Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Withdrawal...And A Reentry Of Sorts

I've been dreading this post for the last 2 days, but it's time I share my news with you. After some sobering words from my CP about my current WIP, I withdrew from the RWA Golden Heart Contest. I know, I know. Some people probably think I should've tried to revise in time, but I'm just not motivated right now. There are too many things in my outside life vying for my attention and I don't have the heart for revising right now.

My CP was worried about me being upset or angry with her, but truthfully I'm grateful for her. I need someone I trust, someone I know wants the best for me, to be that brutally honest with me. Her comments had to do with the story being in my head and not clearly on the page. She's right. I've lived with these characters and in this Scottish village for 2 years now. I know so much about these people that I forget the reader has not listened in on all my conversations with them. Also, my CP commented that I have some big leaps in scenes (like I've forgotten to put a scene in between because she felt like she missed something). Again, that stems from me living in this world for so long.

I have no doubt I'm capable of fixing the holes and bringing the story to its clear, concise, intended ending, but I don't have the enthusiasm it would take to whip it into shape in time for GH. Why submit something to the GH that I don't feel excited about? Plus, I've been writing long enough to know I can't force it.

If I had my way, I'd take a vacation from writing from here until the start of 2008. I've literally been working on the Scottish contemporaries for about 20 months now with very little time off. The ONLY thing keeping me writing is the fact that I have this 100 words a day for 100 days challenge with my students. 7 of them are going the distance with me. I feel I can't let them down. And besides, how hard is it to write 100 words?

Which leads me to the reentry part of this post. I'm playing around with a suspense. Again. (Still?) I'm putting no pressure on myself, no deadlines or anything like that. For the rest of these challenge days, I'll do what I can and what I want. If it's good enough to keep, I'll use it in 2008. If it's trash, I'll toss it in the recycle bin.

Don't worry about me. I'm not depressed, frustrated or angry. I'm calm, relaxed and I feel this is the right (and healthy) decision for my craft. I am a writer. I will always be a writer because the stories need to be told and I can't imagine a life without this creativity. But Caitlin and I have to find our way back to the writing well.

11 comments:

Cat Schield said...

I think you're smart to realize where your comfort zone is at and not to force something. If we can't enjoy our writing, who is going to enjoy reading it? Changing up what you are working on and not putting pressure on yourself to work when you don't feel right about it.

Perhaps a vacation is exactly what you need to reprime the pump and regain your enthusiasm. So read, see some good movies, go do something you've never done before and have some fun. The writing and the characters will still be there when you're ready.

Lexi said...

Thanks for the advice, Cat!

Tez Miller said...

Wait, Scottish? Here I was thinking you were American but you're writing about contemporary Scotland? Were you born there, have you lived there, do you have a nifty Scottish accent? (Who cares if the Glaswegian one's a bit harsh? It's just as fun as the Edinburgh one ;-) )

Have a lovely day! :-)

Heather said...

Lexi my dear, it sounds like you're making a good decision that you've given a lot of thought to. I hope your break is a good one and that you and Caitlin can get your groove on again soon with fresh, wonderful new idea.

Can't wait to see you on Tuesday!!

Kit Frazier said...

Oh, Lex. I do think a vacation is exactly what you need. That, and some kudos. Were your ears burning today? I asked Michelle McGinnis and Heather Foeh to do their Web Presence speech at Writers' League of Texas, and when asked what sites and blogs came up, your blog was at the top of the list! Keep going girl, you're almost there. Your on the porch . . . you just gotta keep knocking :)

TJBrown said...

very smart and gutsy move. It's important for us as writers to know when something isn't working. Some time it's a stuggle to let go of our vision of the story, but soemtimes it must be done.
teri

Lexi said...

Tez, I am 100% American woman! My mom is from England and we have lots of relatives still there. Scotland is my happy place, the one place I would move tomorrow if I could. I've visited on a number of occasions, but I haven't lived there...yet. :)

Lexi said...

Heather, Caitlin and I are having a lot of fun right now playing with the suspense ideas. Thanks!

Lexi said...

Thanks, Kit! I'll keep knocking. I'm too stubborn to get off the damn porch!

Lexi said...

Teri, thanks for the support! I hadn't thought of it as a gutsy move. That means a lot.

Kelly Boyce said...

I think you should go with your gut and if it is telling you to withdraw from the GH for this year, then it's probably the right thing to do. I toyed with the idea myself because I have some serious character revisions to do and now only 2 wks to get it done. We'll see what happens.