An Anguished State of Mind

The blog title refers to two things.

The first was the migraine that started yesterday and didn’t break until around noon today. Iy was a nasty brute and I spent about twelve hours in bed in the dark to deal with it.

More importantly the title refers to how I feel about my writing currently.

I’m two chapters into Cawdor and I think it’s going very well. This is turning out to be something of a stressor. I feel shaken in my ability to judge my writing. My last submission to the Writers Of The Future Contest I thought was a very strong story. I thought it was better written than Regret, I Am Allowed which placed as a semi-finalist. It had a more interesting conceit than The Station On The Edge, which placed as a semi-fianlist.  I also though it was a better story than either of the Honorable Mentions, Araceli and The House Of Bad Blood. (which actually sold.) Yet my latest story, Proof of Principle didn’t make any of the above cuts or honorifics. Is my judgement off that badly or is theirs?

So with that in my recent memory when I re-read and edit the start of Cawdor and I’m so pleased at how it’s working I can’t help but feel that maybe I am fooling myself.  That what I see and feel good about — well maybe it isn’t that good after all.

It kept me awake last night while I lay there in the dark with sub-kiloton nuclear explosions going off behind my eyeballs burning my brain with doubt and pain. It has kept me away from the keyboard today, but I will force myself past it.

On the plus side I did manage to do some more exercise today. After the headache broke I did a mile on the treadmill and another three miles on the stationary bike. Lucky for me it turns out the stationary bike does not tear up my knees like a real bicycle does. I think it is because the pedal on the stationary bike are further forward and not directly beneath me.

Anyway I’m keeping up with the new heart healthy exercising and I will finish Cawdor. As a personal reward for completing Cawdor I will treat myself to the big VIP tour at Universal Studios.


5 thoughts on “An Anguished State of Mind”

  1. Chin up. WotF rejections come from very specific places. Most common among capable writers (which you are if you’ve had to semi-finalists) is a lack of a speculative element on the first page or two. That got one of mine a couple years back. There are other things, too. A good story can be rejected as just not the right fit. I entered the contest five times: rejection, HM, rejection, HM, winner. All it takes is the right story at the right time.

    Good luck as you continue writing and entering. I’ll watch for your name on future results lists.

    Scott W. Baker
    WotF vol. xxvi

      1. Scott: That okay words of encouragement are always welcome. I saw your comment before scuttled off to my day job today and it certainly helped take the edge of a monday morning. Particularly considering that ‘Proof of Principle” did not reveal its speculative nature in the first two pages, LOL

  2. With a competition such as Writers of the Future, the question is not “is my work good enough for a particular level”, it is “how does my work compare with the other submissions in this cycle.” It is possible that there were a large group of particularly strong submissions this time and your work was not as wtrong when compared to them.

    Regarding exercise, recombant (recumbant? recombent? sp?) bicycles are noted as being much easier on the knees. Unfortunately, they are also more expensive and harder to store.

    Yeah you for exercising!

    1. It’s recumbent and the good thing is that out condo complex has an exercise room with this stuff so we don’t have to buy or store it. (Sweetie-wife would never go for buying such things.)

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