Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Channeling Ernest Hemingway

With PARALLEL already in the hands of my trusted beta readers, I spent the last few days since Monday happy as a clam. But now the fear has set in. What if my book sux? I was confident a couple of days ago, then I go and read a great book (ahem, Glow by Stacey Wallace Benefiel) and now I'm nervous. Now, I read great books all the time, even as I'm writing my own, but something about reading a book a day after sending mine out to get critiqued has given me a great case of the terrors!

So this week I am taking a little mini break from writing and plotting the outline to Book 2 until I hear back from my beta readers at the end of the week. Of course, I am still keeping my goal of writing application to HGTV to renovate one of the rooms in my house counts, right? This is one of the hardest writing "assignments" I've ever done: "Describe what you want your dream room to look imaginative." Um, I want to turn my study into a relaxing cabana-type lounge that even Ernest Hemingway would have wanted to hang out and write in.


  1. OMG Claudia, this post made me laugh! First, I can totally empathize about reading other books and feeling insufficiant. This happens to me on a daily basis!

    I also love the HGTV being a hard writing "assignment". Sometimes I think my Tweets take more thought than my actual writing!

    Thanks for the giggle!

  2. Amber - glad you found it amusing, cuz after I posted it, I thought to myself, "geez, even this post sounds sucky!" :)

  3. It wasn't sucky at all! Sometimes I think we writers are programmed to view our work as less than anothers. There are some mainstream authors that I also follow via twitter and blogger, and even they admit to struggling with the same issues.

    I've come to the conclusion that in the end it just makes us a more honest writer. So keep on writing, because somewhere another author is feeling the same about you!

  4. Lol! An application to HGTV most certainly doubt about it :) Fingers crossed for you on that - how exciting if you're chosen!


  5. Amber - I feel like George McFly in Back to the Future when he's writing his sci-fi stories in the cafeteria and says, "I don't think I can take that kind of regection."

    Maria - we didn't know when we bought our house that one room had water damaged floors! I hope HGTV stumbles upon this post and says, "hey, Claudia needs a new floor...and a bar."

  6. As a perpetual Hemingway fan your title pulled me in and the post made me laugh. Sure, I'd say that HGTV application counts! :-)

  7. Stacey Wallace BenefielJuly 13, 2011 at 10:02 PM

    Hey, I hear ya. While I was finishing Glow I beta read Heroes Til' Curfew by Susan Bischoff. It's almost twice as long as Glow and I suffer from word count anxiety in the first place. So, all I kept thinking was ,"Glow's not long enough! Do I need to add more here? Here? Ahhhhh!"
    My advice is to listen to your beta readers and not yourself at this point. :) Ha!
    I hope HGTV calls, everyone needs a Hemingway bar office.

  8. oops, I meant "rejection" not "regection". I need some sleep!

    pondering - I'm still not done with the application! Do I want Cape Cod beach or Havana cabana beach style? UGH

    Stacey - Thanks for the words of wisdom! I have word count anxiety as well. It stems from my inability to go overboard with details. I'm known for saying a lot in a few choice words, but readers may not like that! And I'm positive my beta's will steer me in the right direction! :) I haven't even read my book since I sent it to them...

  9. Oh, this is a post I needed to read right now, so thanks for letting me know there are others who feel the same way! I'm about to send my novella Tribute out to betas -- this will be the first book I publish so I'm already feeling a out of my depth. One day I'll feel totally calm and know it's ready, the next I'll be in a panic thinking I should change everything. I'm keeping my hands off of it in that second mood.

    As a reader I'm actually more bothered by unnecessary detail and scenes that don't go anywhere than by an author's brevity.

  10. First of all, halfway done. Second of all, don't put so much pressure on yourself. You've read what goes out in a beta read. It's rough stuff. There might be notes, but there will certainly NOT be rejection.

    Word counts mean nothing, as long as the story is good. Just tell your readers!!

  11. This is why I only read Goosebumps after releasing a new book. I'm sure you have no worries though;)

  12. Getting it out to betas is major! Congratulations! You're supposed to feel this way- the fact that you do is proof that your book does not, in fact, suck. If you thought you had written the best thing since The Odyssey when you let that book go, that would be bad. Now please don't ask me to explain my logic because I can't but I'll try and wind up sounding even more like a raving loon than I do already. But I know your book will rock!

  13. Yea, Glow was great, wasn't it? And congratulations on sending your book out to betas!


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