Slow Going

I am moving at a snail's pace for GRAPEMO this year, but it's not for the lack of effort.

I've kept my document open everyday, all day this week, but somehow I'm only managing somewhere between 140-200 words a day. I will not reach my 5K goal at this pace. I don't exactly know what to do about it though. It's not like I don't know my story; I know everything there is to know about it. So why the heck is it so hard getting it onto paper right now? I feel like my characters are purposely cock-blocking me from my goals. As if this is amusing to them, watching me bang my head against a desk in frustration.  

It's also not helping that a St. Patrick's day short story has been dancing around all shiny and pretty, tempting me to work on it even though all it came with were two little girls, a title, and a general idea. What good does that do me? If you don't have an entire plot, short story, leave me alone already

I really want to read a book this weekend, especially since I didn't get a chance to last weekend, but I'm already feeling guilty about using my free time to read instead of write. I suspect that any accomplishments I do have this month will be heavily lopsided. 

I know GRAPEMO's not a race, but I feel like I've already ran out of time to achieve what I've set out to do. I have to keep reminding myself that it's only the 7th, I've got plenty of time. 

I swear, I'm my own worst enemy sometimes. 

Writer friends, how's GRAPEMO going for you one week in?



Anonymous Success

Lately my parents have been saying things in regards to my creative side and dreams that leave me confused and a bit sad.

First, there was all this push for self-publishing, which I have no intentions of doing (because we all know how unsuccessful that can be). I want to believe my work is good enough to actually be published by a real publishing house, not just fall back after a few queries and self-publish because I think I know I’m good enough. I have no interest in self-publishing. Period.

Then, around Christmas, when briefly explaining my old book to my father he cut me off to ask why I wasn’t using a penname. The question struck me odd because why would I? I mean I’ve even already had conversations with my fiancé about the fact that if I’m published after we’re married, that I will still use my maiden name (Whisted) instead of my married name (Harris) because 1. Whisted is a lot more unusual than Harris and 2. It’s the end of the line for the Whisted name in our family. There are no boys to carry it on. I would have thought it’d make my family proud to see the Whisted name on a bookshelf.

Last weekend both of my parents approached me about ghost writing and how they’d read that it’s one of the best jobs for older people, bringing in an income around 200K a year to write books for others, without your name being attached. They seemed to love this idea, saying that who cares if you don’t get credit for it, 200K a year is worth it. All I kept thinking was: when did this dream career hold any monetary value? It’s not about the money it will bring in. Sure, I’d love to make enough to work from home and write books for the rest of my life, but if I can’t that doesn’t automatically persuade me to just give up the dream. It’s not about making it rich. When was it ever?

And then yesterday, after having another really successful photo shoot with my nephew on Monday, I asked my parents if they’d seen the pictures. First my father said that I have all these creative abilities that I hardly take advantage of (I’m sure the piano is included in that, as if I have an option to still play when I currently don’t have a piano). When I corrected him and said that I’ve actually been studying photography lately to improve my skills and actually giving thought to taking pictures of people other than my family since I’m getting so much better he said, “That's good,” but then followed it up with, “But it’d be better if you posted these pictures anonymously. You shouldn’t need to be credited for this.” What?!  Then the same comment was thrown at me in regards to my book. He wondered why I couldn’t just be satisfied with only my family enjoying it (which is just baffling in itself since none of them read my work). It really feels like they’re trying to talk me out of my dreams or something.

I am so confused right now. I’m trying to tell myself that there’s not some deeper meaning to this sudden push for anonymity in regards to my creativity, but honestly all it feels like is that my family will be ashamed having a tie to my name if/when I make it out in the world.

What does that say about me and the talents I think I have?