Today is both ROW80 and IWSG - (Insecure Writers Support Group)!
'Are You Playing It Too Safe?'
Marcy Kennedy challenges us to ask ourselves the tough questions in her post, 'Do You Worry You Won't Succeed As A Writer?'. I'm sure we've all had those pesky moments (or days) of self doubt. Heck! It's why I participate in the Insecure Writer's Support Group. But we must not let self-doubt have the final say!
I've had a weird month, confidence wise that is. Someone I've grown to respect offered me quiet, yet solid in a way I'm not sure I can describe, praise. It felt great...and then the bottom dropped out from under my feet. You see...I have a tendency to overthink things. Once I heard those words of affirmation, my brain erupted into civil war. Let's meet the factions...
Under the command of the illustrious Captain Confidence, Positive Prudence claps her hands as Optimist Oola joins in, cheering the gang toward victory. Goddess Ego nods approvingly from her raised dias platform, leaving The Harridan of Hilarity to poke fun at the whole scene, ordering any and all in her path to laugh their troubles away...or else!
Evil Nemisis Enemy Mine, that hope-hating-harpy, rallies her band of miscreant masochists with a wag of her bony finger. Inner Critic is the first in line, that brown-nosing blackguard! Always attempting to appease Enemy Mine, she is. She's a sadist I tell you, staring me down with that rotten gleam in her eyes! An honest-to-hope-and-change-sadist! The minions, Not Good Enough Today and her twin brother Not Good Enough Tomorrow wheeze their missives of despair and defeat into my ears.
They cackle with glee.
Inner Critic smacks a ruler against her hand.
'Just wait until something bad happens, Nadja! Everyone will see what a fake you are!'
She smiles an evil, anticipatory expression that sucks the air from my lungs.
I want to cry, but I never can. To run. To forget all this reach-for-your-dreams nonsense and hide away. To focus on something more 'do-able', more 'reasonable', more 'regular'. Maybe I could join a Bridge Club...
'Ha!' Harridan of Hilarity injects, eyebrow raised archly.
Oh! She's up to something.
'Something bad already happened, Inner Critic. You're here, aren't you?' Harridan cracks herself up, and it takes her a moment to recover.
The corner of my mouth quirks - against my better judgement.
'Nadja,' The Harridan faces me, eyebrow still peaked above her twinkling eyes. 'Did calamity come down upon your head? Is the sun still shining? Did the sky fall, my chicken little?'
My smile broadens, slightly, as I realize that no, no such awfulness has befallen me thus far.
'And what would happen if Inner Critic was right? Would the earth stop spinning then, Fraidy-Cat?'
I shake my head in the negative.
'Well...then let's get on with it. Get it out of the way, shall we?'
I'm stupefied, speechless. I don't know what she means.
'Failure,' she sings, dancing toward Captain Confidence and the gang.
Prudence and Oola go into back-up-singer-mode.
'I didn't like your writing style, and your freckles are DIS-Guuuuuus-ting.'
Her singing really does leave a lot to be desired and I reach up, sliding my hand over those hateful freckles ( I mean, really, who has a deep olive complexion and freckles), but I find my toes tapping along with the perky melody and beat.
'We'll sing the worst to a happy tune - but don't you think of ES-caaaaaap-ing.' The music reaches a fevered pitch, the notes sharp and clean. 'UNoriginal, UNinspiring, UNtalented, UNreliable, Uncommitted,'
I cut her off.
'Hey there. That's not right. I'm original. I'm inspiring. I'm talented, reliable, AND committed! And Don't. You. Forget. It!'
Oh, Wait...I'm singing. Goddess Ego conducts while contorting herself into the most unusual yoga pose. She's radiantly beaming.
Harridan, the bossy jester, sneaks up beside me.
'See...you never really did believe all that nonsense Inner Critic was spewing. Why didn't you stand up to her the way you did to me?'
I stand, dumbfounded before my sub-conscious.
'Because she scares me,' I confess.
'You're not afraid of me,' she states calmly.
'You're different,' I reply. 'You're more like me.'
'Chickie-poo...we are you. We are only as big as you allow us to be.'
I smile, truly smile, although it takes a minute for it to spread across my face.
I continue singing loudly in my vehicle - windows up of course! Round one, Nadja.
I found this character setting sketch while browsing Self Published Author's Lounge, and wanted to share. Are you a setting planner? I usually make a rough sketch of a main room's layout - it aids in my description and comes in handy when I want to add in character actions while speaking/thinking within the space. But this takes it a bit further. I decided to use it in my newest WIP. Take a peek if you're so inclined - and even if you're not, this site contains a wealth of information! It's well worth a stop. :}
On The Writing Front...
Chapter one is complete. I've begun writing chapter two, and things are moving along nicely. I did, however, make myself one promise this time. I'm going to type each chapter after I finish it and send it to my critique partners. Manageable work load...manageable pieces. I've stated it...now I'll have to hold myself to it. Phew.
My heroine is becoming my favorite thus far....er...that's a good sign, right? Ha!
How did your writing go this week? Have you been at war with yourself? Or are you in the midst of a peaceful season?
Well...I'm off to do some more writing - and singing. See you all Sunday!