Wednesday, April 27, 2016

I Joined the Twitter

Updated with a link this time because I'm a doofus sometimes.

@JenLRossman You can follow me and stuff if you want to.

Yay for online presences, I suppose.

I'm not good with social media. Or social anything, for that matter. But it seems interesting and events like PitMad should be useful once I actually finish this book.

Expect tales of writing woes, my attempts at humor, and... I don't know. Zombies?

And no, I don't know why I have a drawing of a horse as my avatar. Just something I drew a while back and I like it.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

An Upside of Depression?

I've seen a lot of writers say that sending their work out into the world is scary, and that rejections and criticisms are soul-crushing. I don't feel that way. I'd call it having a thick skin, but I don't think that's really it.

I have lived with depression for years, and anxiety and lack of confidence for my entire life (a doctor doing some depression questionnaire once asked me if I ever had days where I felt less than confident in myself, or some similar phrasing, and I literally had to ask her what confidence felt like because I had never felt it before). It was not a happy life by any means, and I genuinely despised myself as a person for longer than I want to admit. But it's made me a little bit fearless.

What's the worst someone could say about my writing? That it's awful? That I have no business mutilating the English language like that? That I stole all my ideas from movies and video games and mashed-together clich├ęs? That if I'm really so stupid to think I have any talent, I don't deserve to live?

Realistically, no agent or publisher or beta reader would ever say anything like that. Even my worst enemies (and I do have a few of those) wouldn't say it. But if they did? So what? Nothing I haven't said to myself.

There is nothing bad anyone can ever say to me that is worse than the things I've said to myself, that I've truly believed with all of my sad little heart.

That powerful realization has given me, if not confidence, something at least resembling that elusive emotion. I'm still insecure, with my writing and in real life. I still worry that I won't be good enough, that people will think I'm mean when I'm trying to be funny, that my hair is too messy... And when people do say not so nice things, it does still hurt. A lot.

But there's something to be said for the ability to go out into the world and say, "Do your worst; there's no room for any more scars."

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Procrastination Painting

I should be writing...

Some people have recurring dreams. I have recurring settings in my dreams - places I've never actually been but which show up in different dreams. There's this one that looks like a town we used to drive through, but with a water tower and train tracks... and it changes to suit the dream, e.g., it became decayed and there was graffiti on the water tank in a zombie apocalypse dream...

Anyway. The place in this painting shows up sometimes, and I don't know what it is, but let me tell you what, when I saw the Doctor Who episode "Silence in the Library," I freaked out a teensy bit because parts of it look so much like my building.

I call it the Rotunda, because no matter where in the building I am, there's always a roundness to it. I've seen this room from the level below, looking up through that opening. It usually isn't blue. More of an off-white. I couldn't remember the exact paintings on the wall, so I substituted images from other dreams.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Fight Scenes

Every time I write anything resembling a fight scene, I get flashbacks of my teenage self writing Pokemon fanfiction. Especially with my outer space superheroes, where my latest scene literally could be described as such:



Wild MAERIAN evaded the attack!

On the other hand, I find it strangely helpful to plan out my scenes this way, and then flesh them out.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Insecure Writer's Support Group

On the first Wednesday of every month, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group encourages writers to talk about their insecurities. So here we go.

As a person, I am generally insecure. As a writer, not so much.

Or so I thought until I started thinking about sharing my work with people. That was a thought most unthinkable.

It's not that I'm afraid they won't like it. Quite the opposite actually; I'm afraid they'll say they like it and I won't know if they're telling me the truth. Yeah, my brain is a mess sometimes.

It seems like people - at least, family and friends - have liked everything I've ever done, whether it's writing or drawing, whether it's something I'm really proud of or something I threw together halfheartedly just to test them. Not exactly proud to admit it, and I know there's a chance my family might read this, but when I was younger, I would occasionally show off purposely subpar work just to see what thy would say. They always loved it, and I'm sure they weren't lying, that they loved me and that love oozed over to my work, but it has made me really reluctant to do anything public with my work. For a long time, I was seriously planning to write under a pseudonym and not tell anyone if I got published.

Going through a major depression and coming out the other side more or less unscathed has made me see things a different way, and I like submitting my stories to strangers on the Internet. They don't know me, they have no reason to lie and tell me I'm good. And if they do say I'm good, I know it means something.

I've shared a few stories with my grandmother and therapist (Me? In therapy? Shocker!), but they're the kind of people who will always say nice things but not gush about every little word I write and what amazing stories come out of my brain and how am I not as famous as JK Rowling! They're just like, "This is good. I liked the ending."

I'm still reluctant to show my work to the people who matter in my life, because every compliment still hurts somehow, and I have to remind myself every now and then that editors and publishers aren't just reading my work out of pity or to be nice. But that's just me being the neurotic product of too much anxiety, a few people with an "this child is a special snowflake who must never ever experience negative emotions" mindset, and just a pinch of emotional abuse. :D

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Being a Published Author is Hard

And do you want to know why? Because it made me get not enough sleep last night and then forced me to actually learn how to use my Gmail account first thing in the morning. I literally couldn't find the Reply button for a good minute. I thought I'd have to send an owl to confirm I received the acceptance email. And where do you even find owls at 8 am on a Saturday? The owl stores aren't open at that hour!

Yeah, sarcasm aside, I am so not complaining. This is the best thing that has ever happened to me, and I'm including that Halloween costume contest where I won those fancy hairclips (I was 8, it was the 90s, fancy hairclips were important).

Friday, April 1, 2016

I'm Officially a "Real Writer"

Um. So, Cast of Wonders just accepted one of my stories.

Let me repeat that in a font that reflects my emotions.

Cast of Wonders just accepted one of my stories.

What? Is this an April Fool's joke? Oh my god, I don't think it is.

Details to follow when they become available.

I'm gonna go celebrate. Or throw up.

This is so weird.