GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Ink Well--One writer’s process explained for the reader with Christina Bauer | I Smell Sheep

Monday, November 26, 2018

Ink Well--One writer’s process explained for the reader with Christina Bauer

As part of the launch tour for my new book SCYTHE, the lovely folks at I Smell Sheep have asked me to share one key insight on my creative process with their readers. And verily, there is a tidbit I’d love to share:

It’s Okay To Suck At Writing. Seriously.

Here’s the deal. Want to be a writer someday? Then have I got news for you: believe it or not, it's okay to suck at writing. Really. And for the record, I'm not talking about 'wow that paragraph could maybe get reworked' suck. I'm talking serious, top-of-the-line, vacuum-cleaner-that-picks-up-bowling-balls-level of suckage, and for a really-really-really long time.

And no, I am not kidding.

In fact, such awfulness is typical and, if handled properly, a sign of great things to come.

Still not kidding.

Here's my story on this subject. I didn't speak until about five, but once I started, I loved to tell stories about the worlds in my head. My first was an elaborate multi-generational quest set in a world inspired by the game Candyland (the bad guy lived in a chocolate palace). Soon, I was sharing these stories at school---during class, unsolicited---to the point where the nuns had to set aside 'special story time' for me so I'd shut up for most of the day (yeah, I was that kid). Once I got the knack of writing, I compulsively penned my tales instead, much to the nun's joy. Later, when it I hit upper grade school, English class was my personal bitch.

Oh, how I thought I rocked.

And lo, Freshman year of High School arrived. With it came more nuns and my first big-girl High School English paper. Man, I worked hard on that sucker. I handed it in and waited with baited breath for the inevitable 100 to come back, the page littered with side notes on my awesomeness. Sure enough, the paper came back, but not with a 100 on the top.

I got a 67. Not a total failure, but pretty darned close. Whoa.

'Devastated' pretty much describes my reaction to this 67. My life was predicated on the concept that I rocked at writing. Now, this seemed no longer true. Even worse, there were kids in my very same class that got perfect 100's on their first paper. Holy shit. They were better than I was. At. Writing.

This launched some major soul searching. I debated about never writing again, for reals. I felt mightily crushed and lied to...what were all those accolades in years gone by? What silly, torturous games were the nuns playing with me in grade school? This mope-fest went on until I eventually pulled up my big girl panties and went back at it, working hard for a better grade. This was Freshman year. I didn't get a 100 on a writing essay until I hit Senior year of English. So there you go.

When I got to college, I had no problems getting good grades, but there were other shocks in store. I met some other writers who were so freaking amazing, it made me want to drop writing again. For example, one kid I met Freshman year wrote his essays in iambic pentameter because, well, he was bored. Bored, I tell you! And it was goooooooood stuff. Like, I could work for weeks and not come up with two lines that were half as lovely. I don't know where that kid is now, but I wouldn't be surprised if he hit his own version of a '67' at some point, just like I did, and had to face the question: now that I have to work my ass off for this, is this still worth it?

Now, the 'worth it' conundrum isn't really a question anyone can answer for you, especially when it comes to writing. That said, at the time, I think it might've helped moi to know that the cycle of sucking-to-getting-better is pretty typical. In fact, it's a sign that your work is growing, and that's not just okay, that's amazing.

Today, I sincerely hope that every book I write kicks the ass of my last one.

Because, at the end of the day, that kind of suck is awesome.

(Dimension Drift Worlds, #1)
by Christina Bauer
 April 24, 2018
Genres: Dystopian, Fantasy, Young Adult
“Fans of A Wrinkle in Time can’t missDimension Drift!” – Christina Trevaskis, The Book Matchmaker

Truth time. I go to a Learning Squirrel High School. Don’t judge.

On second thought, judge away. Learning Squirrel is one step above attending class in a junkyard. But what do you expect? Everything’s made out of garbage these days. At least, I have my freelance work to keep Mom and me housed, clothed, and fed. How? I’m your regular high school science geek for hire, except my work manipulates space-time. The good news is that these gigs pay really well; the bad news is that the government likes to kill people like me. Whatever. I’m not worried; hiding from their detection systems is easy for me.

Then I screw up one of my illegal projects. Badly.

In fact, things go so sideways that my house slips into two-dimensional space-time. The shift only lasts for a few seconds, but that’s long enough to set off a dozen government alarms. If those goons track me down, Mom and I are as good as dead. Long story short, I need to pay someone off, hide the evidence, and keep us safe.

Unfortunately, that means asking the Scythe for help. He runs the local underground crime scene and has absolutely no conscience…Or at least, I’m pretty sure he doesn’t. It’s hard to think straight when a guy’s that hot in an ‘evil Mafioso kingpin’ kind of way. Most importantly, the Scythe is a crime lord who can conceal my slip-up with a few clicks on his minion’s computer keyboards. But the man has his price. In this case, the Scythe wants me to finish a certain dimensional prototype for him in twenty-four hours. I can do it, but it might mean Learning Squirrel High gets blown up in the process. Oh yes, and there’s also my new hot classmate who may or may not be an alien…and he says he’ll do anything to help me.

This job won’t be easy, but I’ve gotten out of worse scrapes. Maybe.

About the Author:
Christina Bauer knows how to tell stories about kick-ass women. In her best selling Angelbound series, the heroine is a part-demon girl who loves to fight in Purgatory’s Arena and falls in love with a part-angel prince. This young adult best seller has driven more than 500,000 ebook downloads and 9,000 reviews on Goodreads and retailers. The first three books in the series are now available as audiobooks on Audible and iTunes.

Bauer has also told the story of the Women’s March on Washington by leading PR efforts for the Massachusetts Chapter. Her pre-event press release—the only one sent out on a major wire service—resulted in more than 19,000 global impressions and redistribution by over 350 different media entities including the Associated Press.

Christina graduated from Syracuse University’s Newhouse School with BA’s in English along with Television, Radio, and Film Production. She lives in Newton, MA with her husband, son, and semi-insane golden retriever, Ruby.

Stalk Christina On Social Media – She Loves It!

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
A paperback copy of Scythe & more!

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