Wednesday, September 21, 2011

writing inspiration - one step forward, two steps back

Remember that half-cool, slightly-creepy music video where Paula Abdul danced on the roof tops with an animated cat? Kind of random walk down memory lane, but it's the message of the song that makes my point today. 
Before Paula's gyrating dance with a feline came to mind, I was thinking about my writing style. To this day I've written 5 1/2 books. None of which are published. That fact gets me super frustrated.
I like to write, but my problem is I get stuck in the thick of it. Once I finish writing a book I know it needs to be edited but I'm not sure where to start and what to do. And what if what I change actually makes the book worse?
I worry so much that eventually I put the book down and start on a new one. Hence the 5 1/2 unpublished books. Frustration to the max.

The other day as I was venting to my awesome friend and writing buddy, Peggy Eddleman, I was growing more and more irritated by the moment because in the two years that I've written 5 1/2 books, she's written two. And polished one to perfection. I thought to myself, why the heck can't I do that? Why can't I just polish one of the five?
Near closet to pulling my hair out the epiphany hit: I CAN!
I just need to take a couple steps back. If I'm sick of what I'm working on currently maybe I should take a look at one of the old five books.
That night, I picked one and read the entire thing. I'm not going to lie...some parts weres so bad it made me cringe with embarassment, but other scenes were friggin' awesome. Awesome to the point that I seriously wondered if I'd actually written it.

Now that it's been so long since I cracked that book open, I'm able to look at it with a fresh perspective. I've been editing it and re-writing scenes, and I hope to have it polished in the next month. I can't believe that I had to take a couple steps back to figure out what I need to work on. But it's like Paula Abdul says, sometimes you need to take "one step forward," and then "two steps back," to get where you need to be. 

Thanks Paula for your inspiration...and the creepy can-dancing vid.


Jenny S. Morris said...

This is what happened with one of my books. I'd stepped away from it so long, that I was able to really see it for what it was/.

Congrats on realizing you CAN do it.

Jessie Humphries said...

Yay! Focus Erin Focus. Which one is it? The Spy book? Please be the spy book. I love that one.

i'm erin. said...

Jessie, it's the Porno. ha ha...just kidding

Brianna said...

I have no doubt you will be published! Keep up the awesome work.

Stacy Henrie said...

You can do it, Erin!

Jessica G. said...

Editing is the hardest part. I feel like I have to make "Sophie's Choice" with each chapter.

And let's make a pinkie-swear that if one of us gets a good agent, then we'll try our best to get the other one's manuscript read, okay? :)

Glad I wore my NaNoWriMo shirt today!

i'm erin. said...

Jessica, deal!

linda said...

Yay for epiphanies! Best wishes for your revision process. :) said...

Banned complain !! Complaining only causes life and mind become more severe. Enjoy the rhythm of the problems faced. No matter ga life, not a problem not learn, so enjoy it :)

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