Writerly Wednesday: Beware the Kraken?

Let's start with the important announcement of the day:

I am a big, fat liar-head.

After spending last week revising my current picture book manuscript, I felt like I needed to push it through my crit group one last time. Sadly, this means waiting a couple of weeks before I get to send in my YA chapters (which I promised last week I would do!), but it felt right to keep working on the picture book. The more I revise it, the less it feels like me and I wonder what that means. Is it not really picture book material? Should I pour more into it and sculpt it into a chapter book? Do I have any clue what I am doing? Is it all just complete crap? Or, of course, the most logical place for my brain to leap:

Maybe I'm not a writer, after all.

Yep, that's right -- I'm admitting it. When I have even the tiniest mouse-sized doubt enter my mind, I immediately jump ship -- and although I may be wading in ankle deep water, I'm envisioning sharks and squid and the Kraken all torpedoing straight for me. Death is imminent, my friends. Imminent.

So let's review, shall we?

How I feel when doubting myself as a writer:

Actual level of threat when said writing is in "peril":

And even though somewhere in the extremely tiny logic-side of my brain, I know -- I KNOW -- I am being ridiculous... I still mope. I'm not sure if this has ever been identified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, but it really needs to be. We can call it Writers' Hysteria Syndrome.

Please tell me I'm not alone here.

In other news, here are some nifty writerly websites I spent time at this week (when I wasn't throwing darts at my WIP, I mean.)
  1. Query Shark - a crit partner sent me here, and it's genius. Really. You can trust me, regardless of how the above rant may prove otherwise.
  2. Verla Kay's Blue Boards - I'm sure I've shared this before, but it's really worth the time if you're working on building your craft!
  3. Jo Knowles' LiveJournal - I just finished reading See You at Harry's, which is wise and beautiful and funny and true, and you should read it too. Jo has been posting weekly writing warm-ups in conjunction with Teacher's Write, and they are always a great way to get started.
  4. Stenhouse Blogstitute - this is a great site to follow if you happen to be doubly blessed as a teacher and a writer (hahaha). This week Jeff Anderson is the writer and he shares some great tips, including...
A writer in motion stays in motion.

Kind of difficult to argue with that, even if your logic-center is as small and whispery as mine tends to be. So I guess this week's lesson is simply this: The Kraken is less likely to get you if you keep in motion!!

Or something. I'll leave the lesson-learning up to you.


  1. Good luck with your YA and picture book.

    I love Query Shark. I agree--genius!

  2. One more time through the group is a smart move. My impatience has been my downfall more than once. Your book is bound to be splendid.