Monday, March 30, 2009

25% Left + A Twinge of Panic

So this weekend was terrible (or at least, parts of it were).

Friday sucked--I couldn't get my check into the bank because I got stuck at work. I got into a fight with Leah. Saturday started out good but became TERRIBLE. Listen to this: so we went to the mall (me and Leah) and we walked around and saw MONSTERS VS. ALIENS in 3-d (so far so good, right?). When we got out of the flick, Leah's car wouldn't start...she'd left the lights on. I dialed the Mall Security from my cellphone and five minutes later Leah got to find out first-hand why I HATED security work. The FIRST guy they sent out was a complete idiot. Seriously, I don't think he knew the difference between his ass-hole and the sky (that dumb). He was no help, and actually STOPPED helping us so he could go help ANOTHER family with a dead battery. The second guy knew what he was doing, and within 2 minutes of his arrival, we were on our way.

So we got something to eat then went home. As we pulled up to our apartment guess what I saw? My car--with a flat tire. Leah tried her magic "fix-a-flat" foam but the tire was too far gone. I couldn't find anyone to help me put the spare on...and it was I paid a towing company $50 to do it. Sunday I got up early-ish and wasted the whole day at Walmart buying two tires and an oil change ($175 total).

While I sat there and waited (and dealt with their stupidity) I edited my novel. I'm now 75% done with the second draft. I just need to finish up the last 25%, make changes to the digital copy, and write the new ending. Then I'm done. Then people can read it. I know Leah will be the first person (as she is physically and emotionally the closest person to me). I'm not sweating that reader too much...BUT my cousin (who also writes) emailed me last week and said he wanted to do a "novel swap" (I read his, he reads mine) and that's given me the willies.

I love my cousin, and I know he loves me--but I feel like he kinda looks down on my writing sometimes. This got me thinking about ALL THE OTHER people who want to read it...and now I'm freaking out. People fall into 2 categories:

1. People I am close to who I don't want to "let down"

2. People who want to read it who I know will be "let down"

And, of course, I don't want everyone to think that I'm a hack...and I don't want people (especially Leah) to feel like I've been wasting my time this past year (and a half). I know I don't have OLIVER TWIST on my's very much a first attempt at writing a novel (i.e. not perfect) but I'm proud of the work I've done.

I'm freaking out.


Jimu said...

dude, if you ever want to be a professional writer, you're going to have to thicken your skin up.

think of all the great literature out there.

now think about how many people HATE it.

I don't think there is a single book that more than 50% of the people who have the option to read it, want to / liked it.

as far as you being a Hack, let he who has written their own novel be allowed to throw the first stone.

it reminds me about the people who make spam statues..

"No it may not ever hang in the louvre, but wow! that takes a lot of work, and seems really messy. gotta give em props for getting their hands dirty."

Jason said...

Well I know that I need a tougher skin, but that doesn't make it any easier to do something as personal as writing.

At the end of last year I tried to get one of my stories published--and got NOTHING but rejection. So I'm not entirely ignorant on the subject. But it's different writing a novel.

A short story is a month. A novel is years (for me, at least). If I write a crappy short story--then I wasted a month of my life. If my novel is no good, I've wasted a year+

Anyway, thanks.

Jimu said...

and see, my thought is, you spent a year working on the process.

you know some of the pitfalls now, you know some of your strengths.

So the year wasted, isn't really wasted, even if the book is poop. Which I don't think it will be.

Jimu said...

if you want, you can give it to me to read, I don't have any preconceived notions about it. It'll be good, or It'll be bad, or it'll be somewhere in between.

I'll give it to ya straight.

Jason said...

You're right, I did/have learned SO MUCH during this whole even if the book is trash I DID GET SOMETHING out of writing it.

I'm going to be letting Leah read first, then I'm going to start the "tiers" of readers.

Speaking of endings (I'm going to have to re-write mine) I heard an interesting podcast about how the ending for CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY came was interesting (see next post).