Monday, January 18, 2016

Self-doubt, writing, and a surprise.


Just lately I've been doubting my ability to write a bit more than usual, not my ability to find a good premise and solid story line ... but my ability to write the words like I always have.
I think a lot of it is over thinking. And I possibly a lot of that has to do with teaching.
Writing for me has always been a natural thing. Stories unfold, characters come along, and we all get along famously ... until I start dissecting shite and teaching it.
What happens then is my brain scrambles my words and completely forgets how to construct a freaking sentence.
I didn't know that was happening until I went to write this latest Byte book and discovered that I couldn't remember how I write.
What happened to all the things I always knew and did so naturally?
My voice began to get lost in the notes I was making and in the explanations I was coming up for classes.

At first I thought it was because I was working on two books at once, two very different settings and sets of characters - and I'm pretty sure that didn't help.

I read words I've written and it stuns me that they're mine, because I can't imagine how I did it!

It's been awhile since I finished psychobyte and it wasn't easy, I was already struggling to remember how I did things, where my strength lay, and why I wrote my characters the way I did. As I hadn't even considered another kiwi book when psychobyte was being written, I doubt it's the two different styles thing.

I am being pulled in more directions than ever, no doubt about that. But it's always been easy for me to disappear into the words, in fact, the more chaotic things get externally, the more I write. Apparently, that's not how I do things now? Yeah, I know? Would've been nice if my brain had sent out a memo and said, 

"Dear Cat, from now on we're going to do things differently. If you have other things on your mind, interruptions, no place to work at home, and no music that seems to fit - then we're going call it quits and not give you any words. Love from your Brain." 

I did try writing in Perth (yeah July was the last time I had any uninterrupted time), but couldn't really settle properly. I think next time round it'll be better and I'll be able to get into a proper routine while I'm away. I'm going to have to instill some discipline and write for six hours a day, and force my brain to play the game.

At the moment I can't even find a title for the second kiwi book, every time I think I have it, I'm wrong. Worse, people ask what the next ones called, and I don't have a fucking clue. Because I can't remember the potential titles I've come up with. To me, that says they're not right. If I can't retain them and trot them out when asked - they didn't stick. So they must suck.

Remember when I couldn't stop myself from opening the edits that came back from my editor? And how fast I can turn them around? Yeah, well, I couldn't stand the thought of edits sitting there and would have to get it finished.
I've had the psychobyte ones for DAYS. I opened the file on Saturday, did the easy stuff, closed it and haven't opened it again.  That's a worry really. I don't even feel like they're hanging over my head, and I should.

I did find a quote for the book today ... so that's something. I was going to write the dedication and the acknowledgments. Was. Didn't.

How many short stories did I write last year?
Possibly 4. Tops.
Usually I write 8-12.

At the moment, I have the 9th byte book sitting on my hard drive, can't remember last time I opened the file ... can't really remember what I wrote last or what is going on it in it. I know what it's called so that's something?
I've got the first almost quarter of the second kiwi book waiting for me to get my shit together and finish it. And I should be super excited about writing that considering how well the first one is selling through the shop. Should. Aren't.

All of that is driving me crazy.

Then this morning I saw this:

5.0 out of 5 stars Excitement, adventure and crazy twists and turns, December 7, 2015
By Sapphire
This review is from: Eraserbyte (byte series Book 7) (Kindle Edition)

Adventure, excitement, crazy twists and turns is what you get with Ellie, the protagonist in this the seventh of Cat's byte series. Cat really takes you inside Ellie's mind and on her journey as she deals with all things dangerous with the bat of a eyelid. Her descriptive writing in every line is memorable and makes you live each moment so the reader can feel, sense and smell what comes next. 'Red mist billowed from him. His head smacked into concrete with sickening thud. Dust puffed into the air as bullets hit the wall near us.' I really enjoyed her surreal writing that was almost palpable. Especially loved how I got a up front voyeuristic view into Ellie's love life and scary journey into the criminal life she has to so deftly deal with. You have to read the entire byte series for the ideal escapism. Loved it. Cat is a writer to watch and learn from.

And, I know I can do it ... I just need to stop thinking about it and write. :)

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