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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Writing can be a lonely sport.

I've recently come back home from a week long trip to Sedona, Arizona and I'm having a hard time getting back into my normal routine of writing. Not so much the routine, I guess. Just the writing. I'm still up at 5am (despite the dreaded two hour time difference), but my attention span isn't there. Does anyone else suffer from this? I don't know if it's because I need to go back in, reread and immerse myself again... Yeah, maybe that's it.

For those of you who have never been to Sedona... Go. Right now. Plan your trip, pack some bags and go. The energy out there is amazing! The hiking, the views, the people... the food! I never realized how awful our food is in Minnesota until I ate out there! Real, health conscious restaurants -- and they're all over! Not just one! I think I saw one pizza place in the whole city (Piccazo's). We have at least 6 here in my town. Gah! But I digress... Ranting a little. Nutritious, whole food options are a hot button issue of mine. My bad.

In many ways, Sedona woke some things up inside me... besides Minnesota's complete lack of health consciousness. LOL! It made me realize how much I enjoy nature. The outdoors. Exploring. It reminded me that when we explore, the mind chatter goes away. Because it pulls you into the Now. Isn't that what Eckart Tolle is always talking about?

But really, when we are experiencing life, the need for the mind chatter subsides. Call it spiritual if you want. Call it just taking yourself out of your normal element. Whatever. I find the way the brain works fascinating.

But back to writing... I'm close. REALLY close to having my first draft done. This world of Pendomus has been in my head since October of last year and it's getting painful to not be able to share it. It's like it's bursting at the seams to break loose... but I keep getting the internal signals of "wait... wait..." Blarg! I don't wanna wait! I want people to read it! I want to know what others think of it, dammit. LOL!

The ironic thing is, when I started the book, it was for the book's sake... the story's sake. It had to be told and it chose me to do it. No seriously. It chose me. Of that, I have no doubt. Now, I feel my ego creeping in. The desire to know what other's think. The sickening feeling of self-doubt. The squishy, ishy feelings of "Why am I doing this?" or "What if it's no good?" or "What if no one will read it?" I don't know why. I don't even know why any of that should matter.

I love my story. I love my characters and the world they've shown me. Even if I'm the only person (which, logically, I know I'm not - I have close friends and family who have also read some or most of what I've written) who loves them, so be it. Right? They are the internal workings of my subconscious mind anyway. Right?

The ego... now that's a funny thing. In some ways, we can't function without it. In other ways, humanity would be better served if we just put it in check or got rid of it all together. I love the quote by Gandhi, "Be the change you wish to see in the world." And I really try to adhere to that. To me, that means doing things for the sake of doing them - it can seem altruistic. But really, it's just keeping it simple. Trying to release the ego from attachment because all it does is get in the way.

So why is it being such a pain in my ass now? Why do I feel so antsy to get this out, but feel that the timing isn't right? It's like the universe is sending me some sick joke. Karmic mixed signals. Nice.

In addition to writing, I'm trained in graphic design... so I've been tweaking my twitter page. Playing with images, since it seems hard to find the words for the story. It's been three days since we got back and I've probably written a total of 500 words.

Writing to me seems to be a lonely sport. On one hand, I have this rich, complex world and complex characters... I enjoy living there in my head and being a part of it. But in this world, I'm alone. I am a part of a creative group (not just writers, but most are), but we meet monthly at best. I don't have an online support yet and maybe that's what I need? To find a writer's group. Then, it opens the can of worms of what happens to your stuff if you post it? Can people steal it? What if it gets out on the web? Does anyone else worry about this sort of stuff? Is my fear just a stupid thing I need to overcome and do it anyway? Or are my fears warning signs that I need to stay away until I have this done?

The things that are catching my eye right now are self-publishing blogs and sites. It seems to be the way people are going now, and it's really enticing to me. But then I go back to being alone. Doing it all. I do that so much and I'm not sure I want to do with with my writing, too. But if there was a place for it... wouldn't it be here? I can design my own sites, my covers... I can format the book and publish it on Kindle (or wherever) and maybe that's the direction I need to take? Start there?

From what I read out there, many publishers and agents won't even represent you until you have a few thousand fans. THOUSAND. Yeah. I have 36 on my fan page. How do you get thousands if you are afraid to get your story out there? That leads me back to self-publishing in eBook form first. See what happens. Other authors like Amanda Hocking seem to be doing great this way. (Another MN author - LOVE IT!) I would love to have the kind of success that she's managed to obtain for her worlds.

Wow. Did you catch that ego trap right there? Yup, spiraled right into it, didn't I?

You know what? Maybe I need to stop worrying about my method of publishing and just finish the damn book, eh? What am I so afraid of? Maybe this is why I get the mixed signals? Go (because it WANTS TO BE WRITTEN!) and Stop (because it's not ready for all this publishing nonsense yet anyway!)

Whoa. You know... this is why I love writing. I think I just had a damn epiphany just now. Did you feel that?

I did.

Okay, universe. Uncle. I'm gonna get out of my head so I can get into yours.

Lesson learned.

Shut up and write.


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