Well-made plans have a way of crashing around you when it’s least expected. We’ve all had things we planed on doing, only to have life come up and smack us straight on in the face, leaving one a semi-bloody mess.
The measure of your personality is how you deal with the situation.
I didn’t deal with mine very well.
Allow me to explain.
I started out in a good mood. I was writing, I was blogging, I was looking forward to the end of my novel. I was looking forward to having a good time today, to maybe finishing an article and getting that out. The path was clear, the way ahead was sunny.
I posted an excerpt from Chapter Six of Her Demonic Majesty, and was getting into my editing. It was going to be a wonderful day–
Then Trusty Editortm came along.
They were reading the excerpt, going through it with the trained eye they have. And just like that, I’m getting PMs on Facebook. “You have this wrong . . . this should be . . . I think you meant–“. It wasn’t much, and my Trusty Editortm was only helping me as they have done in the past.
But it killed me, because this was what I feared all along: that no matter how much work I put into getting my manuscript clean, it would never be clean enough.
I lost it. I logged off from Facebook and just shook for a few minutes. I cried. I doubted my own abilities to do anything right. I’ve spent so much time on this story that it really felt like a kick in the gut, and with everything that has happened to me this week, I felt like I couldn’t take it anymore.
I actually reached the point where I was ready to say, “Fuck it, I can’t take this anymore,” and just wander away from the scene for . . .well, who knows? I feel alone, I feel that I get very little support, I feel like I’m working in a constant vacuum located inside a singularity of indifference.
So I stepped away from the story for most of the day, simply because I couldn’t stand to look at the manuscript any more.
I finally finished editing the chapter I was on when I had my meltdown, then I headed out for the night, something I haven’t done in over a month and a half. I wasn’t in much of a mood to talk, though, but I manged to get though the night without being too much of a Debbie Downer.
It was only while I was driving home with the late night light drizzle falling around me that I found my center. See, long ago, Trusty Editortm was going over another manuscript that was my then Work in Progress. And they had issues with a few things in the first couple of paragraphs. I freaked out, because I thought what I’d written was pretty good.
Their comment to me, after I’d expressed my fears, was, “You need to get your ego in check. Do you want this to be good? Or do you want this to be the best?”
That’s an easy one:
I’ve never wanted to put out shit. I can’t stand the idea that I’ll put out a story that’s crappy, with things that will give haters reason to go, “Yo, you used an and not a, loozer! ” If I can’t put it out right, I’m not going to bother putting it out, period.
After buying a pretty cover I don’t have the means of paying someone to edit a couple of hundred pages, but I did have a friend offer to look over the manuscript for errors. I have a bit of fear here, because they told me they didn’t like the title, but beyond that I think they’ll find errors and not much else. I hope. And if all goes well I’ll be back on the original path I’d set, which is to have Her Demonic Majesty published at the end of May.
It’s okay to freak out. It’s okay to think you are worthless, that you are alone, that you even suck. It’s happen to the best writers, sometimes to the point where they decided to end it all because they were told their novel sucked.
But you need to listen to people and know when they are helping.
Because it’s never okay to kill your dream.