Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Living In The Monkey House?

So, I'm a Project Runway addict. I happened to catch the finale to last season (as tonight is THIS season's premiere -- YAY), during which Tim Gunn goes to visit Chris and is a bit...put-off by his collection. He then makes this really great analogy, which goes something like this: When a person walks into a monkey house, they're overwhelmed by the stench of the place. It's nauseating, but after a few minutes, you become somewhat used to it. And then an hour later, you don't even notice the smell anymore. It's only when someone new walks in and remarks on the smell that you're reminded of all the crap strewn about.

Okay, so obviously he was trying to give Chris a not-so-subtle hint that he had obviously been around his collection for too long, and what he thought was good, was really crap. LOL. Harsh, but man, what a great way of looking at things. And a great reminder that every now and then we need to take a step away from our work and get the opinion of others. Are we really as good as we think we are or have we simply grown accustomed to what others would think is complete shiite?

So my question to myself is this -- have I been living in the FI monkey house too long? I swear, there are days when I'm actually quite proud of my writing. I think to myself: Wow, Jen. YOU wrote this. It's awesome. Who woulda thunk it??

Other days (if I'm honest, MOST days) -- such as the past couple, I've been reading back through and thinking I've seriously produced some big lumps of crap. Not only do I need to watch where I step, but I worry that a bunch of turds do not a book make. (Any of you who know me well, know this is pretty much standard operating procedure for me. Seriously, tho...will I ever be confident?? Do these self-doubts ever go away?? Yeah, yeah...I'd say no at this point.) Heh. Yeah, so what's my point?

Not sure that I have one. But I find it all very interesting that I saw myself in this. LOL. To be honest, it frustrates the heck out of me. So, what to do about it? Any suggestions? Shall I post some snips for feedback? Either way, I'm putting my head down and gutting through...if this is truly the monkey house, then I need to be done with it and get this dang book out into the daylight to air out.


Tara Parker said...

This, I think, is SOP for writers. Did you read Libba Bray's post on the subject?

I'm not anywhere close to the point you are in my WIP(s), but I definitely feel the same way.

I've scrapped 5 ideas so far because the words (crap) I've written just aren't that good.

Hang in there, and YES, post snips! (g)

Jennifer Hendren said...


Oh yeah -- I read it. (g) It's great to know that such a talented (and popular) author goes through the same struggles as I do. See, I find those kinds of posts most helpful. I think people tend to clam up when things are going badly. Not Libba. She lays it all out on the table. I respect that. (g) I mimic that. LOL.

And righto -- snips it is.