Writing Sucks

How’s that for a juvenile sounding blog title?

Let me tell you about my weekend. By some weird quirk of fate (either that or a weird husband–you choose), I ended up with Memorial Day weekend all to myself. Yes!! Yes, yes yes!!! On Friday evening, my family hugged and kissed me and exited their boring desert world for a weekend in the Big City. I hunkered down in my desert house for a weekend of writing.

Saturday was great. I had very nearly rewritten the first half of one of my WIPs, so I plunged in and edited the new work, and then finished off the chapter I had previously left undone. I was prepped to breeze through the second half of the book the next day–because the second half of the book was obviously splendid and didn’t need to be rewritten.

Sunday began slowly because I decided to attend church simply so I could partake in the Lord’s Supper. So by the time I arrived home and watered my plants and fixed a pot of coffee, it was already 10 a.m. No biggie, I thought. The second half of the book was going to be a breeze.

As soon as I began editing, I knew I was mistaken. The second half sucked. Really sucked. It was not brilliant. It was not splendid and in need of minor line-editing. Every chapter needed an overhaul. Every last one. Except maybe the epilogue–all two pages of it.

I sucked it up. I took a deep breath and made notes on how I needed to change each chapter. Then the phone rang, and seeing as how it was a writing friend, I allowed him to encourage me with words like these: “Don’t worry, Jill. Even if you never make money off your writing in this lifetime, you have a reward waiting for you in heaven.” Damn good thing I was talking to a phone and not a person because my writing friend might have gotten a smack. No, that’s not true. I don’t smack people. Ever.

I wheedled my way off the phone and started again with gusto. And then the old questions of time travel arose. In the second half of this WIP, my protagonist time travels. In early versions of the book, I debated how far in the past to set the pre-time-travel scenes and had most recently decided she could follow my own age progression, which was a horrendous mistake because that meant the latter half of my book would be set in the year 2022.

I’m not a sci fi writer. I don’t go about predicting near future technology–that’s way more work than I want for my humble story. So I had to go back to the first half and date it in the year 1995 (which was my original date, anyway!!) and change all the technology references. 1995 is perfect (so why did I ever change it?) because the internet was happening; it was just a little different. No Google, for example. And cell phones? Yep, people used them, but they didn’t take pictures with them. But they gabbed on them–oh, yes, I remember it very well from working in customer service in the 90s (“May I help you?” I ask. Woman on phone holds up her finger and whispers, “Just a second,” and continues to talk on phone while long line forms behind her, and I stand at the counter waiting and sighing.)

Now, my protagonist has time-traveled to the year 2014, which is doable for me. I can deal with 2014, unless the apocalypse occurs before then, in which case none of this will matter, anyway.

What’s my conclusion after today? Well, writing sucks. Not to mention, I am a TERRIBLE writer. I’m the worst writer EVER. Can’t you tell by all my fragmented thoughts? Can’t you tell by the way my brain has cracked?

I’m going to make another pass at this. I have this evening and tomorrow left at my disposal. Because writers, especially terrible ones, never know when to quit.

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8 comments

  1. I totally know the feeling. Been there. You think you're done, or almost done, you reread and a pit forms in your stomach… You realize you have a mountain of work left to do. Yep. And feeling like a terrible writer, been there too…

  2. I know the feeling–you put all this work in, and then you feel like…it's all really awful. The grand thing is, it's never as awful as you think it is, and it can still be made better. But this is that point that, if you need a break, take it–cup of coffee and a lazy hour on the patio, perhaps? And then–back at it 🙂

  3. Jessica and Rowenna, yes, I see you get it. Rowenna, I perhaps took too long a break, but the rest of my weekend didn't go as planned. 🙁 Oh, well, I'm back at it today.

  4. testing…

    I swear everytime I try to comment here for the last week and a half the machine bars me, eats my words and spits me out. ARGH.

    I am reading and have plenty to say. ::pouts::

  5. Ah. I am allowed back in!

    I have to say that I at least admire your sitting-down-and-doing-itness. I have the worst approach/avoidance thing with my writing. I just feel like if I work on it and finish it then I die. I clearly need therapy.

    As to you being a terrible writer, I am not of that opinion. 🙂

  6. Katherine, it's not you. It's blogger. Blogger has been acting buggy for a couple of weeks now. I tried to move my site to WordPress, but my few and hard-earned followers didn't follow me over, so I'm still here.

    I may not be a terrible writer–even if I felt that way last weekend. I do lack instincts. I run off of an overworked and tired brain and have difficulty pinpointing what exactly I need to say. More on that later. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. I hope beyond hope you don't think you suck anymore!! LOL But I know how you feel–could have written this post myself–MANY times!

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