Thursday, January 15, 2009

Day one off of the medication:

I'm feeling a bit better today. My ears don't hurt anymore so that's an improvement. My sinuses are still driving me batty, but I don't think I have the infection anymore. Sinus problems are just part of living in this part of the country I guess.

Today will be the first day that I'm going without my antihistamines and I'm hoping all goes well. Medications like these always seem to affect me really strongly. Even supposedly non-drowsy versions of medication make me groggy. Probably something wrong in my genetic make-up...

Anyway, I think that I'm going to take it easy the next couple of days and ease myself back into the writing process. As much as I'd like to just jump in and start writing again, I think it'll be better if I give it a couple of days to let the rest of the antihistamines get out of my system. I'm feeling more like myself today, having not taken the mental-fog-inducing pills, but I know that the fog isn't completely gone yet. I think that I'll take a couple of days to re-read my manuscript and notes to re-acquaint myself with what I have left to write. The iPod is loaded with several of my inspirational songs for the story, so I'll be playing those off and on too.

I've also decided to enter a short story contest on a blog that I frequent regularly. The Pen and Muse is currently holding a romance short story contest and I'm really excited about it. This is the blog that sponsored a prize that I won in a contest held by Bitten By Books. Feel free to click the above link for more information on this contest, the prizes, and the deadline.

From somewhere within my clouded mind, an idea for a short story came to me this past week. Well, one scene from it came to me. Happy to be able to write anything, I eagerly typed it up and shared it as a cute story with a friend of mine. She really liked it and kept asking me what happens next. I was shocked, I hadn't thought that far through it. It was just a cute little scene to me, not an idea for a novel. I can't even think of an interesting way to expand these characters into a full-blown novel right now.

My scene is currently around 1500 words and is almost done. I have a couple of paragraphs of background information that is necessary in order for the characters motivations to be clear, so that's what I'm going to have to work on before the deadline next month. I have an idea of how I want to let the reader see what led up to where the characters are now, I'll just have to see how well it comes out when I go to write it. Luckily the contest has a 10,000 word minimum and I'm sure I can easily flesh out the character's brief backstories in less than 8500 words.

Writing this short story should be a good way to ease myself back into my writing habit. I can practice getting into these character's heads for a few days while refreshing my memory on what my Instinct characters are thinking and feeling in my remaining scenes. And if I win, or even place in the contest, it will be something to add to my writing resume. Being able to say that I won, or placed in, any writing contest is better than having nothing to include in my query letters when I finish Instinct and start looking for agents. (This, of course, only matters if my short story does well enough to win or place...)

To be honest, I've been wondering about my writing abilities. Maybe it's just how the illnesses and medications are affecting my brain, but I wonder if I'm talented enough to make it as a professional writer. I know that my beta reader enjoys my writing and my stories, but what if she's the only one? I keep trying to find a good excerpt to include in my blog or an various websites that I peruse regularly, but am having a bit of trouble. So much of what I've written needs backstory to have it make sense so I never know which passages to include. Also, since I'm still on my first draft, a lot of the writing needs a bit of polishing that I'm trying to hold off on until the subsequent drafts. When people ask for snippets of my work, what should I do? Post something that people may not fully understand in a hope that it "hooks" them into wanting to read more? Take time to try and polish just that scene to make it as error-free as possible? Or should I just wait until at least the first rough draft is finished?

I'm by no means ready to give up writing, I enjoy it far too much to ever do something like that. Actually, I don't even know where these doubts came from... no one's actually told me that my writing is horrible, the opposite in fact. It's probably just the after-effects of being sick and on the medications... I'm sure that once I'm able to delve back into the world I've created in Instinct that I'll be back to myself...

Well, until I blog again...
Talk 2ya later...



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