Friday, March 18, 2011

Can I really do this?

High expectations for yourself are all well and good, but what happens when you start to convince yourself that it is just too much?

I have put so much pressure on myself to write and get my book published this year. I have been working on it since last July- working, working to make it perfect- to make it mean something- to make it help make this world a better place for my daughter to grow up.

This goal that I have put on myself is out of my comfort zone and very scary.

I am at work...with only two students in my class because of various assemblies and field trips...so they are working independently while I stew in my office. I have been reading through my book, and it is still not good enough. I am convincing myself that it is horrible and useless and that I have been wasting my time.

I wonder if I am a talented enough writer to pull this off. I do know that I am persistent and stubborn, which I hear are good qualities when attempting to publish, but am I a writer? Am I a fool to think that I can go from music teacher to author in one short year? Am I crazy?

I saw on a TV show once where an author went insane while attempting to perfect his book, so he ate it to get rid of it for good. I'm staring at the white pages and thinking that if they were slathered with a bit of chocolate, that might not be a bad idea.

I know that my book has an amazing message- I know deep down that if I keep pushing and working hard enough I can get it published- but are my words quality enough to spread around the world?

Bottom line- I'm discouraged. I have worked so hard, but it is not yet perfect and I fear it never will be because I don't have the ability that such a project dictates.

I'm halfway contemplating posting a few pages of it here in a post so that I could get some feedback, but then I draw back in fear of the response. What if it is so horrible that you tell me to throw away this unrealistic goal and go bury my head in the sand somewhere...I would prefer someplace warm like Florida, California, or the Caribbean...

Anyway, I have a feeling that this is one of the posts that I will get no feedback on as everyone is scared to "poke the bear", but I feel better just having vented.

If you do feel like commenting, could you please help me?

What is your favorite book and why? What is it that pulls you into the pages with no desire to leave? What is that magical balance of a book between action and description that leaves the reader breathless with wonder and expectations fulfilled?

Can you tell I'm doing a bit of soul searching? ha. My book is in that critical stage between OK and great, and I'm struggling to take it there. I'm wishing for more hours in the day to work on this more...(or to drive myself even more crazy...whatever)

8 comments:

  1. I'm going to start by saying I think you are an amazing writer! I can't imagine trying to write an entire book and not doubting it or questioning it at some point. Have you let any of your family or friends read it or portions of it. I hated having teachers read my papers but I always appreciated the feedback once they were done.

    My favorite book is Master of the Game by Sidney Sheldon. I've read it 4 or 5 times. He is a master story teller and his descriptive language sucks me in from the first page. I can envision the people, the places and the time period as if I were watching a movie.

    I would love to read a few pages of your book but I know how intimidating it would be to put yourself out there...my guess is it is much better than you are giving yourself credit for! Whatever you do don't eat it, I'm pretty sure it's lacking any nutritional value....even when smeared with chocolate! :)

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  2. You are a talented writer Deanna, you speak from your heart and with emotion, so any way you try to get your message across will reach people, touch people, cause they will FEEL what you are saying.
    Your book will never be perfect to YOU...Great writers and artists never really feel their work is complete, or perfect...They always see what could have been done better. Try not to over analyze your work...I know, easier said than done right!
    I LOVE reading, its been my favorite passtime since I was little...I dont have a favorite book though and I read a little of everything. What I look for though is stuff that is real, stuff that an average person can relate to...
    I HATE things that are overly wordy, overly descriptive...I mean of course there has to be description so you can envision things, but I think some people take that description to far...To many words take away from the simplicity of a message...When I read things where people use 3 different words to describe something all in one sentence it just becomes a jumbled mess to me and I find I skim over the entire passage...Does that make sense?? I know everyone likes different things and some people may love all the exrta description...But for me, I like it plain and simple...I like it REAL!
    I for one cant wait to read your book :)

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  3. Aaahhh. Deanna Deanna Deanna. Let me start off by saying, this was a REALLY MEAN post. You got me all tantalized and excited that I was going to get to read maybe part of your book, and then you "pulled the plug".

    OK, favorite book is IMPOSSIBLE to say. My favorite author is Jamie Langston Turner. You REALLY ought to get her to read it - with the family connection and all. :) (Probably already thought of that!) I love love love love to read. I tend towards mystery. Agatha Christie/ John Grisham/ Ray Chandler/ etc. Every time we visit the States my suitcase is filled with books. I have hundreds and hundreds.

    If you ever want me to read it, just let me know!!! REALLY! Otherwise I'll just have to wait to buy a copy. Sigh. ;)

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  4. Oh. I forgot to tell you why. I think because Jamie Langston Turner:
    1. So pulls you into her characters. They're real. And her characters are so true to life, not overdramatized, fake, and unrealistic. You laugh and cry.
    2. Her books are "smart". There's so much thought put into tiny little details that just make the whole story so interesting. She must be a brilliant lady.

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  5. Hi - will think and send you an e-mail with my favorite books/authors.

    Just a thought, but maybe your desire to write this book was for a different purpose than what you thought and you've accomplished what you were meant to do with it. Perhaps it's time to put it away for a while. I hate the thought that you won't enjoy the world around you while you continue on the rigorous journey that is birthing a book, especially when you have such a fantastic but HUGE change looming in September.

    Of course, you know that I'm limbering up to be the first to do some fist pumps and kick jumps in your honor whatever you decide to do ;) That mental image should keep you laughing for a while!

    xo Lydia

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  6. You can come to California ANY TIME YOU WANT! I'd love for Miss Addison to come, but you are welcome to come by yourself for a break :) We'd love to have you!

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  7. You already know what I think- submit the thing!!:) complete with a lovely dedication to me, your biggest fan.
    Jane Eyre is probably my all-time favorite, but I love all the classics. I love a book that draws me in so much I forget I'm reading...like one with characters so complex and real, I want to know what they're doing now "in real life" when the story ends (if that makes sense...maybe I'm just weird.)
    For those reasons, L.M. Montgomery is my favoritest-ever author. I have read and re-read all of her books so many times, and I never get tired of them. Sometimes I just pick one and read a chapter right in the middle, because the stories she weaves within the story are just as magical as the main plot.
    I'm sure your book will be wonderful- in fact, I know it will be. Your blog is just a little appetizer, and we're all anxiously awaiting the main course!

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  8. Harry Potter. And it was written by a mom with a brand new baby. :) I love the fabulous storyline, amazingly well developed characters, and the underlying themes that you don't really see until the end of the book until you hit your head and say, "How did I NOT see that?!!" :)

    Good luck with your book. :)

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Thanks for reading about my Everything and Nothing. I would love to hear from you!