Thursday, June 19, 2014

A New Hope!

Well, not -that- long ago....

The other night I got a familiar itch that I haven't had in quite a while and, no, it wasn't poison ivy.

The itch to jump back into my WIPs. Any would do, so I opted to go strap myself into my W.A.Y.B.A.C.K. machine and turn the dial to 2011. This was the year....the only year, unfortunately, that I won NaNoWriMo with a tale that mashed my love for old movies and science fiction.

The story of a defective, time repairing, android....The T.E.M.P. Agency

I've yet to come up with a decisive ending to the tale, but still hit my NaNo winning word count, so I happily chalked it up as a "win". 

Anyway, it's been a while since I've done any editing and decided the best way to do things was to go through and reread the whole story, then jump into editing. 

Now, here's the strange part. A lot of what I was reading sounded like someone else had written it. I mean, and not to toot my own horn, but there were quite a few areas where I was thinking "Man, this isn't half bad." Granted, the whole thing is still as rough as a sandpaper factory.....but going back and revisiting it, the thing has potential.

Anyone who really knows me, I mean someone who's known me for years, knows that I very, rarely, praise myself for doing much of anything. It's not that I don't have confidence, I do. I've just never been one to brag. Probably a byproduct of my midwestern upbringing. I've also never been one to crow about my writing....mainly because I've always seen it as very amateurish. 

Which, in many ways, it still is.

I've really been struggling with my writing, lately, as evidenced by my silence on this blog. The distractions I used to easily avoid have really been roping me in and I've been letting them. Mainly out of laziness, a bit of burnout, and coupled with some discouragement.

This, though, really gave me some hope. The more I read, the more I heard a Steve Urkel-esque voice in my head saying, "Did I do that?".

Like I said, my story, so far, isn't going to set the literary world on fire....but it's really warming up my little corner of the imagination and, more importantly, it's giving me......hope.


Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Glad you found some gems of writing in that old piece! And now that you've grown since that time, what doesn't rock, you can make better.
Good to hear from you, Mark!

Annalisa Crawford said...

I can completely understand reading something as though someone else had written it. It's a good sign. Going back to old stories is a great way to get back into the flow :-)

Robin said...

I am in the editing and revising stage with my WiP. Parts of it make me groan. Every now and then I read something and think, "Well, that was pretty good." I know just what you are saying!

Laura Clipson said...

The same thing happens to me when I go back and read something I wrote ages ago; I'm always surprised by how not-bad the writing is. It always gives me hope :)

Lisa said...

I just found something I wrote a few years ago and I can't believe I wrote it either! Does that say we're growing as writers...or better than we give ourselves credit for, or both!? Hope is SUCH a great thing to have. Keep up the good work Mark!

Mark Means said...

@Alex: Great advice and thank you. Nice hearing from you, as well :)

@Annalisa: Oh, totally's a very good sign and I'll take what I can get when it comes to writing!

@Robin: LOL...that's true, too. I've been doing some groaning, as well, but the other parts are making it worth it.

@Laura: And that's always a good thing!

@Lisa: I think it, definitely, means we're growing and, along with that, grows our hope :)

Jeremy [Retro] said...

I found that all my writings are just found again. glad you were able to find something, it's funny how something not there is suddenly there...

I found my first story I wrote in first grade, my mother took it and typed it out... I should share that, funny I knew I wanted to be creative some many years ago.

All the best, sorry off topic... isn't post to invoke a thought or a good vibe... :)


jaybird said...

Please don't ever give up hope!! Writing isn't easy, but taking a break and going back later on, seems to help me quite a bit. I'm glad you got that itch back!!

BTW, on a personal note, I LOL at this, because ironically, The Husband is covered in POISON IVY right now and is a stinking, itchy, miserable mess :)

Suzanne said...

I think writing breaks and blog breaks go hand in hand. And I think that's a good thing, it's important to take time out, but hopefully you're back in the saddle :)
Suzanne @ Suzannes-Tribe

Elizabeth Seckman said...

I have no doubt that you will publish something awesome...soon!

Letting a wip get so cold it seems foreign has always been my go to edit style. I do the same as you, I read through it, make notes, and then go back and edit. I love it when I've written something that makes me think maybe I don't stink. It gives me hope!

Shell Flower said...

That's the beauty of Nanowrimo, going back and feeling that "I wrote that?" amazement. Writing can be a real ebb and flow, just like life. Use the momentum to get back on the horse. Your story sounds cool and I'm sure there is a logical ending just waiting to happen, or perhaps a surprise twist just for fun. Whatever it is, enjoy the spark of creativity.

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