Guest Blogger Ana Ramsey

(the header photo is the Trifid Nebula. Image Credit: NASA, HST, WFPC2, J. Hester (Arizona St. U) et al. See NASA terms of use)

I met Ana a few months ago through some mutual friends of ours. Quite by accident, though as it turns out our friends had wanted to introduce us for a while. *laughs* For good reason, it seems, because I’ve found her to be a kindred spirit. Not in the least because she’s as crazy as I am! *grins and winks* But in part because she also loves Harry Potter and trust me, she writes some awesome urban fantasy!

***

When K.B. asked if I would be willing to write a guest post for Black Ink, White Paper, I was both overjoyed and extremely nervous. I have my own blog (http://anaquana.blogspot.com/), but I rarely ever post to it because I never know what to write or if people even care about what I’m writing. In light of that, I cheesed out and asked K.B. to simply send me the interview questions. But then, as I was hard at work answering said questions, I realized I was going about it all wrong.

I’ve only just met K.B., but in the short time I’ve known her, I’ve come to see that she is the embodiment of pushing one’s self to the limit and beyond. So, I’m borrowing a bit of her spirit today and pushing past my comfort zone and writing an actual post instead of just answering a few questions.

Two weeks ago, I watched the live-stream of the red carpet premiere of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 and I bawled my eyes out. Partly because I’m a sap and this wonderful franchise which has shaped my life in so many ways for the last decade has reached a grand finale. It’s thanks to the Harry Potter fandom that I’m writing this guest blog. If not for a mutual friend whom I met through the Harry Potter slash-fiction community, I would probably never have met K.B. She is only one of numerous blessings bestowed upon me because of my love of Harry Potter.

The other reason I was so moved to tears was because of my own feelings of inadequacy. I watched as these masses of people screamed and cried and rejoiced in the presence of J.K. Rowling and the actors who portrayed her characters, and I despaired of ever being good enough to write something that has touched the lives of so many people.

I don’t care about the fame and fortune. In all honesty, I’m far too shy to be comfortable with the idea of book signings and being on panels at conventions. No, what I want to do is make a difference in somebody’s life through my writing. Is that the height of hubris? Maybe, but that’s the reason I write and strive so hard to be published.

That is until that Friday. That Friday I thought very long and very hard about giving up. I thought about packing up my pens and notebooks and deleting all of my Word documents. Because really? What was the point of continuing if I was never going to accomplish what I set out to do?

I know all of you who are reading this are probably shaking your heads and tsking at me, but here’s the thing: it was important that I let myself experience those feelings of inadequacy and failure. I needed to internalize them, sort through them, and let my inner-self decide in its own time that those feelings weren’t worthy of me. Because, while my head is smart enough to know that, of course, I’ll never succeed if I give up before the end, my inner-self is like a small, whiny child that knows no sense of reason. And it’s going to throw a tantrum whether it’s the sensible thing to do or not. Once my inner-self was done with its pity-party, I got right back to writing.

Sometimes we just need to give in and have ourselves a good old-fashioned pity-party complete with cake, ice cream, balloons, and most important of all, a piñata. Have yourself a cry. Chuck your notebooks into a (clean) garbage can. Move your writing files to the recycling bin (please, dear reader, do NOT empty it). Let your inner-self live the reality of giving up if even for just a little while. I bet you anything the little brat’ll wise up and shut up real fast. Then you can retrieve your notebooks and restore your files and balance will be restored.

Ana Ramsey* is a crazy cat lady cum author repped by the fabulous Cameron McClure of the Donald Maass Literary Agency. She just recently finished rewrites on her first novel. Where Demons Fear to Tread is the first in an urban fantasy series set in a world populated by all manner of Fey creatures, vampires, shapeshifters, and demons. She can usually be found lurking on Twitter (@anaquana) or gallivanting around the world from the comfort of her chair.

*Name changed to protect the guilty

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9 responses to “Guest Blogger Ana Ramsey

  1. Great blog, Ana! Thanks so much for coming by!

    K

  2. Ditto! Great blog. And if Ana’s repped by the Donald Maass Agency, she’s far from inadequate. Good for you.

    BTW, is going to a pity party as much fun as going on a guilt trip?

    • Hi Raymond and thank you. 🙂

      And yes, going to a pity party is as much fun as going on a guilt trip, but there isn’t that nasty hangover the next day. 😉

  3. Welcome Ana. I think any writer who sticks with it long enough hits a wall, and has to burn, slash, knock through it. I’ve “quit” writing countless times. Never thrown things away, just said, “enough”.
    But writing never quit me, the stories still bounced around in my head and the voices of the characters kept saying, “Hey, what about me?”

    You can’t compare your career to anyone else because your stories are unique to you. This is what I told a room full of folks when I was given the RWA Librarian of the Year award.
    “Words have power, stories are important and books can change lives.”

    It’s true, and I see it every day. Keep the words and stories coming.

  4. I, too, have quit writing many times. Slipped down into the deep dark depths of despair, threatening to take up a hobby or just sit and watch television. But latter that night I awake with a great “What If” idea, leap up and write it down, and I’m off to the races again. We gotta do what we gotta do!

    Great blog & Hope you sell a million of the new book. Then you can buy the scotch!

    Wally

  5. Ana, you crack me up – because I did exactly that (as Lisa will tell you) last year. I was trying to finish a book that everyone who’d read the first 100 pages loved. And they also loved the excellent synopsis I’d written. Finish the book, they’d say, we love the synopsis. So I’d try and write the book to fit the synopsis – bad idea. Because that isn’t how I work. Finally, I figured out that I had to get rid of the synopsis – I actually took my paper copies of it down to the beach and I burned them. The electronic copy went into a trash file I created specifically for it. And then I finished the book.

    So in a way, I did get rid of what was standing in my way – and my feelings on inadequacy about living about to the hype about that book – mine and others. Burning the synopsis made me feel great!

    Kate

  6. Ana , thanks for blogging with us! I’ve never given up on writing, though I’ve run the gamut in terms of my format (plays, poems, magazine articles, screenplays, short fiction, novels), and in the rare moments when I wasn’t writing for public consumption, I journaled like a maniac. Now, after writing pretty much full time for the last four years, if I take more than a few weeks off (inevitable, since I have school age kids home for their holidays) I go a little nuts. (Okay, more nuts than usual. *grins*)

    Good luck with the novel. You’ve scored some great representation, so I’m sure it’s just a matter of time!

    Lisa

  7. Pingback: It’s Official! « The End Of Nowhere

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