Tuesday, October 2, 2012

WHAT AM I DOING?!

WHAT AM I DOING?! WHAT AM I DOING?!

If it appears that I am shouting, it's because I AM!

Here's why:

I submitted my macho manuscript three weeks ago and for some reason it has seemed like an ETERNITY!

In this time I haven't written anything new. Too nervous. Nor have I reread any of my work. Again, too nervous. Why would I be nervous to read my own stuff?

 If you give yourself enough time away from your work you have a better chance of seeing it with an outsider's perspective, right? But what if I reread my work and realize that it stinks a big one? The longer I hold off on rereading my work, the more anxiety ridden I become and the more anxiety ridden I become the more I begin to doubt myself as a writer for children. WHAT AM I DOING? Ack!

So you see, I am in a bit of a rut. Blech.

So I paint. Yup. I've painted all things wooden or plastic in my sight the last week. I heart spray paint.

And I sew.  Just finished a hooded cape for Humbug and am thinkin' I should start a new trend for grown women.

I go to school and get all worked up about things like deadlines and losing my flash-drive and trying  to remember where I parked my bike.

I watch shows like Fringe that have me convinced that there is another parallel universe where I am a successful children's author, possibly with some kung fu moves and a holster.

For the record, in this time, I also:

- attempted to make decoupage jewelry. No comment.

- made lanterns out of tin cans and drilled holes in my leg. (Actually, I exaggerate. It was just one hole. Wasn't pretty. Shiver.)

But all of these things make me feel farther and farther away from what I want so badly... to write for children.  And the farther  away I feel, the more doubt seeps its way into my little noggin. I begin to ask myself, "Can I do this?  Should I still attempt to write and be published? Is this crazy?"  I feel a little like a lost puppy.

Thankfully, I have you and this here blog to keep me plugged in. And despite however big the cloud of self-doubt  is that looms over my head, I will always have the trusty Banana Peelers to get me through.

This month we will be gearing up for Halloween with authors of some wonderfully creative books that relate to the holiday, or at least in my mind do. =)   So far, we have AN AMAZING LINE UP of authors who I guarantee will make you LAUGH, not to mention at least two giveaways! Get ready for this month's banana peelin' authors:

Ame Dyckman
Anne Marie Pace
Kelly DiPucchio

Bwa, bwa, bwa. (Vampire laugh. See? Already laughing.)

Also, we have a winner from Deborah Underwood's, The Christmas Quiet Book giveaway...

Congratulations............................

DANA CAREY!


Woot! Thanks so much for your support and efforts to promote the blog, Dana!  You will be receiving a copy of this latest book straight from the publisher! So excited for you and slightly jealous, but in the best way possible. =)

So, before we go, I leave you readers with these two questions:

What do you do when you are waiting?

What the heck do you do when you doubt yourself?

Thanks so much and see you this Thursday, when BOY + BOT's, Ame Dyckman shares some memories of when she started writing for children. =)

33 comments:

  1. May I just say, OMG (as my preteen says) we are on the same page! I too submitted a story that is very dear to my heart, and cannot seem to focus on the other stories I have that need revision, my pathetically dusty blog, or pretty much anything else. I am so unfocused that I fell down the stairs on Sunday and broke my foot. Argh. Now it's challenging to get around my own house, but at least I'm trapped so may have to write something or die of boredom. ;) Good luck with getting back to writing more!

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    1. Oh no! You and your poor foot! Isn't it awful, this rut? But nothing really cures the blues like writing. Catch 22 if I do say so myself! Good luck to you and your foot! Take care of yourself. =)

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  2. Oh, Elizabeth, I hear you on the doubt and distraction - and hey, we both sew and spraypaint and engage in dubious artistic pursuits! - but I'm sorry I cannot help you on the writing front. I have never submitted anything anywhere (yeah, I'm getting to it), so I can only offer a shoulder to cry on and a few head pats. As for the doubt, though...you just get through it. You slap yourself in the face, say "Snap out of it," and get back to work, hopefully without Nick Cage lurking around your desk. And you remember that you are Elizabeth Stevens Omlor, owner of a unique wit and warm heart, and deserver of all good things. Smooches.

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    1. What a beautiful reply, Renee :-)

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    2. You, Ms. Amazing Poet have never submitted anything? I don't believe it. I love that you sew and spraypaint. =) Someday we will get all crafty together while drinking a six pack! You are so kind. Thank you so much for your sweet words and for putting the fear of Nick Cage in me. Now go submit your beautiful words somewhere!!!! You're amazing! BIG HUGS!

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  3. Well what do you know, I was spray painting myself this morning (and I don't even have a manuscript out). Crafting is fun. It's distracting, but it sure as heck ain't writing children's stories.
    When I get down, I write something new. There's nothing like falling in love with a new manuscript to ease a heartache. Fingers crossed for you. Ditto to what Renee said, you deserve all good thing!

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    1. Hannah, I have one question for you...were you spray painting your astroturf gown? Cuz that would be cool. =) You hit the nail on the head. Writing can't really be replaced by anything else. So glad to hear that you feel the same. =) Thanks so much for the crossed fingers and your kind words!

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  4. Congrats to Dana! Looking forward to the line-up! And what to do with doubt? I wish I knew. Is it something about today? I woke up this morning ready to just crawl under a rock with despair over my complete lack of ability to do anything right. I'm hoping it will pass... but it seems to be getting worse. So if you find the cure for doubt, please contact me immediately! :)

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    1. Susanna, it seems like this is a really torutous profession at times. I am so sorry to hear that you seem to be feeling overwhelmed! You are such a rock for us prepubs. Although we are pretty sure you are human, anything you do or say is pretty much perfect. So crawl under that rock but just know that we think the world of you and are here for you whether we have to dig in the dirt to get to you out or not! =)

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  5. Yes, we should definitely start a club...Self Doubters Anonymous...wait, scratch that...Self Doubting Children's Writers NOT Anonymous. SDCWNA. Catchy, ain't it?

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    1. Okay, like SCBWI, your idea is GENIUS! Also like SCBWI, I will need about a millinium to remember the order of the letters! Cheers to SDCWNA!!!!

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  6. Congrats to Dana! I'm no help as I have massive doubts and have yet to submit! I am totally sidetracked for other reasons at the moment.

    And I'm signing up for SDCWNA, Amy!

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    1. You sound as if you have been pretty busy on the other side of the world. =) Doubts are torturous! So glad that we will all have each other to lean on in SDCWNA! Thanks for your comment Joanna!

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  7. Ah, the waiting. And the doubting. I have actually honed my skills. Heh heh. I, like you, do not go back and re-read a manuscript after I've sent it. I have to feel confident that if I decided to send something that it was ready! So no, no more reading of the manuscript! I've been in this game long enough to know that one submission does not an acceptance make(or something like that). So, to pass my waiting time I usually spend a horrendous amount of time doing research on who else to submit to and make a ridiculously long list. I send more stuff out. Or get it ready. Then if you get a rejection you still have more chances out there, and that helps take away that rejection sting. (Plus it's always good to have choices if you get an offer!)And when worse comes to worse(and it always does eventually) I read books about writing. And submitting. Ah yes, I am a glutton for punishment. But it works for me. :) Anyway, I vote for moving on Chicquita, you have more writing work to do!

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    1. I like that..."one submission does not an acceptance make" very Yoda-ish of you Heather. =)It does feel good to work on other things. And I love, love your idea on reading a book about writing. I need to hunt some more down or reread what I already have. Thanks so much for your lovely response! I always love seeing you here Heather! =)

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  8. Oh my! I don't know what to comment on first-- self doubt or WINNING DA BOOK! Yay. THANK U SO MUCH! OK, on less joyful topics... self-doubt... it's killer and it's always lurking but I guess I have lower standards because I think that subbing is a victory already. Waiting is horrible but the best thing to do is what you've been doing (minus the holes in your leg) then getting back to writing (which you've done by blogging). Sometimes a break is good. And there's PiBoIdMo coming up to challenge you. Plus the 12X12--acountability! We're counting on you Elizabeth.
    Thanks again for the lovely giveaway.
    And keep going. :)

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    1. Yay! Congrats Dana! A break can be good. That was my husband's recommedation too. I cannot WAIT for the inspiration of PiBoIdMo. All those posts by kid lit people?! It will be like an early Christmas! Thanks so much for your encouragement Dana and congrats again on winning this wonderful book! P.S. I need to give your address to the publisher..can you send it via FB or via the Contact M page here?

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  9. YOU CAN DO IT...you will write a very lovely perfect book, perhaps you already have...

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    1. Aw. Thanks so much Kathryn! Love seeing you here!

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  10. While you wait, start your next manuscript! Research publishers and find other ways to be published. If you read Nancy Sander's book, "Yes You Can Learn How to Write Children's Books, Get Them Published, & Build a Successful Writing Career," she talks about 3 types of writing: for personal fulfillment, to make money, and to get published. So that's what I've been doing the past 3 yrs. While I wait to have that dream pb, I'm getting published in other genres and venues. That help passes time while you improve in pb writing and wait on publishers!! Hope that helps. If you want more details, let me know.

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    1. Ooooohhh. That sounds like a wonderful book Tina! Thanks so much for sharing. So glad that you have pursued writing in other genres. Such a great idea to get that writing fix. I need to look into that more. Beware...I will be bothering you about this very soon. =) Thanks so much for your comment!

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  11. Oh Bananabeth, I too know exactly how you feel. But don't let self doubt overwhelm you. Believe in yourself and keep writing because it is what you love and need to do. Self doubt plagues all creative people. Ask my husband how many times I beat myself over the head. I know it's both exciting and terrifying to send out a manuscript and then wait and wait... But you did it- and that's already a huge accomplishment. Try not to think about it being out there, but start writing some new stories or revisiting your old ones. And remember Dr. Seuss got rejected 29 times for his first manuscript. It happens to all writers, especially when starting out. I certainly hope it doesn't happen to you, but be prepared for that possibility so that you don't get crushed if it does. Keep writing your stories. Believe in yourself. We do!

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    1. I just love you Iza. Thanks so much for your words of encouragement. This whole creative torture thing is the pits! I am an optimist, BUT it always takes me a day or two to get there. =) Thanks so much for believing in me.

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  12. Congratulations to Dana! I know the book will be a treasure.

    Hang in there! The doubt can be crippling, and the rejections are tough to take. I just keep telling myself it is part of the process that is bringing me closer to publication...does that work every day??? No...but more days than not it lifts my spirits.

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    1. I think you are right Penny. It does seem like publication is right around the corner....fifty blocks from here!!! =) I love the excitement of it all and the learning process. Sometimes it just wears on the soul. You are exactly right, that more days than not it lifts spirits. We have found a pretty wonderful niche, huh? Thank you so much for your comment!

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  13. Congratulations to Dana!

    Now to our beloved Bananabeth. For self-doubt, I prescribe writing something just for you. Something you would love, but it doesn't matter whether anyone else sees it or loves it, give it to yourself as a gift, and let it love you back. I'm sure all authors experience doubt at times. Does knowing you're in good company help?

    Just keep writing. You have it in you. We know it. *hugs*

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    1. What an absolutely WONDERFUL idea Beth! Thank you so much for sharing. And yes, good company does help. Thank you so much for your kind words of encouragement Beth. You da bomb. =) Hugs.

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  14. Woo-hoo for Dana! Elizabeth: Let your doubt inspire your next ms: what could get your butt back in the chair? A tough as nails Old Mother who yells all day to rouse so many lackadaisical kids into spit-shining their Shoe-House! Rumpelstiltskin promising to write it for you, for a wee favor... Or seven banana-peelin' brother chimps who need YOU to earn back their freedom (and confidence!) from the evil witch? Keep us posted!

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    1. Ooooohhhh...tough choice Julie! =) All so enticing. But I must say that at the moment, I think I'd choose Rumplestiltskin, behind door number two! Ha! You're funny and very creative I might add. Although themes of freedom and confidence do sound inspiring. =) Thanks so muh for cheering me up Julie!

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  15. The silence is brutal after you've sent your precious story out into the world! I think the first step is to put down the drill as puncture wounds are icky. Next, pat yourself on the back for being brave enough to send it out there. You are awesome just for doing that! Third, sit down and write more, more, more! Creativity begets creativity :) It is so hard to wait. Don't we tell our kids that on a regular basis? It's true for us big peoples, too. Hang in there!

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    1. Aha! Put down the drill...I am taking notes. Good idea. I think drills will forever evoke some woosiness in me, since the incident. =) Waiting is SO hard, even for us "big peoples." Argh. Thanks so much for your encouragement Heather. I always look forward to your comments. =)

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  16. I am getting ready to send off two "babies," and I have to admit I am terrified. However, I have several other projects waiting in the wings: an unrevised PB MS, an early reader, a couple of proposals. I am going to occupy my time with those and hope that if the first bunch is a big fail, my second bunch will show some promise. Good luck, Elizabeth!

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