30 June, 2017

I Can't Help It #MFRWauthor #BlogChallenge



Hi everyone, and welcome back for Week 26 of the MFRW.org 52-Week Blog Challenge.

This week, we're asked to explain (or, in my case, reason away) Why I Write.

Well, it's simple, really.

I write because I like to write.

As a rare human being who has never experienced true love nor had it reciprocated, my desire to find it on my own by writing it into scripts for the make-believe characters coming to life inside my head is the next best thing.

Conjuring up two people, a place (be it fictitious or real), and sending them off on an up/down adventure that leads to romance is exciting.

It's also complex.

While I like to write what pops into my head, and I really like the idea of my actually having a 'voice' with which to shout out, "Hey! It's me, and I'm trying to make it in the world by doing my own thing!" it hasn't panned out... yet.

Marketing (grumble)

I could say I like to write more than I like to edit or MARKET my stories, but that isn't why I choose to write.

I could go back as far as the 7th grade and tell you how often, and until the wee hours of the morning, I'd be wide awake penning my thoughts into one lined notebook after another until I had 4 or 6 of them filled with the most wonderful budding romance novels I could conceive.

But, no one seemed to really LIKE them.

Except for me, of course.

At first I told myself (and already knew) I was simply surrounded by a lot of negative people with their sour faces always extolling their doom/gloom, you'll never make it philosophy on me, the expectant and desperate for approval young girl.

All I ever wanted from anyone was an ounce of recognition... for at least one person to tell me I am a good person, I have good ideas, and am on my way to becoming a very talented adult.

By the time I left college, I'd walked away from a few things and my writing career was one of them.

Back then I struggled, the way I think a lot of twenty-something's might do, with things like self-worth, self-awareness, and self-loathing.

In every success story I've ever encountered, be it life, love, or career, there was always SOMEONE there to push, prod, and cheer them on to victory.

I've also learned that a lot of the moderate to really successful Romance authors also live this way; with so MANY loyal fans and followers that it begs the question how DID you meet so many people in such a short time span?

I'm a bit of a loner, you see, with zero friends and even less of a social life, so... does that disqualify me in becoming a successful author?

I'm my own band, my own chorus, and my own flag waver in this endeavor... one I fell back into when I found myself alone again... truly alone, and in a new city, in a tiny apartment, in a place where I knew absolutely no one.

Aside from the Asian Drama watching, there wasn't much else to do to bide time after work out in the country, so I opened Word one day and just started typing words.

I based the thing on a few of my favorite Asian actors and threw them into my own version of what a good and compelling Asian Drama might be since, by then, I'd come to understand the intricate details of those lengthy stories and wondered if I might be able to improve on an already good yet flawed system.

Which was also very fun as well as being cathartic for me.

From there, I started to browse the internet looking for other Romance authors, and I went back to reading Romance novels instead of textbooks, classics, and biographies.

At that time, it seemed the best place to be to not only learn about the craft, but also become a silent member of the genre preference, was to read blogs.

I joined WordPress and poured over other authors' pages and friend-ed them on Facebook, where I discovered even more pages dedicated to the craft of Writing (and reading) Romance.

Sadly, the first 'group' I dared join was filled with talented players who, for the most part, were helpful and friendly, but not when it came to my writing.

I was hearing more of the same negative comments I'd heard years ago that said I stink, I'm useless, I can't write worth sh*t, and stop embarrassing yourself... just go away, please.

Alright, so to be fair, it's what "I" heard and not what they actually said.

At that point in my Love of Writing endeavor, I was pretty much prepared to pack it in again when I started to read THEIR works.

Most often as a favor (called BETA) but sometimes I received a freebie in exchange for a 'good' plug on my blog.

Hmm...

It was a breakthrough moment for this particular 'writer', let me tell you!

It was my very first ah-ha! moment and a whole lot of, "Now, hold up just a second here!" kind of thing.

"You are telling me I can't write, and yet this is what you're producing?" kind of thing that may sound harsh, cruel, and childish but... it was also glaringly apparent and honest as well.

And, NO, for heaven's sake, I never said that to anyone.

Good gravy, no (and even if it was what I was hearing, I never dared return the 'favor').

It was a personal observation, and the more I read from others, the better I felt about my own work.

But, speaking of childish, it never made sense to me how someone could constantly insist on honesty, post a lot of 'lets be honest' blog commentary about the art of writing, and especially in a BETA setting, yet lose it over a single negative remark about their work.

All the while red-penning mine into oblivion and not expecting me to find any fault in their work.

Very bewildering for this particular writer wanna-be, especially when some of their negative remarks about my work showed up in their own writing.

And, no, I am not even close to saying I'm a master and have perfected the craft.

Not by a long shot.

I just naively expected honest feedback that would help me to improve, which was how I went into all of my BETA work for them.

I dizzily hopped off that go-nowhere bandwagon and regrouped in order to rediscover myself and my original goal before yet-again losing my will to proceed.





It took me a long time to try and understand Show vs. Tell, and to be honest, I still don't get it much of the time, but it was the #1 complaint with my writing, so it became imperative that I study the topic until it DID make sense.

It still doesn't, though.

I mean, I think I get it, but as I continue to write, I get confused and then frustrated because I'm concentrating more on a stupid, little rule than I am on my story.

But, I discover anti- literature on the subject that made a lot more sense than the must- side ever could.

So, in that regard, I think my writing is improving, but it isn't quite there yet.

After spending a solid year of doing nothing else but read the works of others in the genre to which I hope to climb aboard, I feel like I've learned a whole lot about the art of writing and the tricks of the trade, but again, my confidence level has never been higher.

But, I'm still waiting for... approval.

My writing is still at the Hobby stage because if I was to quit my job now and rely on my works to sustain me, I'd starve to death, dying a lonely, unloved old lady with zero to show for it, and that's just sad.

I know I'll never be famous or even celebrated or have enough of a fan base to get my works recognized by the Amazon algorithm thingy, but that won't stop me from continuing to write.

The visions inside my mind are ever-present, and the characters created there are always anxious to play their starring roles on my Word pages.

I still spend hours, days, weeks even, trying to decide how best to approach a scene, where should this story really be headed, and how can I improve on this or that to make it more enjoyable for the reader?

For me, it's a bit like catching the scent of something delicious and then craving that food item for a next meal.

I'll go out of my way to find a fresh doughnut or hot-from-the-oven pizza roll to satisfy a craving, and it is the same way with my writing.

Okay, I suck at it, but that won't stop me from writing because it is practically ingrained in my DNA now.

I simply must write, and even if no one will ever read or approve of my work.

The men and women inside my head who all clamor for my attention and are anxious to 'get on with it' deserve their day in the sun, and I intend to be the one who helps them see the light of day.

Even if I'll never be able to discern tell from show.


Whoops! by CatGal15



I thank you kindly for dropping by and reading my post, and as always, please scroll down to the Linky Link tool and continue the Blog Hop to read what others had to say about Why They Write!





14 comments:

  1. As I go through this writing journey, I'm finding that the great thing about self-publishing is that you get to have your own voice. Keep learning the craft, write what you want to write, edit it until you are happy, then release it to the world and move on to your next book. Keep in mind, (in my opinion) the 50 Shades of Grey books are not the most well-written, but look how well they've done. I'd bet money E.L. James got red-marked a lot, but she's got the last laugh. Hang in there!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Robin. That really made my day! I appreciate your support. I honestly don't believe my writing is as awful as I'm assuming some people said it is, so there is that. Thank you for dropping by to read my post.

      Delete
  2. I know that feeling about joining groups and getting that sort of feedback. It's not easy. Same with the beta experience. It's all very daunting and disheartening at times. But you press on.

    LOL I know that screenshot (man on horse) I play that game often. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Meka, and thanks for reading my post! It wasn't so much their feedback as it was their contradictory manner. If it isn't okay in my work, then it can't be okay in yours, right? LOL

      Delete
  3. Fabulous post. Hang in there! Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Cathy, and wow! Thanks so much for the support and for taking the time to read my post. I'll definitely do as you suggest because I don't know any other way to survive with all them voices and scenarios inside my head :D

      Delete
  4. Finding the right critiquer is one of the hardest things ever! I finally gave up on critique groups, and entered contests to get feedback. When you reach the point that 2 judges love your work and one hates it, you've really arrived, according to one writing teacher I know. She says it means your voice is strong, and the one judge just didn't like it. Hang in there, Raine!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Alina, and thanks for the supportive comment and reading my post. A contest would probably terrify me as much as a brick & mortar submission does. It took me two years to scrounge up the courage to ask for a BETA! But, you're right, of course. 2 out of 3 means you are definitely on the right track, so I'm glad you received that kind of a moral boost!

      Delete
  5. Gosh, Raine, I wish you could find a good, positive critique group. That can make such a difference. It's hard to learn this craft without honest but helpful feedback. I applaud you for persisting despite the odds.

    For what it's worth, the "show don't tell" thing can be fixed in a later draft. Don't let worries about that stop forward progress on your rough draft.

    Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Linda, and thank you for the kind words and for reading my post. I had joined 3 prominent online critique groups and 2 others on FB. It wasn't that I didn't want to hear negative remarks but that it was always inconsistent with what they were asking me to read. Why is it not okay for my work but it is okay for yours? I don't get it! lol I do breeze through rough drafts without stopping, so it is the editing stage that frustrates me with regards to SvT. I get it, I forget it, I get it again, then I forget how it works... argh! :D

      Delete
  6. thanks for sharing. I think we've all felt that way at some point or another.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I enjoyed your post. I'm glad you persevered in your writing. There is often so much negativity to wade through, but it's wonderful once you find out that there are even more supportive writers who you can share your struggles and success with!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I admire your perseverance, Raine. The more you write, the more you learn. Keep hanging on. Are you a Michigander?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Mary, and yes, I am a Michigander! :D

      Delete