Tuesday, June 18, 2013

(Work-in-) Progress Report: Bonnie

Word count (to the nearest thousand): 67,000
Status: Out of my hands
Attitude: Exhausted

Well, it finally happened. For a few days last week, I officially hated Bonnie. It didn't last long (now I'm only tired of her), but I can confirm there were a couple of moments when all I wanted to do was pitch her over a cliff. Thankfully, I didn't (I think I'm thankful, at least), and now she's safely into the hands of her next round of readers.

I don't know why, but these moments of self-loathing always take me by surprise. At the outset, I expect to love every project for every second I'm working on it. I forget how hard, how painful, it will be (it's kind of like childbirth that way), so when the self-loathing hits, I worry that something's wrong, that I've wasted the last six months or whatever on a manuscript that's going precisely nowhere.

But what I hope I'll remember from here on out is that it's ALWAYS like this. I always decide at some point (usually while I'm line editing) that every project is hopeless, that it's the dumbest thing ever, that I should give up right now. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that if I don't hate a project at least once in the process, I'm probably not giving it everything I've got. That's kind of nutty and counterintuitive, but at least in my case, it's also true.

How do you get through those moments of self-loathing? Or maybe I'm the only one who hates her stories at some point...? (Bonus points for using as many parentheses as possible!)

9 comments:

Amy L. Sonnichsen said...

Enjoy the break from Bonnie! Isn't it fun when you go back to the book later, though, after that hateful feeling wears off and you're like, "I wrote this! I wrote this!" and you were so tired WHILE you were writing it that you don't remember writing it at all? Love that. ;)

mackenzilee said...

Krista, this is EXACTLY what I needed to read right now! Thank you! It's always refreshing to know you're not the only one :)

Kathleen Basi said...

I have had several moments in the last couple of weeks when I felt absolutely, positively certain that NOBODY WILL EVER BE INTERESTED IN READING A BOOK LIKE THIS. I haven't experienced "I hate this" yet, but maybe it's different words for the same phenomenon!

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Well, Amy, I love it if I LIKE what I wrote;)

Mackenzi, that's one of the many reasons I love blogging--it's so nice to find out I'm not alone in this world.

Yes, Kathleen, definitely different words for the same phenomenon! During those moments of self-loathing, I always convince myself that the manuscript will never sell, it was a stupid story to begin with, and what on earth was I thinking? Have you been able to bust out of the cycle yet? I hope so!

Jessie Oliveros said...

Congrats on finishing, Krista. When I hated my book I would just stop and do something else, but I suppose you don't have that luxury on a deadline:P By the way, I named my MC Bonnie before she was Liza (and Annie in between) (parentheticals!)

Stephanie Garber said...

I totally echo Mackenzilee! This was a great post to read. My problem isn't that I start hating the stories I write, I just start hating everything I write, and then I always want to quit writing entirely. I'm glad I'm not alone. I think that (not being alone) is what usually gets me through. Whenever I'm feeling overwhelmed I usually email one of my cp's and they always know what to say. :)

Marcia W said...

Thanks for posting this- it came at a perfect time of me feeling isolated and just yucky at my work. My problem is then not turning the dislike onto myself (as in, you're a terrible writer, why are you doing this?) Walking away and reading is my go-to plan. (And chocolate. Lots and lots of chocolate) :)

Karen lee Hallam said...

Must be a very different experience when you're on a deadline. That scares me.
Right now, I can flit between characters when I need a breath of fresh air. A huge congratulations on finishing and casting your ms off to the beta sea. (even more so, for pushing through the challenge)

Krista Van Dolzer said...

Jessie, I could see Liza as a Bonnie, too, but then, I do think Liza is a fantastic name, so you were in a win-win situation:) And this story hasn't sold yet, so I don't have a deadline (except for the ones I give myself). That said, I can't let an unfinished manuscript lie. I've tried it before, and it just drives me crazy:)

Stephanie, CPs are indispensable for so many reasons, many of which have nothing to do with the actual feedback they give you on your writing:) I fear my CPs have received more than one frantic e-mail from me at every step along the way. They should probably start billing me for all the impromptu therapy they provide...

Marcia, it's so hard to separate our writing from ourselves, isn't it? Probably because writing feels like such an important part of us. I do think you have a stellar coping strategy, though. Pretty sure I could subsist on books and chocolate alone:)

Karen, as I mentioned above, I've been lucky in that I haven't had to deal with any hard and fast deadlines (yet). Hopefully, all this has prepared me well...