Friday, May 11, 2012

In a Funk

You may have noticed I haven't been around here lately. That is, if you haven't forgotten about me. I'm in a funk. I've lost the will to write.

That's not entirely true. I just can't seem to find anything interesting or funny to say. Every idea I have seems completely and utterly stupid. To top it off, I hate my writing. As in my novel writing. I haven't worked on my WIP or edited John and Darcy in days.

Having your novel edited is like being stabbed in the eye. Repeatedly. It's necessary, but painful. Except, I guess being stabbed in the eye isn't really necessary. But it sure is painful. I assume.

You know how when you were younger and would say negative things about yourself and your parents would stand you in front of the mirror and make you say how great you are? Like, you is kind, you is smart, you is important, from The Help.

Having your novel edited is the exact opposite. All that work your parents and teachers and mentors did to build your self-esteem goes right down the drain. You is dumb, you is unoriginal, this story sucks.

I'm not trying to say my editor is mean or unfair. It's her job to tell me like it is. And she certainly doesn't hold back. I appreciate her honesty. Really, I do. If anyone needs thicker skin, it's me. And if my book ever gets published, readers and reviewers will be way harsher.

Not that my story sucks. Heck no! It's awesome and you should totally buy it. Someday.

It's just that...well, you know what I'm saying. Or not. Whatever. I'm already tired of writing and this is sounding mopey and woe-is-me and I don't mean it to. I don't feel that way. I'm just stating a fact. Editing sucks and right now I hate my writing. This too shall pass.

I hope.

You guys remember the Jerry Springer show? Of course you do. You're lying if you said you never watched it. Remember how, after an hour of fighting, and hair pulling and spitting and "oh no you didn't!" Jerry would impart words of wisdom in his final thought?  Well here's my final thought: It's okay to end sentences with a preposition! No seriously, it is. The world will not end. Puppies will not be mauled. You will not contract an infectious disease. Write the way people talk! And most people in 2012 America do not say, "About whom are you talking?" They say, "Who you talkin' about?!"

Now go forth and break grammar rules. Except using your and you're properly. You just look stupid otherwise (unless I misuse them; then I'm just being rebellious).

And Grandma? Go ahead and eat her. I hear she's delicious.

This makes me stabby.

36 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    1. I loved it. I am a new fan. I tried to delete my comment to fix an error. . . At any rate, very funny.

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    2. I just started a blog. Maybe you can check it out if you have time. www.twitterissoweird.blogspot.com This Is My Life, Or Something.
      I write about fighting cancer and how fun that can be. I do try and laugh about it.

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  2. My gawd, there must be something in the water. Or a viral infection making its way around us. I always knew I was going to catch a disease from you people. How else to explain how we're all hating our writing so much AT. THE. SAME. DAMN. TIME???

    This too shall pass, right? At least for you, because you CAN write.

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    1. I need to get time to read your latest post.

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  3. Did i mention that you rock ? Because you do

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  4. OMG I feel the exact same way right now. 6 months ago I was feeling good about my writing. Today, I can't type a single sentence without wanting to set my computer on fire. I think a lot of writers go through this. Just get through the editing phase no matter what. You'll be glad you did in the end when your book gets published, because it will get published!

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  5. Oh, yes. Amen, sister. My first few paragraphs are still sitting there doing nothing. They're not inspiring me, or amusing me. They're not even pissing me off. Inertia.

    I think I'll print those paragraphs off and fry them in bacon grease. Maybe I'd like them better that way. Everything's better with bacon.

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  6. Sorry you are feeling down, and yes- I was wondering where you went.

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  7. I hear it's normal. All I know is there are LOTS of times that I walk away and wonder if I'll ever write another thing. It's hard to come up with new ideas, especially if you feel pigeon-holed in a certain type of genre. Hey, I think you blew through your funk just by writing this post! I, for one, enjoy your writing and would hate you to take a long hiatus. Hang in there Sarcasm Goddess!

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  8. You need a writing/critique group, honey. Editors ARE useful, but supportive critiquing from people you trust is vital. Keep writing!!!!

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  9. I forgot about that part of the jerry springer show!! Omg remember the stripper pole!?
    That guy made tv awesome.
    Hey! Draw a picture of me in my wedding dress as a peacock

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  10. Let it be known that many of us have missed you. You write well, you're entertaining, and engaging. If anything, even if you think the subjects for your blog, please write it and post, we will still like, and be entertained. There's always a plethora or subjects related to anal bleaching.
    Now that your post has talked me off the ledge, please continue posting.

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  11. You will be fine - just as long as you don't start typing "all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" over and over like the guy in the movie "The Shining"!

    Hope your funk passes quickly!

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  12. First of all, I want to let you know that you are awesome and have a huge amount of talent as a writer. Secondly, as you can tell from my blog, I am not a writer, I barely know how to put a damn sentence together, which is why I love to read your blog, because you inspire me to learn and do better.

    So, with that being said, don't give up. You have a gift that needs to be shared with the world, me and everyone who is lucky enough to come across your blog and someday read your book.

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  13. It's always hard when people critique something that is so important to you. But, hang in there. What's that thing people always say? "It will be worth it in the long run?" Yeah, that! Keep your chin up!

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  14. Everyone gets in a funk now and then. Nothing is wrong, but nothing is really right either.

    I'll wait here for you.

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  15. oh, that's so tricky of you.

    even when you (claim) are not at your best; you're the best.

    Notice the correct usage ;)

    no be so long gone again, ok?!

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  16. I've wasted all my fancy ass words for stupid reports at ASU. Dumb ass co-eds, write you're own words.

    PS. If you really cared, you would stabby those kiddos I was stuck with on group projects.

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  17. You know, most of us are not averse to completely and utterly stupid ideas. I've got a blog full of them, actually.

    But your editor is right. Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I shall not put.

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  18. Hey, I hope you feel better soon. I've not read any of your writing, but I'm sure it's just as entertaining and sparky as your blog. You could do worse than take a complete break and then see how you feel. I've just done that because I went on holiday, so it wasn't because I was feeling rubbish, I just hope I like my writing when I look at it again! If you're constantly reading the same thing over and over again you're bound to get sick of it. A bit of perspective might do the trick, hang in there!

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  19. I hear ya loud and clear. I've never finished any of the two books I started. When it comes to blogging I have days where I am full of ideas, but they come to me while I'm out with the kids, or worse, in the middle of the night when I'm too tired to get up and jot 'em down. And then there are the days when, although I have written posts, I feel as though I am wasting my time. Hang in there. Things will look up.

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  20. I'm in a funk too, my friend. I just wrote 3 paragraphs, re read them, and barfed in disappointment. In the words of the literary genius,Tupac Shakur, "Keep ya head up."
    Also, I'm so glad I don't have to worry about that ending a sentence in a preposition thing anymore.

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  21. Well, you're working on a book! I think that gives you a free pass to be around a little less. Hell, I blog once a week at most and all I'm doing is trying to read eBooks on my phone without my kids bothering me.

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  22. I'm there with you! I have no will to write these last few weeks. I wish I had a good reason like you (yes, having your every word critiqued is a good reason).

    This too shall pass...or I will have to stab myself in the eye. Either way, something's got to give!!

    Rock on!

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  23. I just got out of a writing funk of my own. Not fun, but it helped give me new ideas and a renewed sense of motivation. Now things are great!

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  24. Oh gosh, a grandma anarchist, sorry grammar anarchist. Cannot believe that it would be like someone who does those really annoying run on sentences that use the conjunction word "and" and 'conjunction' is not an intersection where criminals meet in case you were wondering and to let you know this sentence was actually an exercise in holding your breath and for no reason at all this sentence will abruptly end!

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  25. Hey there, as they say, this too shall pass. Sorry you're in a funk. I love editing, but i'm a bit strange there. I hope you get that ms knocked into shape. At least you have an editor! Look on the bright side! Many of us would ahem, nearly kill to be in your place just now! One day that novel will come out and we will buy it.

    Take a little time then get back in the saddle. Yeah, break a bit of grammar. The world won't end.

    Denise

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  26. You went to hell and back several times to finish this book. When you finally send it off to be polished, an evil editor (me) tells you that you need to fix, well, everything! You probably assumed that it needed to improved, but you didn't anticipate your MS coming back with every page marked up. The lack of validation we all secretly crave is nowhere to be found, and you feel discouraged.

    You could ignore all the imperfections and publish the book, hoping that the readers will learn to forgive. Or you go back and apply the newly learned skills to improve your book. You could also quit, but that isn't even an option. Here's what I think. You have the passion and the talent to write. Your book is quite good, and with proper revision and editing, it could become a great book. But you're stuck in the final stage. I think it's because you've lost the enthusiasm you had when you first started and because you've worked on it for so long. You just want it to end.

    I'm sorry, but this is what every writer goes through. No one said it'd be easy. Right now, you need to step away and read. Read books in your genre for pleasure and for research. If you can't read, start on your next book. Write something. Anything. You'll find yourself coming up with ideas for the first book while writing another. And before you know it, you'll be back to editing your book with a brand new perspective and enthusiasm.

    I hoped to come up with some words of wisdom, but it's difficult to do on an iPhone...at 2 am...after editing for 12 hours. If there is any errors, you know why. All I can say is that your book is worth editing and worth finishing. It just needs that final push, and I hope I can help you reach that goal. So, sulk, relax in that funk, or do whatever you need. You deserve a little break. I'm here when you're ready to come back.

    Now, I'm off to bed for my precious, 4-hour sleep, which will get me ready for another 12-hour workday!

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  27. Oh, one more thing. Grammar IS important. Well, unless you're writing a blog post comment or for your friends who'll love you no matter what. The real world? Probably not so forgiving.
    A book is a professional product that you charge money for, and it should be treated as such. You are a serious writer, and this isn't just a hobby. Never forget that. So, don't give up. You will get there.

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  28. Thanks for sharing your experience. It gives a glimpse into a writer's mind, which is interesting and informative.

    I'm just a reader and book reviewer, and let me tell you what makes people like me "stabby";-) Reading published books that are riddled with grammar errors and typos. We feel that if the authors don't put enough time and effort to publishing a book with professional quality, why should anyone spend their time and money to read them?

    A post like this makes me appreciate all the writers' hard work that they put into writing. Also, I've seen what editors like yours can do. They bring out the best in the writers and help create finished, publishable books. And trust me. We, readers, notice them. We expect and appreciate those books.

    I know people who read blogs like this one and leave comments are your fellow writers who only want to say encouraging words of agreement. But in the end, you need to sell your book to the rest of the world. To people like me. And I think you're doing a fantastic job by taking all the proper steps. And I'm sure all the revisions and editing will pay off.

    When it's finally done and published, I'd love to take a look. I've heard nothing but praise about it. Good luck in your writing.

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  29. I don't like getting feedback. I'll admit it, I hate it. BUT getting feedback, from my critique group and my editor, is the single thing that has helped to improve my writing the most. Nothing else has pushed along my skills as fast.

    Not only that, but creative writing is not the only place where this happens. I'm a lawyer, and I spent the first five years of my career (after 6 years of study to the tune of $36,000) having my work scribbled all over by my senior. Worse than my editor has ever done. I didn't find that demoralising because I didn't know any better. And really, logically, writing should be the same. Why do we get upset about being told how to do it better if it's not our fault we didn't know any better? Is it any worse than having a teacher correct our sums? Maybe it is, and maybe it shouldn't be.

    As for grandma... if it's key to the story that grandma gets eaten, by all means, leave the comma out, but if not, I suggest you put it in or your reader will be very confused. Grammar exists for a reason. It's a 'message' to the reader about how to interpret a sentence. It is generally agreed that dialogue may be written more colloquially, because it SHOULD reflect the way people actually talk, but other than that the rules of grammar should be bent infrequently. We no longer have a formal education in grammar in Australia so I had to go do a grammar course just to find out what the heck a preposition is. And it wasn't until then I realised the major effect some grammar rules can have. Your reader might not know all the grammar rules (i.e. they can't explain how they work) but nevertheless their correct use CAN make an sentence have more impact on a reader. Since I realised that I've been paying far more attention to my grammar, and it's not easy - it doesn't come naturally to me since I was 30 when I learned. But now I know it really is important.

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  30. I agree with Sirra, readwriteluv, and Ciara. Your editor isn't saying your book is bad. Quite the contrary. In fact, it sounds like it's pretty good, but just needs some revising so that it can appeal to as wide an audience as possible. Yes, some readers will forgive bad grammar and spelling mistakes, but quite a few won't. And if you ever hope to make a career out of this, don't you want to be as professional--and appeal to as many people--as you can?

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  31. I've been battling this type of stuff for a few months. When we moved to NYC, I declared that I would focus on my writing.
    Pfft.
    While I have dedicated longer durations to my writing and feel I'm digging deeper than before, I still lack time, direction, and confidence. I've decided to spend less time worrying about perfecting the nuts and bolts and more time crafting the art. Clearly, that's not an ideal position if I'm wanting to sell my work, but writing becomes "less fun" when you are worried about all sort of mechanics and rules. I am not an editor. I've sent short pieces to blog friends to edit and they come back alllllllll sorts of deconstructed and it cuts like a dull knife. It's a necessary evil, but I completely get why and how it has jacked with your motivation to create more.
    I wish you well and admire how brave and diligent you are/have been in getting this thing going. I'll definitely read. Definitely.

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  32. interesting! although I have no expert, but I want have to know more and more, on your blog just interesting and useful information. Keep it up!

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I had to change my comment settings because I was getting too much spam. You can no longer comment anonymously. (I don't think anyone besides the spammers were doing this.) But I don't want to block the rest of you from commenting! If you're having trouble, tweet me at @sarcasmgoddess or email sarcasmgoddess at ymail dot com and I'll see what I can do to fix it.