Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pressure Point

Current Project:Secrets of a Mayan Moon
Status: 4200 words

We are all our worst enemies when it comes to writing. Yes, we do turn a phrase nicely now and then, and we do put together interesting and sometimes comical characters, but at the end of the day and until someone else gives us a thumbs up, we believe what we are writing isn't as good as it could be.

I have never put as much pressure on myself as I am with this project. I have expectations of how this book should be, and I'm struggling to get it up to par. I've spent more time researching than writing since I started and thought I'd researched everything I needed to know. But things come up as I tap away at the keyboard and I stop- What is the highway like in Guatemala? What would they eat for breakfast? How long does it take to float the Rio Pasion?

Then there's the fact I want it to be humorous. It is lighthearted, I think, but humorous??? Not so much. So do I try harder to make it funny or stay with what is coming naturally?

I have several people who have heard the whole plot to this story and are pulling for me so much it makes my cheeks hurt from smiling over their enthusiasm. But the problem with putting the whole book out there in front of them,is kind of like writing a synopsis before you write the book then you write completely away from the synopsis. What happens when what they think this book is going to be like doesn't manifest? Will they still see merit in it, or be so stuck on what it should have been that they don't like it?

So I'm sticking to the adage "Write it well" and hope that no matter which way my story goes- Action Adventure comedy or more serious that the writing will be the deciding factor in whether or not it is well received by those who have been in on the ground floor and those reading it for the first time.

What kind of pressure do you put on yourself when writing?


Kendra said...

Paty, I can't wait to see this project. lol. You have been putting tremendous effort into it.

The pressure I put on myself comes from a million different areas. I think the biggest question I ask myself is whether or not I'm engaging the reader and keeping them hooked on every page.

Good luck!

Paty Jager said...

Hey Kendra, Thanks for the vote of confidence. LOL I agree keeping it engaging is always something that puts pressure on a writer.

I'm on chapter two and thinking I need to do something...more. Still working out the beginning kinks.

M Pax said...

I agree with, Kendra.

Oh, I go through 'this so sucks' phase every few weeks. And, Husband seem to forget his training on how to respond. Siiigh.

Deadlines adds a lot of pressure.

Paty Jager said...

Mary, Thanks for stopping by. Husband's- gotta love how they don't get what we go through when writing. I think we should put together a video on how a spouse should respond to different writing issues in a writer's life.

Alice Sharpe said...

I'm in Missoula on the hopeful thoughts my books will sell. Couldn't see writing about a place I'd never been so the dh and I took off for Montana yesterday.

I have had ideas for books that I wasn't sure I could do justice -- I still haven't done the books, so my hat is off to you for trying. Heed Debbie's advice (second hand from Stephen King.) Write with the door close, rewrite with the door open.

I know you can do it!

Paty Jager said...

Alice, I could have used a trip to Montana when I wrote the Pinkerton book. Right now, I'd like a trip to Guatemala! But the dh says it's a no go. LOL

I had a wonderful e-mail chat with Lori, and she has settled some of my pressure. She read the first chapter and said my subtle humor is my style and quit trying to write something that isn't me. Ya gotta love a friend who tells it to you straight and laces it with complements!

Elisabeth Naughton said...

Alice - say hi to my brother, SIL and nephew! They live in Missoula!!

Paty, I love Alice's "write with the door closed and edit with it open". That's how I've learned works best for me. I used to send chapters to my CP as I finished them, but I was missing so many threads, I find it works much better to write this way and then send chapters when I'm done and going back through EDITING them instead of writing.

As for you project...your enthusiasm shines through! I don't see how it could fail with your enthusiasm. Keep going!

Genene Valleau said...

Ah, Paty, no matter which way you go with this project, I have no doubt it will be good. If those who have been in this project from conception and are writers, they will understand that things change as you develop the story. If they aren't writers, they this will be a good way for them to see what a writer goes through in the day-to-day writing.

Glad Lori gave you such good advice about sticking with what comes naturally.

Waving to Alice in Missoula. Hope you have a good research trip! I like to go to places I write about also.

Paty, you've probably already made this connection, but is there someone on your loops who has been to Guatemala or who can connect you with someone who knows the area?

As for pressures we put on ourselves when writing, actually sitting in the chair and doing the writing is about the only thing I nag myself about any more. And even that is counterproductive. Pressure for me equals negative energy, which chokes off the flow of writing. So I can beat myself up or I can write. :)

Paty, I'm looking forward to the results of this project--however you decide to write it!

Paty Jager said...

Thanks Elisabeth. I know I should probably write with the door closed, but I'm exchanging with a CP to keep her motivated to write. We exchange one a week.

Genene, I have gone out on the loops and everyone has been to the countries all around Guatemala and no one to the country, though I'm waiting on a friend of a friend who was in the peace corps there. So I'm hoping that will be a good resource.