Decisions for the Future

Recently, I got an interview for a proofreading job. I was really excited because this is an opportunity to do something with my degree and what they are asking me to do wasn’t that difficult. The interview went great and I was asked to come in this week for a trial so that my potential future boss and myself could see if this was a good job for me. For two days I was able to experience what I would be doing in a year or two if I were to take the job. Proofreading the content and inputting data wasn’t difficult. Sure I was asked to pull some files but I’m used to that in my current job. And yet, when Tuesday ended I was still undecided.

It took my until a few nights ago to actually figure out what I wanted to do. I would be a fool not to take the proofreading job. It would be great experience and I could add that in my resume. It’s not like I’m going to stay at the job forever. At least, I don’t plan on that. Sure it would be a completely different environment from what I’m used to but that’s okay. So, I decided not to take the job.

It’s important to me to feel like I would want to do something every day for the next two years. It’s a lot of pressure. However, at the end of each trial day there was not satisfying about what I did. There was no sense of accomplishment and for some reason that lack in feeling hit me hard. In the end, I wasn’t happy about what I was going to be doing for the next two years of my life. There was no excitement, no feeling to it. Perhaps it sounds like I’m trying to justify my decision but, to me, it is those small things that matter.

Perhaps another opportunity will appear or won’t but I know if I taken that job I would regret it. Ultimately in the long run, though I might feel like I made the biggest mistake of my life, right now, I know that I made the right decision at this very moment. I can only wait and hope that I made the right decision. After all, being successful in life isn’t that easy.

 

Second Book Doubts

Now that I’m writing the second book of my Half-Blood Series, I have somehow reverted back to the first time I ever wrote. I feel like I don’t know what I am doing. For the most part, I have outlined and know the basic idea of where I want this story to go. Yet, every time I write a sentence or two, I want to erase it and start over again. Is this a common problem? Is it just my mentality?

Before I mentioned that I like to hand write my stories because it allows me to edit multiple times and I am able to get all my ideas on paper even if I have to write the same scene differently. However, one of the problems I’m facing is that I don’t know what to write. Is it safe to assume that this is plot problem? I’m not so sure. I think it has to do with the fact that I want the second book to be perfect. I’m not treating it like a book in and of itself. In my head, I’m treating it as part of a series – which it is – but I need to think about it as its own stand alone story.

I know all of this and yet, it hasn’t gotten any easier. It doesn’t help that I keep editing some other chapters and focusing on something else. It’s a vicious cycle that I have fallen in. I’m also sure that it’s 100% my fault. If I really think about it, I think I just want to create a perfect book which is completely unrealistic. Some part of my brain wants to create a masterpiece that doesn’t need to be edited or revised. Yeah, that’s not going to happen and yet here I am.

I keep coming back to this. What if I am not prepared? Not mentally of course. I meant that what if my plot isn’t constructed very well? Could the story actually be lacking? My doubts are just getting used as an excuse to not write. Honestly, I think it is a bit of both. It’s my mentality and my plotting could use a little work. I didn’t think I would say this but I think I need to not care.

So what if my scenes don’t go together at first? Or that my description and setting are lacking? I shouldn’t be afraid of going back to the drawing board or starting over. I have started over many times with other stories and this time it shouldn’t be any different. After all, the first draft should never be perfect. That’s why we have editing and revising.

Paranormal

Lately, I have been going through the multiple files on my (other) flash drive and through my idea notebook and all the other mediums I have for keeping track of all the ideas in my head. During this search, I came to a realization that most of all my stories lean toward the paranormal type of genre. I say most because I have two maybe three fantasy stories, two science fiction stories and the rest are paranormal ideas.

However, I have been researching the market in order to get my book publish, sending out query letters, and seeing what time of books are being read. I know it’s a tough market for anyone to sign a contract with a publisher but it happens and it’s awesome. The paranormal market is very tough to get into too. There are a lot of amazing books out there that fall under paranormal. Paranormal romance isn’t a big thing for me because, although I have a subtle romance subplots in my stories, it doesn’t encompass the entire story.

Ultimately, I don’t think I can write anything else but paranormal (at the moment). Something about the whole concept – I just can’t get out of my head. Characters and scenes just appear out of nowhere even though they don’t belong to a particular story. Sure, I want to write some fantasy but I don’t think that  would be any time soon. I think it is because of this that I sometimes doubt myself. Should I try writing something else that isn’t paranormal? Self doubt just keeps piling up.

Sure eventually, I go back to my writing and I get hyped up again and keep working hard. The paranormal genre just has this hold over me. I just can’t over the element with magic and awesome creatures. I have an addiction and I just can’t stop. In a sense, I feel confident in my writing but in another sense, I just want to burn it because it is no good. Thinking about it now, it’s not like I would ever compare my manuscript with someone else’s work. To me if just one person liked my book that would be great.

So why do I keep writing?

Because what else am I supposed to do with all these ideas?

Starting Over

In all my lifetime (say 2 decades and some), I have lost two major stories that I remember. Actually it might be more than two -I’m sure it is more than two but I can’t seem to remember what other stories were on that flash drive. When I saw I lost everything, I lost everything. All my character sheets, images that inspired me, any notes I might have made regarding the plot that I can’t remember . . . the edited version that I was so proud of.

Unlike the first time, I didn’t cry. My sister might have disliked me very much on that day but she forgave me. I think. As a matter of fact, a novel currently named Darkest Night (co- authored by my sister and I) has been lost twice. And yes, this is the novel I threw away by mistake underneath my lunch tray when I was in high school. My physics teacher freaked out when I came into class crying . . . ah, memories.

And once again, ladies and gentleman, I have lost other stories (I’m being redundant, aren’t I?). My flash drive mysterious disappeared from my purse. And why was I carrying a flash drive in my purse? Because I tend to need my flash drives when I don’t have them. It’s a complicated relationship. Long story short, whatever is on that flash drive is gone for good.

It’s not like I had any personal information on there. I hope . . .. no, I think it was only for stories. Stories that I don’t remember where on there and that I would have to rewrite again. In the long run, it was like I lost my 270 page novel that I want to publish. I guess there is a silver lining? But now that I think about it, I might have all those documents stored in Dropbox. Of course, they’re unedited but that beats trying everything up again, right?

Plus, I like to hand write all my stories on paper first before I even think about typing it up in a word document. Not only can I write really fast, I can also edit at least twice before the story ever goes into a digital format. On paper I can cross things out and just think about what to write next. To me typing something up in on a computer kind of finalizes the whole process – even though it doesn’t – my brain just thinks that way. That also explains why I had so much trouble editing my papers in college.

However, if there is a lesson to learn about all of this ( a lesson I taught myself), is that starting over isn’t all that bad. At least for me, I can remember vaguely what I wrote and can replicate some of the same sentences from before. It also gave me room to step away from the manuscript. Sure it is possibly the worst type of break but it is a break nonetheless.

I mentioned before that I write my stories out and keep those pages even after I’m done with them (for the most part). I can always go back and retype them and although there was plenty of despair in my chest, I powered through it. All I can do is write. Any anger towards myself won’t really make a difference. I like to see this as another obstacle I need to overcome.

 

Thank you for listening to my rant. Until next time,

Kassandra.

Coming Back to a Habit

Before I had ever attended college, I can clearly remember a time where I used to write every chance I got. I can clearly remember writing even during some of my high school classes, lunch . . . I was in creative mode all day. Gradually over the years, that sort of commitment changed. My writing schedule consisted of many two or three hours a week when I wasn’t reading novels for classes, writing papers, studying, going to class, working, etc. My concentration focused more on getting good grades and passing my classes (didn’t want to retake anything mostly because I didn’t have the money for it). The worst part was when I did get a break, I took a break.

Sure I had creative writing classes where I got to read short stories, write them and critique them and that experience taught me a lot. What I really missed the most was writing for myself and not for a participation grade. Saying that, now that I have the time to write, I’m not writing as much as I should or used to and I miss that. In part I think it is because I have spent so much time revising and editing that the creative side of my brain has shut down temporarily.

Not to mention that I’m waiting for more of my beta readers to give me feedback. I’m slowly working on book two of what I call the Half Blood Series. I’m not actively on wattpad which is sad because I really like the community. Wow, it feels like I’m just throwing myself a pity party.

So, now I have to get back into the driver’s seat and write. It’s time to wake up that creative side of my brain. I heard about some advice a few years ago and I didn’t think I would ever use it but I think I have to. I got to set a specific time to write. Sure I might write at work for a few minutes sporadically but now I have to take the time to sit at my desk and write. Of course that probably should come after my priority list of what I’m going to write.

I’m still working on the last chapter of a book for wattpad and somehow it has been difficult to finish. Anyways, I should also look at how to form a habit and how to break other habits too but in the long run ease into the driver’s seat will be better. I’m hopeful that soon I’ll be able to write twenty pages like that one miracle day. After all, writing is a process.