But I Get Up Again

I never realized how stuck I’d gotten after writing that story that just failed.  I’ve started and not finished three stories in the last week.  Not finished.  I usually finish shorts in one sitting.  It’s the novels I poke at (and I’m poking, I’m poking.  Gotta get the MG one done soon, seriously).  I got stuck because I’m afraid that every word is more fail.

Fuck it. Seriously.  So I failed. That story really doesn’t work at all and nothing will save it (maybe the setting, the setting might, the setting is good.)  I have to get over that.  Move past it.  It’s so easy to dwell on what doesn’t work, what feels or reads wrong.  I think my academic side lets me down here, because I’ve been trained to pick things apart.  It’s time to get back up.  The mini self-inflicted rollercoaster of “I suck!” and “I might not suck!” annoys me.  It’s stupid and it is stopping my writing.

In 11 minutes I turn 29.  I hope that someday I’ll look back at my 20s as the years it really started.  Addicts have their sobriety dates, I guess writers have their “got serious” dates.  Mine is Feb 4th 2009.  I’ve got a year left of my 20s.  I want to make it a good one, one where I did everything in my power to reach my goals.  For my birthday I wrote myself a check and dated it Feb 4th, 2020.  I won’t say the amount, but it is fairly ambitious, at least I hope.  As I enter the final year of this decade of life, I want to know that I didn’t let the little things get me down.  And that when they did, I got back up.

Now, I should go practice what I preach and finish some damn stories.  Because no one is going to buy stuff I haven’t written and submitted.

5 Responses to “But I Get Up Again”

  1. Brad R. Torgersen

    Some stories are just born “broken.” But it’s also been my experience that if you file the “broken” story away and move on, within a few months you come back around to the story with a fresh perspective, or some new idea that wasn’t in your head originally, and you pick the story up, dust it off, and make it whole.

    Good for you to get and stay ambitious in your 20’s. When I turned 29, I’d been a father for less than a year, was so tired all the time I could barely put one foot in front of the other, and was writing not at all — and feeling pretty badly about it, too. Because I could remember, at age 19, thinking that by age 29, I’d be writing and selling books regularly. To hell with the day job! Poof! Ten years evaporated mighty quickly, and I found myself at 29 wishing I’d done more — sooner — to get serious.

    Good luck, Annie! Good for you that your husband is onboard with your ambition. I do think that helps enormously.

    • izanobu

      Thanks, Brad! I know my husband being supportive of this definitely helps a ton. He believes in me more than I do, sometimes. (Conversations often go like this: Me- I’m never going to sell anything, ever. Him- You said this could take ten years and hundreds of rejections. Me- Well, yeah. Okay. Him- How long has it been? How many rejections do you have? Me- walks away feeling sheepish.)

      As for that story that failed, I think I’ll keep the idea in the back of my mind and try it again sometime. I’d have to completely redraft the thing anyway to fix what went wrong.

      Hope your 500 a day is going well, Brad!

  2. Thomas K Carpenter

    I wish I had “gotten serious” at the same age you did. I finally got around to that about three years ago (I’m 37 now.) Based on your output and the “good rejections” you’ve been recieving, I’d say you’re almost there. Good luck and keep going!

    • izanobu

      Thanks, Thomas. And the great thing about writing is that you aren’t really ever too old to start. 🙂

  3. thomaskcarpenter

    Technically I got started around age nineteen. Wrote my first novel by twenty-three and then when the agent search went poorly (as expected for a novice) I gave up until three years ago. Thankfully I have a supportive wife that pushed me back into writing again. I think she’s partially regretting it due to the time it takes. ;p


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