Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

As a writer there are certain things that affect your ability to write.  For example, I find it nearly impossible to write when I have a headache.  Each word I drag out sends another round of pain shooting through my skull, and when I look back on any progress I may have made I realize just how bad it actually is.  Especially if the mood of the scene isn't angry or annoyed.

So, I've learned to adapt.  Or, rather, I've learned to accept the fact that writing is not going to get done if I can't get rid of the headache.  It's not an excuse, it's the matter of whether it's worth it in the end, and I've determined that it just isn't.

Of course, there are other things that can affect this as well.  Things like what happened to me on Monday.

On Monday I had a bad day.  It started right when I got to work (I'll admit that I'm not a huge fan of my day job, but I can usually get through the day without thinking about quitting).  I'm not going to get into details of why it was such a bad day, but suffice it to say that by the time the day was over, my mood was foul.  And I left work early!

Unfortunately my bad mood didn't just affect my writing.  I didn't get to just go home and do nothing while moping around and indulging in my bad mood.  (I know what you're all thinking, but I let myself wallow in my bad moods.  They last one day, and they don't happen all that often, so I indulge.)  Instead I got to go to critique group.

Now, normally I love critique group.  I love getting feedback on my work and learning how other people interpret what I've put down on the page.  I enjoy the dynamic we have in our group and how much I learn as a writer from the process.

When I got there on Monday, however, and one of my critique partners said something negative, I found myself fighting with him.  Arguing his point and not letting him explain where he was coming from.  I was getting frustrated and angry, and I really couldn't control those emotions, even though I knew I was being irrational.

I even had the thought that I should just toss that novel and pretend I had never written it.

These aren't normal things for me.  While I love a good discussion about my work, or anyone's work, for that matter, what I was doing on Monday was fighting.  And defending my work.  And thinking that I should scrap an entire novel because of one moment of feedback?  I just spent the entire day yesterday restructuring a novel that I've already rewritten twice.  I don't just cast things off because of one piece of criticism.

It was hard for me to accept what was being said because my emotions were already shot from the hard day I'd had at my day job.

I hate that a job that I don't enjoy can make the thing that I do like so much harder.  This is the reason that I don't want to be working a day job.  Unfortunately I don't have a choice at this point.  I'm not published.  I don't have someone that just wants to let me work on my writing full time.  I have to continue to pay my bills in order to keep writing.

So I just have to work on trying to not let a bad day at work colour everything else I do.  This would be so much easier if I could compartmentalize.

Now to make it up to my critique partner.  Maybe I should buy his dinner at the next critique group.

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