Why Do I Put Myself Through This?

Last night, I took the rough draft of my novel synopsis to my critique group where it got thoroughly shredded. 021

I expected it.

As I write this post,  The Whites Stripes, Catch Hell Blues comes on my iTunes playlist. And, I quote: “If your lookin’ for hot water, don’t act shocked when you get burned a little bit. If you really want some hot water, I can help you find it.”

Yeah, at critique group, and definitely don’t go if you can’t take the hot water.

I laugh because it’s exactly what I was looking for, but I still question why I put myself through this. I can think of a few:

Because I enjoy having others scrutinize and disassemble my work (yeah, no, not really, well maybe, hmmm . . . )

Because conflict is my friend (and I like my friend).

Because “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.” Friedrich Nietzsche -or, in this case, what doesn’t kill your story, makes it stronger.

Because, and this is in the case of my synopsis, I want to enter a contest and the stupid thing is required (at least they reduced it to 3-4 pages instead of 8).

And, most importantly,

Because I want my work to be as good as it can be for the reader.

599075_398594130238481_1470735836_nSo here’s my question. Do you put yourself through the ringer for certain things? What are they and how many hoops do you jump through?

See you next week, probably battered and bruised, but that synopsis is going to get written. ~ RG

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Two Cups of Coffee with No Food

I’ve done this a few times in the last week.

Wondered why my body felt as if it was fuzzy or teeming with electricity.

Then that heel of the hand to the head duh moment occurs.

I had two cups of strong coffee and didn’t eat a thing.

So, when I look up from my laptop and the job applications that I’ve been sending out and see that it’s two in the afternoon, I’ve looked at all the job boards have offered for the day, and I’m shaking from malnourished brain cells, running on caffeine fumes, I shouldn’t be surprised.

It’s also December. Not really my favorite month, but I do like the holiday that it was bequeathed with. What I don’t like about it is the commercial, coma inducing, frenzied shopping that goes on. I avoid malls and other retail establishments, if I can, in normal months and on normal days. Even going to Panera Bread, at SW Plaza Mall, for my critique group borders on insanity to me. Just goes to show how masochistic I’ve become in my pursuit of writing.

This year, I’m not yet in the spirit of things. For one, we haven’t had that much snow. Even in the mountains. That is not a good thing in Colorado. A few days ago, it was like September in the weather department. What’s with that?

snowmen2

Seeing lights go up on the houses has helped a bit, ours are up too. Maybe if I decorate inside, it’ll be more festive. However, I like seeing a bit of snow around this time of year. I feel a little bit like Bing Crosby and entourage in White Christmas, when they get to Vermont and there’s no snow on the ground.

Anyway, I’m going to make the best of things, avoid people crushing mall crowds, ignore all the ads TV and internet, and concentrate on what the season is supposed to be about. Love.
Love your families, even if they try your patience sometimes. Life is too short not to. Love your fellow man/woman/child. I know this is a hard thing to do, but believe me, a little act of random kindness goes a long way.
Okay, that’s my caffeine induced, ramble.
If I want to drink coffee and not eat anything until after two in the afternoon, that’s my issue, right? (Just don’t tell my daughter. I just lectured her on how she needs to eat and not skip meals).Love and peace to you this Christmas season.RG

Farewell, but not Goodbye

Recently I bid a fond farewell to my friend and writer’s coach, Janet Roots. She is returning to the land of her birth, England and will be near my daughter, who is in Wales. This is not goodbye as we plan to keep in touch through the ether.

I met Janet when I attended a MeetUp.com group she started called the Golden Wannabe Writer’s Group in Golden, Colorado. I had just started jotting down ideas for a book when the invite popped up in my e-mail. I had other such invites, but none had felt as right as this one, so I attended the first meeting. That was in June of 2010 and I stuck with this group right up to our last meeting with Janet.

Over the almost two and a half years I’ve known her she has encouraged me, mentored me, taught me the writing craft (still learning), introduced me to my first critique partner, and became my friend. I’ve met some wonderful people through the group, some of which have become good friends and all of whom make me a better writer.

As I said before, this is not goodbye. Our little group wants to stay in touch. To do so, we created a Facebook group and we’ll meet once a month at our regular haunt, Bean Fosters. When Janet is settled in England, we will Skype her into our meetings. We hope to still offer the support each of us needs to reach our goals, whether they be to write and get published, to write for ourselves, or to find out if writing is our thing.

I’ve made other acquaintances in the UK. Some are my daughter’s new friends and others are fellow writers whom I’ve met through blogging, Twitter, and Facebook. I hope to be able to visit in the near future and meet them face-to-face.

Until then,
I wish Janet all the best and I’ll be in touch!

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