Monday, February 3, 2014

Why I’m Afraid of my WIP...and why I need your advice...AND some exciting news!

by Kasey Tross

How 'bout that title? Didn't know you'd get so much from ONE little blog post, didja? ;-) Okay, on to my post...

I’ve talked about it before- how our WIPs can turn into monsters under the bed.

It’s happened again.

I stayed away from it for too long, and somehow over time it has mutated in my memory. It is no longer a shining pillar of hard work- it has turned into a fearsome beast, terribly written with a weak plot and shallow characters.

It is ugly.

Of course, I don’t know this for sure- this has all happened in my mind. What I imagine in my head is so terrifying I can’t bring myself to actually open the document and look at it.

And then this happened:

I was going through my e-mail, trying to get rid of unnecessary junk, and I came across a message from an editing firm. I had won a 1,000-word critique from them at the writing conference I attended in the fall and they had just returned my work, an excerpt from my WIP. (I sent it back when it was that shiny pillar thingy.) I decided to go ahead and download the edited document so that I could ditch the e-mail.

Do you see all that blue? Those are the tracked changes. It’s the WHOLE FREAKING MARGIN.

Oh, huh-uh. There’s no WAY I’m going back to my WIP now. Clearly, it’s not all in my imagination.

Does this happen to anyone else or am I the only one? How is it that something I made can morph into something so bloodcurdlingly fearful? How do I get over it?

Okay, scratch that last question. I KNOW how to get over it. I have to face my fears.

But I’m scared.

But I have an's always easier to face your fears when you aren't alone, right? I was thinking the other day that I really wish there was a writing/critique group I could join, but they're all in the evenings and my husband's work schedule is so crazy that I just can't reliably get to any of them.


What if I made my own writing group during the day? And what if it was for moms, and what if we could just bring our kids with us? 

Would that be completely crazy or completely genius?

So, I need your advice. My plan would be to reserve a room at one of the local libraries- it's free to reserve rooms, and they would be large enough for the moms to have a table to sit around and for the kids to have plenty of room to play. We would meet on a weekday morning and we would all bring some toys to occupy the kids. The moms would sit and discuss writing and the kids could play. There would be distractions, I know, but we're all used to distractions, and most of us are very good at still being able to focus on a conversation while distracted, right? Would this sort of thing be something you'd go to? Should I give it a shot? Do any of you live in or around Richmond/Chesterfield Virginia who might want to join me? ;-)

As awesome as MMW is, I just feel like I need a face-to-face outlet to help motivate me and keep me on track. And, you know, face that monster under the bed. Yikes.

Now for the exciting news: I have finally gone and done something I have been thinking about doing for awhile, but never thought I should because I couldn't do it perfectly. And then I realized that the fact that I couldn't do it perfectly was probably the very reason I should do it.

I made a style blog.

It is called [Wearing My] Art on My Sleeve, and it's a place where I can show what I wear. My tagline is: "a style blog...because crafting is too messy and I have to get dressed anyway." For me, fashion is another creative outlet. And while I enjoy looking at fashion blogs, I struggle with them because the lighting is always perfect, the clothes are always brand-new name brands, and the styles were always a little too trendy. I'm one of those people who will do a trend if I like it, but if I don't then I won't. My clothes come from thrift stores, stuff I find on deep discounted clearance, and whatever I can get with the gift cards my family gives me for my birthday. It's classic, it's a little bit romantic, slightly's just what it is.

Me in one of my contemplating-the-floor poses for my blog. And Paper Bag. He always photo bombs my posts.

My hope is to connect with others who share my style, to have a sense of humor (kid photo bombs anyone?) and to show that style can be fun, functional, and not always too serious.

So, if you'd like to stop by and say hello, come check it out- [Wearing My] Art on My Sleeve

Many questions for you today:

Are you ever terrified of your WIP?

What do you say about the writing group idea, yea or nay? Would you go to a writing group where you could bring your kids?

Are you into fashion too? 


  1. As a writing teacher who uses Word comments to return papers to students, I say don't be intimidated by the margin full of comments and changes. Looking at your page, almost all of those are formatting issues and have nothing to do with your writing. You can right click each change and "accept" or "reject" the change - just accept all the formatting ones, then the comments about your actual writing will be far less intimidating. It is also deceptive because all the comments are electronic and in the right margin - if you are used to hand-written interlinear comments or comments on either side, it looks like more than it actually is.

    The writing group sounds like a great idea--good for the kids, good for the moms. I say go for it.

  2. Thanks for your reassurances, Katie! I will have to put on my big girl pants and be brave and go look at the document. :-) Also, thank you for your positive comments about the writing group- I think I may go for it!

  3. I'd join a group like that in a second, Kasey! I say do it. The worst thing that happens is that it's just you and your kids...which isn't such a worst case scenario. :)

  4. Yeah, at least I'd be at the library- I go there all the time with them anyway! LOL! Thanks for your support, Katy! Maybe you can start one where you are and we can make it a nationwide movement- WRITERMOMS! ;-)

  5. You should definitely try for the group. Worst thing that could happen is not one does it and then you are just back where you started. No harm done. Best thing, you make some really great friends and improve your writing. Totally worth it.

  6. Thanks for the vote of confidence Lacey! I think I'll have to try it just so I can let everyone know how it goes! ;-)

  7. Give it a try, won't know if it for you or not unless you give it a whirl.

  8. Thanks, Jo-Anne! Now I'm getting kind of excited about it... :-)

  9. I'm going to echo the group here - I think a writing group can always be helpful. And I think it's great you're starting a blog about something you love. Everything I studied about writing this year has said that a blog is crucial to networking, sharing your voice, advancing your writing goals. So, you go girl!!



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