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Writer Feeling Disconnected

Today Was The Official First Day of NaNoWrimo.

How many of you are participating?

Let me tell you how foolish I feel. For the entire day, I  thought today was Wednesday. Okay, I get it - how foolish can I be? I mean it is not like today is just another random and normal day. It is day 1 of NaNo! If that's not enough to make me feel stupid, yesterday was Halloween! WTF? How did  I not catch on all day- to the actual day of the week. 

By the time this post is published it will be after midnight- so, Friday, morning.  I didn't want you to think I was two days behind in my head- nope, one is enough!

So I was all set to post my Insecure Writers Support Group post tonight, but looks like I missed the boat on that-again. Actually, I didn't miss it (yea!), I was early, for once in my life.

My topic for IWSG was going to be how totally and utterly disconnected I feel right now. Disconnected from friends, family, work, writing, blogging (really disconnected from blogging and bloggers.) Believe me, I know it is all my own doing, but the frazzled and hazy feeling that accompanies disconnection is the same regardless of what brought it about.
In September, I had the honor of one of my favorite published authors reading my manuscript. I knew that it needed some work before I began querying it, that was the reason I sought advice from a trusted and respected reader. What I was not prepared for was (okay I was- but are we ever really- mentally prepared) the amount of work that would go into the changes, cuts, additions, deletions and restructuring and/or moving scenes around involved in getting said novel query ready.

So for those of you who have experienced this and for those of you who will probably at one point or another in your writing career, experience this, let me tell you, it is both exhilarating and disappointing. It is quite a giant ego boost when someone really loves your work (or claims to), but I trust the sincerity of this author. It is also crushing when you see so many red lines and red comments in the margin.

So, needless to say, I  spent the month devouring the critique and making all the necessary changes. Some, of course, I did not agree with - but- hey, I am partial to my people. I love my characters and I am very close to my plot.  This is the very reason we need critique partners and beta readers. I am talking about those who are brutally honest, not someone like DH who promises to be honest. I swear I could hear the criticism suggestions rolling off my husband's tongue and then he suddenly choked his words back down his throat. 
I wonder if his actions/reactions had anything to do with the malevolent look in my eyes, steam erupting from my ears and horns sprouting from my head?

Long story short (shorter), I poured myself into completing this project and in doing so I feel hopelessly disconnected from my blogger/writer friends.  Knowing that the month of November, is never the appropriate month to reconnect, I am feeling sad and worried about the friendships and connections I have made here. On the positive side (I always include blogging on my my list of positives ), I started blogging a little over a year ago with the hopes of connecting with fellow readers/writers/bloggers. I have done that. We have all heard how necessary it is to build our online presence, our social media platform before we try and sell our first book, but if we never finish the book, we will never have a book to query, publish and yes, sell.

Blogging is fun and in addition to the connections and relationships I have made, I have also learned an enormous amount about the craft and the business from all of you.  If I had not started blogging, I would not have learned what was needed to finish my book. In fact I actual thought it was completed until I learned just how incomplete and unready/unpolished it was - and I learned that from all of you. 

So thank you all- for your help, advice, how to blog post, recommendations, feedback, pep talks, ideas, writing exercises, encouragement  and the multitude of valuable information, personal struggles and success stories you have shared. Damn this is starting to sound like the post we all anxiously await writing- the I have an agent or I am getting published. Hell, why not, I won the academy award.  I guess I am just as excited as I foresee myself being when I get to write those post (notice I said "when", not "if") Positive thinking. Something else I attribute to ya'll.

It's a start. A multi published author whom I  respect and admire, loves my revised manuscript. I no longer even care that I had to pretty much cut the first three chapters- tiny white lie (okay- I got to use some of it), but the little that remained of those first few chapters is sprinkled sparingly throughout the rest of the book. My plot and subplots all come together the way they did in my head and the way I intended for them to on the page.  The order of my scenes finally feels right and natural. 

I have always heard and everyone tells me that the next step is dive into a new project while I await responses from my query letters and what better day to begin that process than November 1st? So it is time to begin the grueling, yet often rewarding process of churning out a book in thirty (30) days. It's NaNo time.

Good luck to all of you who are participating in NaNoWrimo. I plan to post once a week during the month of November and I will not forget my IWSG post. That will be next Wednesday, November 7, 2012.  I will visit your blogs periodically throughout the month and in December, I will be back with consistent and scheduled post and will spend time catching up with all of you and your blog post. Hopefully, by then my blog design makeover will be completed. 
My stand alone pages will finally land exactly where they are supposed to land. 

Tenille, at The Cutest Blog On The Block (TCBOTB) is putting the final touches on the custom designed blog and gadgets she has been working on. I am computer illiterate (especially the writing code part) so I am at her mercy and she does good work. I can't wait to see her finished product.

Are you participating in NaNo this year? If you are, how do you manage your blog post and comments during the month? How much planning, plotting, outlining do you do pre-NaNo?


Melissa Sugar said...

Hi Melissa .. I'm not doing NaNo - but can understand the disconnected feel - you've done well with your book by the sound of it .. and so good luck with the new project during November ... and I love the "This blog will probably be neglected in November" poster ... never mind - bloggers are supportive and understanding to say the least ... have fun! Cheers Hilary

Melissa Sugar said...

Next Wednesday for the IWSG! You're not late.
I just got my manuscript back from my critique partners and understand the red. I will have to do some shuffling in the next two weeks to meet my deadline, but I know the story will be stronger.
Sorry you feel disconnected. We're still here! Ready and waiting for you. That's what friends and blogger buddies are for.

Melissa Sugar said...

I'm not actually doing nano but I am trying to get to 50000 words by end of November so maybe I am sort of going for it! Good luck with it! And good luck with the revisions!

Melissa Sugar said...

Empathise with you Melissa on the novel comments. It's a myth that the writing ends when you type The End. I've just entered my children's novel in a UK competition after more than 10 edits, numerous re-writes etc etc. But you do end up with something you feel proud to have worked on.
I did NaNoWriMo in 2011 - did it, but it was tough! Just planning on writing some short stories for November this year. Good luck to all who are taking part!

Melissa Sugar said...

I did NaNo last year, and did it early this year. I wrote 60k in 16 days last month. So I'm revising now.
I'm feeling disconnected from the writer's world as well, but it's a choice. I want to stay in my story, so I'm keeping my head in the game. I'll come out of my writing hole when I finish my first round of revisions (like I usually do).
I look forward to seeing your new blog format!

Melissa Sugar said...

I'm not doing NaNo either. I've never done it. November isn't a good month for such activity. Not sure why. But, hey, we'll hang out together, eat cookies, discuss writing. Have a great weekend, eh!

Melissa Sugar said...

Not doing NaNoWriMo. November is the month I usually start hibernating for the winter. We've had a significant snowfall over night, so my Bear brain is heading in that direction — of hibernation. (I could send you some snow, if you wish, to complement what Sandy left behind — but, strangely, I don't expect any takers.)

Blessings and Bear hugs, anyhow.

Melissa Sugar said...

I wouldn't sweat the disconnecting too much. I think everyone understands that when we are deep in the throes of working on a book, sometimes we need to put all of our focus on that and stop blogging for awhile. I've taken mini-hiatuses now and then and what's always amazing to me is how easy it is to get back into the swing of blogging and reconnect with people. It's just part of being a writer and the writing community is pretty forgiving. GOOD LUCK!!!!!

Melissa Sugar said...

That's wonderful you got so much feedback from a well-respected author. It's painful to make so many changes AND they can make your manuscript so much better. We are all blind to little problems in our writing and we need a fresh eye for our work. I'm with Lisa--we all disappear from time to time and we understand that. Last month I missed IWSG so I'm trying to get on it this Wednesday. I think there will be a political theme to my post, ha ha.

Melissa Sugar said...

You should not feel bad for working on your book. It is supposed to come first. As a follower of your blog, I do not feel neglected at all. I completely understand your dilemma. So good-luck with the rest of your endeavours the next few weeks.

Melissa Sugar said...

This is soo normal to feel this way! I get so busy at some points I worry that all the hard work I poured into my connects online will vanish. For a long time I felt that way, and it caused me to almost burn out in my attempt to be all things to all people. But my writing suffered. My family connections suffered. I realized I was completely out of balance, and I knew deep down that if I openly told people this, they would completely understand! They would want me to scale back, And so I have.

And you know what? I would like to believe my connections to people are as strong as ever. I may not be able to visit blogs like I used to, or keep up with my email as well as I used to, but I try to make each time I can visit meaningful I care so much about the people I have met online--they have gotten me through much dark periods of doubt and worry. I would not be where I am if not for the caring support of others.

So take care of you and your writing. When there's time to blog, or tweet, or visit, we know you will. :) And it's always enough :)

Happy writing!


Melissa Sugar said...

How cool an author you admire likes your work too! Yes, editing is a lot of work, but I think it's fun too - I love seeing what can emerge from my original ideas! Good luck with it.

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