D. F. Krieger

Monday, March 7, 2011

Mad As Hell

I'm dead in the water. It's true and I might as well confess it now. I thought it was just a funk, thought I'd get over it after all the birthday antics were over with. I was so wrong. Other than a doctor appointment that only served to anger me more, I had plenty of time to try and write.

And yet, I haven't.

In a fairy tale world a writer's job is easy: Write a book, submit the book, hear book is accepted, become published, repeat.

I hear a lot of you out there rolling yours eyes and saying "I wish". Yeah, you and me both.

My family seems to have become lost in the wayside. I wrote a book. I wrote it back in January. I still am not published. This seems to automatically equate in their heads that my writing is now downgraded from "career choice" to "hobby". What does that mean? Chaos for me.

Two months ago, when dinner was over, if I stated to my family, "I'm going to go work on my writing now", they would nod respectfully and give me space. Hours of quiet. It was bliss. I wrote 21k in eight days. I sent it to one publishing company and it was rejected. I understand why it was. I've learned so much since then that I've been really trying to put in the edits on it. Except I can't. Because now, my family hears, "I'm going to -" and they zone me out. It now means, "Yeah, okay, you'll be in your room."

It's no longer sacred. My husband and my brother are the worst. Imagine this scenario if you will: I'm dutifully typing away, I've gotten two sentences out, and my brother comes barging in my room. "I'm writing," I protest. He replies, "I know." Then proceeds to tell me about this TV show he was watching that I don't even care about. This lasts an hour. I've tried several attempts to tell him I'll discuss it with him later, which he ignores. I finally sigh and remove myself from my computer because that sacred time I tried to steal away has now been wasted. Time to get the kids snacks and around for bed.

Here's another one: I'm at my computer trying to edit a sex scene. My husband flops on the bed and begins to play God of War III with the volume loud. He left the door wide open since that's his version of watching the kids. My five year old meanders in, remembers I have foster kittens in a carrier by my desk, flops under my chair and begins to giggle as he stirs the kittens up into a mewing mess.

What does this all mean? It means, dear reader, that my mind has gotten sick and tired and decided to take a vacation. Even when I do steal moments here and there, I find myself blankly looking at my notes or stories. A voice whispers in my head, "Why bother engrossing your self? Interruption count down in five, four, three..." And it's true.

And after I've gotten everyone around for bed? Yeah, I tried writing. I just became frustrated. Now I've found myself dedicated to White Knight Chronicles on the PS3. I teasingly told someone the other day, "I play video games so I don't kill my family." I realized this morning that it's true.

I read the blog of another writer who is going through the same thing write now. Tess MacKall gave me some advice today that rang true. I've got to learn to say no. I've got to realize it's not wrong of me to want a couple of hours here or there to dedicate to my work. If that means I need to have a blow-up, then I suppose I'd better. So, I'll leave you with a quote my mom taught me from the moment I could walk. She always tried to teach me to say it for myself; and now that she's gone, I finally understand it's value. ~ D. F. Krieger

"I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!" Howard Beale (Peter Finch) from Network (1976)


Angelina Rain said...

Girl, you have no idea how much I relate. My family used to see my writing as a hobby that I will never succeed at so whenever I would sit down to write, my hubby would start watching wresting or playing video games and my step daughter would start to breath down my neck and ask me if I could hurry up on the computer. Then my husband would invite his friends over and they would get loud. And even if I took my computer into my bedroom, my stepdaughter would want to interfere, the dog wouldn’t be able to decide what room he wants to be in, and my hubby would come in and start talking to me.
Then I learned to start talking about my book. I don’t tell anyone the interesting parts that make the plot better. No, instead, I tell my husband about the boring parts of my books, the parts that I actually don’t even write. I go into detail about my characters sex lives (except I dull it down) and their personal troubles. I talk about my blogging and facebook buddies and their route to publication. The struggle of writing a book and getting it published, and just how much I hate having to edit what I just wrote. By the end of that conversation, my hubby is softly snoring and stepdaughter is away in her room playing by herself. Even the dog falls asleep.
And then, I could write in peace.

D. F. Krieger said...

Angelina, I laughed so hard when I read your comment. I think I even giggle snorted. That's an awesome idea. Maybe if I become obsessed with talking about my work, everyone will start avoiding me? Just barrage them when that door opens. Thanks for the laugh and the advice!

N.M. Martinez said...

Angelina, I laughed too! What a great idea, lol!

It is tough to be a writer. I forget to think about what others think of it when they don't see end results right away. If you're going traditional, it's so much work at the beginning and people never see that. They just hear about the book once it's released and never realize all the work it took to get it there!

Good luck with the taking your moments of peace back. I'd maybe try suggesting it's therapy and that you need that quiet time to stay "balanced?" That's at least the understanding around here.

D. F. Krieger said...

People who aren't writers (Or at least involved in the whole publishing experience) really are clueless. I'd like to hope I never was.

Therapy? Beauty idea! Thanks. You two have given me an arsenal!