayin' for you and all in the path.

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    1. Yay! Thanks a bunch. As of right now, it's 2:00 p.m. it's snowing!! But we still have power so I'm pretty encouraged by that. And oh my gosh, please keep praying for us! We need all the prayers we can get here. Thanks!

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  5. New follower here... came by to say thanks for your kind comment on my blog...

    This is SUCH a fabulous post... I don't even know where to start... except, I've fallen into this trap! It's SO HARD to not butcher our work to death... I know it's why I *try* to put it away and let it sit... try and trust my gut more than anything else. It's a hard thing to do though! And scary with everything going on out there... please stay safe!

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    1. Hey Morgan! Thanks so much for your comment and the follow. I will try my best to stop butchering it. I have put my WIP in a time out before, which helped a bit. But I wouldn't be surprised, if my book came out in print, that I would still want to change it, even then!! LOL

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  6. I just stopped by to say hello!
    Cheers from Argentina.
    HD

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    1. Well, hellp to you too Humberto! How's it going in Argentina? Welcome to the Bird's Nest, I'm glad you stopped in and said "Cheers".

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  7. I allow myself a couple of reads and pass it along for others' eyes and feedback. If I didn't do this, I'd whittle my Redwoods down to toothpicks.

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    1. Hi M.L.! Thanks so much for commenting. I'm going to start exchanging my work now. I was a little too insecure to share it, for a long time. But I'm trying to get over the anxiety of that too. It's a long road. But one I'm willing to put in the work on to tackle. It will be worth it in the end!

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  8. So I was giggling before I read this post because I thought it was going to be about the Britney book deal, but then liked your analogy much better. I tend to write, edit and then give it some breathing room.

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    1. Oh wow, Johanna, I didn't know she had a book deal in the works! LOL You should have seen my face in B&N when I found "The Situation" from the Jersey Shore had a book out. I was hysterical. My kids thought I had finally lost it. Then I showed them what I was laughing at. They totally understood why I was laughing!

      I put my WIP in time out once. It did help. But as soon as I looked at it again, I wanted to throw it all away and start again! It's crazy. Giving my work over to a CP is probably the best thing I could do, no matter how anxious it makes me feel.

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  9. Stay safe from the next coming storm!

    The way I stop myself from editing more is I send it to my CPs. They'll let me know what's good and what isn't. With those guidelines, I'm able to not zombie-fy my work. :)

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    1. Hey Cherie! Yes, I am going to have to just send it the way it is. And then, if they hate it, I'll start changing it. But it's so hard for me to stop messing with it! I can't seem to help myself from working it over. Ugh.

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  10. haha, it is hard just to write without going back, isn't it? I am trying to do that for NaNo--just pump out the words and worry about how crappy they are later :)

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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    1. I read your words, and they weren't crappy at all! I liked what you wrote. It is SO hard to not go back and fix it!! Ugh.

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  11. I totally feel your pain! I think some writers have a tendency to under-edit, but I am definitely one of those who tends to over-edit. I just can't stop. I'm obsessed with making my ms perfect, and as a result, there are those times when I do more harm than good. I have learned to save every draft, because sometimes I do need to go backward. I even have an "extra" file, where I store scenes / sentence that I like, just in case I need to resurrect them at some future point.

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    1. I over-edit everything in my life. I guess it's only natural to want to do it with my writing. I think I should save every draft too. Although, it might use up all the space on my hard drive, LOL! Thanks for commenting Camille.

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  12. Know when to say when! I finally figured out that if I'm changing things back to the original draft's form then I've gone too far.

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    1. That's the problem, I can't say when!! I drive myself nuts. I can't tell you how many times I've edited and edited end then wind up back up with what I had before. I'm going to try to stop it now with sending my stuff to CPs. Maybe that will finally end my crazy cycle.

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  13. I agree that you should run your work past some critique partners if you haven't tried that yet. Once I started critiquing other peoples' work it helped me see that there's always positive in what I write and always something that can be improved. I tend to write the bare minimum on the first draft and usually add during edits. I also don't feel like it's ever going to be perfect enough - I don't know how to get over that.

    I have been thinking about you during the storms. You are the only person I 'know' in New Jersey. My heart goes out to you for sure.

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    1. Thank you so much Tonya! I appreciate all the kind words and support. The Jersey Shore is a total wreck. It snowed last night and was only 28 degrees! Thankfully, we only lost power for a little while. Some people, have never even gotten it back from the first storm. I don't know anyone (myself included) that doesn't have a house full of displaced family or friends, in their homes. People here are desperate for a place to keep warm. Any hotels that are still standing, (even if they have no power) are full to the max. It's so sad. I'm doing my best to help whoever I can, but the needs here are so great. It's just overwhelming!

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  14. Thanks for visiting my blog earlier today. I really hope that you and your family stay safe and well during all this.

    Sometimes I go back and re-read something I wrote and think, bleh. I think all writers feel that way. That's what revision is for. I'd even venture to say a lot of what goes into writing a book isn't what's in the first couple of drafts, but it's in the revisions.

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    1. You are so welcome! I really enjoy reading all of the IWSG posts.

      I'm unusually hard on myself. I think it's my personality to want to make something perfect. But there really is always something you can improve on, and I think that's what makes me nutty. I am really going to work on myself, in order to stop the revising ad nauseum.

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  15. I've done this. With my zombie book, actually. The first page was changed so many times it became one big giant mess. (I think I've finally gotten it straightened out, though.) I think sometimes you have to just force yourself to step away from it for awhile. Look at it with fresh eyes and don't be afraid to say, hey, I like that! :)

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    1. How ironic- you did this with your zombie book! LOL

      Rach-everything I've read that you wrote, so far, has been great. I think maybe we all suffer from being too hard on ourselves sometimes. I'm just the Queen of it. I'm so forgiving of other people, but not me. Don't know why I'm wired like this. I am trying to work on it.

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  16. When I change something, only to change it back, I know it's time to stop. But a part of me wants to keep going...maybe because I like zombies! I can totally relate.

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    1. Thanks Michael. I waffle. A lot. Back and forth with what I had, to something new, right back again. It's good to know I'm not alone over here in zombie-land! Thanks so much for commenting.

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  17. I can re-write forever. In fact, I do. That's why it takes me so long to get anything submitted. My novella - Cat and the Dreamer - took about 4 years, and it's only short! Hopefully I stop before it's completely zombiefied.

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    1. Aw- Annalisa. I'm sorry to hear that you suffer from this editing/re-writing trap that I do..but it does make me feel a slight bit better, hearing that we are not alone. At least you got your novella submitted, which is a huge step foward, and something to celebrate!!

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  18. When I'm in the middle of an edit and it hits me that I'm rewriting a section back to something I originally changed it from 5 edits ago... I've gone too far. I usually only edit my stuff 2 or three times and stop unless I'm missing a word or something isn't spelled correctly.
    Good Luck with the next round of storms. Hang in there!

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    1. Hi Dani! Thanks for the advice.

      We made out really well in this storm. We only lost power for around a half hour or so. Not too bad. Some poor people haven't regained their power from the first storm. And it's freezing. My heart is just breaking for all of the people who have been hit from this Hurricane. It's overwhelming to see how many people are in need!

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  19. Ugh, as silly as it sounds, we do it because that's what writers do. I think self-destructive behavior comes with the job. I like what Michael said above. You have to know when to stop. When you get to the point, where you're changing it back to the original version / word / phrase/ scene, that's when you quit. Or until you become a blubbering, drooling zombie.

    Best to you and your family dealing with the storm and its aftermath.

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    1. Hey Candilynn! Thank you. And I completely agree with you. I think this self-destructive behavior is part of having a creative personality. I know artists who tear apart what they've created as well. But I can look at what they've done and see it's amazing. They just can't recognize it when it comes to themselves. (Not that I think I'm amazing. I don't.) But I would at least like to think what I've done is adequate, before I go ripping it apart and eating it's brains. LOL

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  20. I do this too! I think something is really great, then I read it and I'm like whaaaa? Have you had someone else read it to tell you it's wonderful yet? That usually works for me. Not that I always believe them, but it helps me to keep writing until I think it's wonderful. :)

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    1. I just started the process of sharing my work. It is not an easy thing for me to do. I have had some very positive feed back, which helps me stop being such a spaz. For a time. But that nagging feeling of it not being perfect, unfortunately, it keeps coming back at me.

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  21. I wish there were special, sparkly boots we could put on to make that magic step out of the self-destructive spirals! I've found cool sparkly boots but the spirals continue :( I'm out of ideas.

    Prayers and best wishes to you and your family through these storms and the aftermath.

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    1. Hey Lex- I'll take a pair in size 7 1/2, please. I love sparkly boots. And I'd love to stop the madness. LOL

      Thank you so much for your kind comments and for the best wishes and prayers, we need all we can get here at the Jersey Shore!

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  22. I do not enjoy editing, that's the problem. I try to make it fun but it seems like editing takes FOREVER. Revising is the same way. Editing is not a piece a cake for me, I just wanna make it PERFECT and that matters to me.

    Nice to meet you! *shake hands* :)

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    1. Hey Livia! Nice to meet you too! And yes, I find editing tedious and boring. I'd much rather write and write, and never have to look back at all of my mistakes, LOL

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

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  23. hahaha...like the britney stuff...i feel like the britney that shaved her head and went wacko when i can't find time to write...grrrrr

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    1. Hey Tammy! Yeah, I feel like the wacko Brit with the shaved head a lot too. I can't seem to pull it together lately. I'm finding it very hard to find time to write myself. Maybe when the kids go back to school, I will find some peace and the time!

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