Saturday, January 27, 2007

Midnight in Gethsemane

status: 16,200 words (lost time made up for)

Doubt seems to be the topic going around. No wonder. The work is mentally and emotionally grueling, the rewards scant or nonexistent, and to friends and loved ones it looks like we're just sitting on our asses. On a bad day, this path can look long and cold and lonely and hard: forever uphill under a stormy sky, paved with the bones of seekers who failed before you and the painful knowledge that you were a fool to even try.

When it gets that bad, read the last two words of my blog title. Then sit down and write.

To keep it from getting that bad, here are a few mental tricks I've used to keep the demons from my door. Just little things I tell myself when doubt wants to nibble at the edges.

1. Doubt is a liar. One thing I notice reading biographies is how many truly great people went through periods of intense doubt and self-examination. Sometimes while in the middle of their best work.

2. Doubt is part of any process. It's the flip side of ambition. Everyone hoping to achieve anything worthwhile will spend a few long dark nights in Gethsemane.

3. Doubt might be right. This is a great way to keep it from gnawing deeper until it hits bone. Admit your doubts might (*might*) be valid. I do this to ways. One is almost a mantra for me, has been since I was a little shaver with a sketchbook and a dream.

I may not be the most talented, but no one will work harder.

Because the fact is, hard work will often take you places where lazy talents will never reach. And hard work *with* talent. Sky's the limit. I can't control my talent (and don't always believe I have any), but I can control my work.

The other tool is my deadline. I'm going to write ten novels. (This one is number four.) If I can't get published in ten novels, I'm out. I'll write for fun, and keep up the good work with the graphic novels (where my scribbling makes up for any soft spots in the words), but that's it.

Of course, I got the fantastic Agent Anne with number three, and she's pretty sure POISON DOOR has what it takes. But if she's wrong, the new book's coming.

And lastly...

4. Can you come back later? I'm busy writing just now.

That one's my favorite.

4 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

Sometimes I even doubt my doubt. I suspect it might just be laziness, maybe no more than a convienent excuse to help me rationalize why I "don't" write.

Kate S said...

LOL to Charles' comment.

Now, thank you, Steve, for reminding me of something I'd forgotten. It wasn't until I read this post that it hit me. Years ago, I attempted my first novel and showed it to a writer friend. Her words? "Stick with painting."

If offended me so much that I was determined to prove her wrong. And eventually, I did. (Well, more or less.) :) Furthermore, at that time, she was at least right that what I had written sucked. It did. But I've been working to improve it, and will continue to do so.
Thanks for the reminder, and good luck with your book. :)

Steve said...

My first 'real' novel was so bad my best friends didn't finish it.

Actually, the first draft was fatally flawed. My beloved read it, put it down and said, "It's like Scooby Doo. You've got a mystery with one suspect."

The second draft was the one that my friends didn't finish. The third got other friends to read it and say nice things, but it still wasn't up to snuff.
Meanwhile I was writing my 'newer, better' second novel.

That one was so bad it went straight into the drawer.

Two years later, the third time was the charm.

Maybe. If it sells.

Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 感情挽回, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 挽回感情, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信, 捉姦, 徵信公司, 通姦, 通姦罪, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 捉姦, 監聽, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 外遇問題, 徵信, 捉姦, 女人徵信, 女子徵信, 外遇問題, 女子徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 徵信公司, 徵信網, 外遇蒐證, 抓姦, 抓猴, 捉猴, 調查跟蹤, 反跟蹤, 感情挽回, 挽回感情, 婚姻挽回, 挽回婚姻, 外遇沖開, 抓姦, 女子徵信, 外遇蒐證, 外遇, 通姦, 通姦罪, 贍養費, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信公司, 女人徵信, 外遇

徵信, 徵信網, 徵信社, 徵信網, 外遇, 徵信, 徵信社, 抓姦, 徵信, 女人徵信, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信公司, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 女人徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 女子徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信,

徵信, 徵信社,徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 外遇, 抓姦, 離婚, 外遇,離婚,

徵信社,外遇, 離婚, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信, 外遇, 徵信,外遇, 抓姦, 征信, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信,徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信, 外遇, 抓姦, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社, 徵信社,徵信,徵信,