Current Novel Struggles

Published November 25, 2015 by Maggie Williams
  1. I won’t have time to write tomorrow. Thanks Native Americans for being nice to pilgrims and taking a whole day out of my writing year. I don’t even like turkey.
  2. I keep having flashbacks to a critique, which causes cringe attacks, which causes distractions. Can you not, brain?
  3. I have been writing this book for two and a half years, and I still don’t know how it’s going to end. I’m the worst with endings, even if it’s just an essay. Or a short story. Or a chapter. Can I just hire someone to do all the endings for me?
  4. I want this book to be a stand-alone. I’m not tryna write a series, but the story won’t be complete without at least one more book. I refuse to write a trilogy, so a duo it will have to be.
  5. You guys, it takes so long to write a book. So. Freaking. Long. And now I’m gonna have to do it all over again for this story to be finished. WHY, WRITING GODS?

A Late Night Book Thought #3

Published November 23, 2015 by Maggie Williams

I hate being mad at books. It’s like being mad at your best friend. The book I just read probably doesn’t deserve it, to be honest. It’s just what happens when I make myself read when I don’t necessarily want to. I just end up being irrationally angry at the book. Wanting to yell at it for being less than I wanted it to be. Wanting to look up what happens in the other books instead of actually reading them, just because I’m in a bad mood. I guess if this is how my anger expresses itself, it’s fairly mild and adorable.

Too Much or Not Enough?

Published November 12, 2015 by Maggie Williams

I feel that my main fatal flaw as a writer is my inability to gauge the right amount of description. It never fails that after I write a chapter and read it over, I find myself thinking, “There’s not enough. I didn’t explain it enough. It happened too quickly.” After that, I typically add in some more pizzazz to better complete my idea. Or so I thought.

I had a fairly harsh critique not long ago, and I was not at all prepared for it. One of the main issues with my actual writing, according to the person who critiqued it, was the immoderate amount of description. I was told to chop down my first chapter, and that I use too many adjectives.

This is the first time I have received that note on my writing, but, to be fair, I haven’t had that many people read it. My issue with this is that I love being wordy. I love words so much. I like to read beautiful, in-depth descriptions. Oscar Wilde is my ultimate lovely description icon, and if you’ve ever read The Picture of Dorian Gray you can probably understand why.

This seems like one of the classic writing divides- do you write for yourself, or for your audience? Writing for myself, I would keep the lovely description, and continue on my merry way with my wonderful words. But an audience doesn’t need as much imagery nowadays, thanks to constant visual stimulation. Which way do I take it?

Let me know what you do when you come upon the ultimate question when writing- for yourself, or for others? What’s your writing fatal flaw? Make me feel better about myself.

Mom Praises and Massacres

Published October 28, 2015 by Maggie Williams

My soul is a black hole. There is a pit in my chest that make me feel sick every time I think about it. It sends out numbness into my arms and fingers, and I hug my shoulders to keep the pieces of myself together. I’m so tired. I’m emotionally exhausted from this ordeal, and I need the night to toss and turn and think about my life and my decisions. No, I’m not a middle schooler going through her angsty emo phase- I’m an angsty writer who has received a critique.

And, sure, maybe that description is a little over-dramatic… Or a lot over-dramatic. But pretending like little things like this are the end of the world make my life feel more exciting. Because here’s the thing- getting a critique is a little thing. Even the particularly harsh-seeming ones are not even a blip in the big, cosmic scheme of things. It’s someone’s opinion, someone’s advice. As the writer, you get to choose whether or not it will affect you. It should be considered carefully, as it can be extremely helpful, but ultimately you’re still the boss. Even if you do have to buck up your bruised ego in order to start acting like it again. Without downfalls, we don’t get better. And that’s pretty much how it works across the board, not only for writing.

So look in the mirror and tell yourself that you’re already wonderful, but this will help you get better. Revisit the positive things that people have said to you. Let the people who wouldn’t give you a real critique if their life was on the line hold your hand. Let your mom tell you why you’re better than every other writer that ever existed, and why you should be the president of the world. And then remind yourself that there is a balance that must be obtained for you to improve. It has to be an equal amount of Mom praises and massacres. Go out and realize your mistakes, ego be damned, so that you can be better at what you do.

Just my little advice column for the day. Definitely directed at others and not my whiny, annoying little self… For sure…

My First Love Was a Book That People Hate

Published October 18, 2015 by Maggie Williams

I’m a sorry excuse for a reader. I’ve been barely trucking along reading a book a month, and it makes me kind of sad. What doesn’t make me sad, however, is the book I read this month- a many-times-over reread for me. I was surprised to find that I still have such a deep-rooted love for Twilight, considering the person I am today. It’s popular to hate Twilight nowadays, and I can kind of understand why. There are a lot, and I mean a lot, of problems with it. I’m not blind to the flaws. I can just easily ignore them because I fell in love with this book in a time when I was naive to things like toxic relationships, the way media can affect how we see the world, and the word “problematic”.

If I’m being honest, I think that’s why I love it so much now. Part of it is all nostalgia- the remembered feelings that I experienced as an eleven-year-old who was deeply in love with Edward Cullen. It was shocking to me that that love is still there, and as strong as it was seven years ago. My heart, my head, or wherever it is that love comes from reacts so strongly to this book. I admit, I’ve never been in a relationship, or in love with an actual person, but I feel like this is the closest to true love I’ve ever gotten. When I think about and reread this book, it has all the feelings of a remembered first love attached to it. This book, in a butterfly-effect way, made me the person I am today. No matter how flawed it is, it’s a book that’s so important to me. And it just sort of seems right that, as a writer, my first love was a book.

Or maybe it’s just incredibly weird and depressing…

Molasses Brain

Published September 27, 2015 by Maggie Williams

Have you ever tried to write when you’re super sleepy? Let me just say, it is not the best way to do it. My brain waves are moving like molasses right now, but I wanted to get something written today. And since I spent all day procrastinating and eating, one a.m. was apparently the right time.

I can’t think of the words that I want at all. Adjectives are being particularly evasive. I gave up when I had to start googling the definitions of words just to make sure I was using them correctly. I know what “hitherto” means. I know what “haughty” means. But since it’s difficult to convince my brain of these simple facts right now, I think it’s time for bed.

Learn from my mistakes, writing brethren. Get your things done before you’re too tired to remember the definitions of basic words.

Meant to Be Alone

Published September 24, 2015 by Maggie Williams

I have recently stumbled across the revelation that I am probably always going to be alone. Not in a complain-y “No one will ever love me because I’m horrible and unworthy” way. More of a “Being alone is my favorite thing in the universe” way. It happened one dark and stormy night when I was lying in bed, as per usual, on the internet. I was chilling without pants on when a stray thought meandered into my head: “I love being alone”. It was kind of amazing when I realized that it was the absolute truth.

My ideal life as a new adult is living by myself in a tiny studio apartment in New York, staying home and writing all day long. If I had a bathroom and a mini fridge attached to my bedroom where I live now, I don’t think my family would ever see me. Of course, I would interact with other humans occasionally- like when I need a chai latte or want to watch Buffy the Vampire Slayer with a friend. But mostly, I would be alone with the sweet, blissful silence and my thoughts. This is probably someone else’s worst nightmare, but I’m over here salivating at the thought of it.

For a while there, I was really feeling terrible about being significant-other-less, but right now it seems like a good choice. (Because it was definitely a conscious decision, and not all affected by the fact that no one wants to date me anyway…) One of my best friends sees her gentleman caller for hours on end on a daily basis. I need space, and I’m not even in that relationship. It really makes me wonder about my future. I was always so sure about the idea of marriage and having someone, but now I don’t know. Maybe I’m too independent for a relationship, and would actually be unhappy in one. I’ll probably never know because I’m picky and also probably an acquired taste and nervous and conversationally horrible around males.

Ah well, that’s enough of my sleepy nighttime musings. What is your current state of alone-ness? How do you feel about being on your own? Do you think I’m far enough over on the introvert spectrum that I should seek mental help? Let me know.


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