Friday, October 15, 2010

Why I Cried Last Week

Oh, come on. You like the crying posts, I know you do. #youknowI'mababy #dealwithit

So I don't cry very often. Okay, only every week. Or whatever. But I've been feeling some angst. #sowhatelseisnew? #I'memotionallyintense #justaskmycritgroup

And I got an email that said this: "You're not the same girl who had to query and query and query."

That statement hit me like a ton of bricks. And I teared up. #sobfest Because the emailer* was so right. I've been living as someone I'm not. Or rather, someone I used to be. And it's time to stop living in that angst, that cesspool, as that girl.

She once was. I used to be her.

I'm working on silencing her, but she's very loud sometimes. Luckily, Bawl Baby Elana cries louder. But seriously, Query-Until-Your-Eyes-Bleed-Elana is part of who I am, but she does not get to define me now. I need to let her go.

So I'm going to.

Who do you need to cut loose? What part of yourself clings to you, maybe dictates your behavior? And when's the last time you had your own personal #sobfest?


*Names will not be released. #ifItoldyouI'dhavetokillyou

75 comments:

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I don't think I've ever had a sobfest...
And I still want to hide.

Yvonne Osborne said...

Nothing makes you feel better than a good cry. About your question....I don't know. I'd like to cut myself free from my other job. Small steps. I've gone down to part time!!! More time for querying and looking at my empty inbox.

Gail said...

I haven't cried for years! I still like to hide and would like to have a good cry to flush all the bad things away but I am frozen here, with no tears.

Liza said...

I'd like to get rid of the part of me that freezes up and loses confidence just when the going gets a little better...

Terri Tiffany said...

I can't stand the part of me that tells myself each day that I am writing for nothing. Not fun!

Theresa Milstein said...

I think you should own your new place in life and a good cry is a good way to release it. But it's easier said than done. I just wrote a post about hearing Kate DiCamillo speak, and realized even after all her awards, she doubts.

I'm still the one who has to query and query and query. I hope one day to be past that too.

I doubt everything. Today is my first day being in charge of 90 students, day in and day out. No mentor teacher. No assistant. No co-teacher. It's the first time in a long time that I'm the only one. So while I tossed and turned, I reminded myself that I've taught many times before. Every teacher has a first day and is scared. I can do it.

Now when will I write?

Bish Denham said...

I don't cry often, but when I do, look out, the dam breaks. I'd like to get rid that negative person in my head who whispers insidious things like "You can't write." "Why bother?" and the worst one of all, "You're too old!"

The Golden Eagle said...

I haven't cried in a while, but it is a good way to just get everything out. It can be liberating just to cry.

Candyland said...

Lately I've been crying ALL THE TIME. The journey has been more like Guantanamo Bay for me.
*Still misses you*
*HUGS*

Christi Goddard said...

I cry a lot more than I used to, and it's made the writing be a lot less fun. Few blog comments, empty inbox, sporadic rejection letters, losing contests... it makes everything feel so pointless. But I soldier on because I can't give up and certainly won't ever stop writing. I've been seriously considering giving up the internet social media because all it does is break my heart, distract me, and make me question myself.

Renae said...

I don't cry very often, it takes a lot to get me upset. As far as cutting things loose? I would love to cut my other job loose and write full time. Only time will tell if that ever happens!

Jen Daiker said...

Wow... must be a cry fest week, because like you and Candyland I've been a big baby. I need to let go of revisions, get outside of my head and really start fixing the issue rather than dwelling on how I don't know how to fix the issue....

This was a perfect post, thanks for sharing Elana :)

Stina Lindenblatt said...

Heck, I cry all the time. I saw EASY A yesterday and teared up. Seriously, that's sad!

I'm borrowing the query and query and query Elana for a while. What do want me to do with her once I've finished querying? :)

I don't have anything I want to cut myself from. Maybe the self-doubter. That'd probably be a good one. Okay, I'm off to kick her sorry ass out of here. ;)

Pk Hrezo said...

I love crying... doesn't mean you're sad, it's just a physical release of emotion from your body. It feels so much better afterwards.
It's awesome you see a part of you that you wanna let go...a part that you don't need anymore, but that you can still recognize as an important stepping stone in your life.
I wish I could let go of that high school girl who wishes she tried harder. Maybe that's why i write YA... could be good that she's still with me, but I'm 37 years old now!! LOL!

Angela said...

I don't cry very often, partly because I hate it when my husband looks at me like I'm from outer space. Plus, I always feel so exhausted when it's over that I wonder if it's worth it when I'm done. It usually takes me at least a day to recover, so I envy you, able to cry once a week without it wiping you out for such a long time.

I also envy you not being the girl who has to query her brains out. Oh, what I would do to be that girl. Good post. :)

Christine Fonseca said...

Dude!!! This post made me well up! Eventually we'll chat as to why...HUGS!

Marisa Hopkins said...

I don't have sob fests often but when I do, it's usually because I need to let go of Thinks She'll Never Be Good Enough Marisa, because she drags me down wayyyy too much!

Poor Bawl Baby Elana (and awesome name)! Glad you know to cut loose the part of you you don't want to hang out with often!

Matthew Rush said...

What a great post EJ! Whatever doesn't kill you makes you stronger is true, but it doesn't mean you can't let it go after it has already made the difference. Thanks for this!

B.E. Sanderson said...

I'm all for having a sobfest every once in a while. Sometimes when I know things are getting bottled up inside me, I'll put in a particular movie (Big Fish or Steel Magnolias, usually) and wail away. Yesterday I didn't need the movie. Daughter and I had a mini-fight that snowballed into a sobfest. All the things bottled up inside both of us bubbled over until we were both bawling. I feel better, she feels better. :shrug: It was very cleansing.

Paul Greci said...

Great post, Elana. Really thought provoking.

I really liked Matt's comment about having something make a difference, being changed by it, and then letting it go. Wow! That's something to be aware of.

ps. stop by my blog today if you get a chance. You won a little something:-)

C. N. Nevets said...

I'm tough and manly so I don't really have sob fests. #stoplaughing #stopbeingmean #I'mserious #YesIam #OKmaybeit'snotquitetrue

For me, what gets me is past experiences with the double-edged sword that is writing. A friend who was reduced to a sobbing mess on the apartment floor because of what I wrote. A girl who wished someone would write stories about her like the ones she was reading which were, in fact, about her. The hateful looks from my writing class because my submission was dark and uncomfortable and challenging.

That's when I start to get messed up and wonder if I even want to be good and have more read my stuff.

And that's the me that I need to cut out.

Roland D. Yeomans said...

When I cry, I cry alone.

I believe that most people are having a harder time than they appear so I try not to add to their burdens by adding mine.

I look beneath the brittle smiles, the tossed-off cliche greetings to the troubled or pained currents deep within the eyes.

That you are no longer the woman you were is a good thing. To be stagnant is to die a little. You've grown and learned. Bravo to a survivor and helper. Roland

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

WOW. don't be so harsh on yourself. And I cry. A lot. LOL.

Jess said...

I had a sobfest last week when the husband went out with the boys and I finally got to watch a girl movie. Damn you, Steel Magnolias.

Janna Qualman said...

Sometimes I like nothing more than a good cry. And if I've learned something about my self through the wet and emotional process, even better.

C. K. Bryant said...

Sheesh, I think I've had a sobfest almost every day lately. After having a contract for my book and then loosing it, I've been struggling with the "not good enough" thing that zaps my confidence. The stack of form rejections isn't helping. I just keep thinking, "If only they would READ THE BOOK," but they don't. So sad.

So, you're only allowed to shed happy tears now, right???

Lydia Kang said...

Okay, I didn't sob, but I cried last night when Katniss finally got upset over (*MOCKINGJAY SPOILER ALERT*) Prim's death. Maybe I was underslept, but that got me.

Stephen Tremp said...

Well, I don't recall ever having a sobfest. If I did I probably shoved it down some deep dark recess of my souls never to be seen or heard from again.

Stephen Tremp

Pam Torres said...

Life is about loss. When we get to a new point in our life it is perfectly normal and healthy to grieve that part of yourself that has ended. Sometimes I look at my life and wonder if the old me was a different person entirely. I don't particularly like sobbing. As a matter of fact I really hate the burning eyes, smears on my glasses and my puffy face. Afterward, however, I do feel fresh and renewed. Great post!

lynnrush said...

That's so interesting, because I can relate. IT's almost weird that once you land an agent the query part of our lives vanishes.

For the first few months, I was checking my spreadsheet wondering who had what, what was the answer, and who should I try next. . . .

Now I just email my agent once in a while and say, "So, any rejections/requests for fulls yet?"

It's so weird to not have to track that stuff anymore. I can just write and write until my agent lands me a deal.

So, I"m off to take advantage of that. Happy Friday.

Michelle McLean said...

I cry all the time. Doesn't take much to get me going. And I'm a sympathetic crier...If I see someone crying or even hear a sniffle, I tear up :)

There are lots of parts of me I need to cut loose. It's a daily struggle...working on it :)

Lola Sharp said...

I don't cry for myself very often, but, dude, I cry over EVERYTHING ELSE.

SPCA commercials with mangled, sad-faced animals *sob* evil Sue being nice to her down syndrome sister (Glee) *sob*, Chilean miners getting out of their hell-hole *sob*....
and the first 10 minutes of UP! (animated, no less) KILLED me. *snot bubbles* *sob*

I cry several times a week. Often tears of joy or gratitude, sometimes tears of sadness for others.

Give that 'old' Elana a hug, and then give yourself a mental high-five and kick angst to the curb.

Have a wonderful weekend, E.
Love,
Lola

Quinn said...

I have no idea why, but last year I would sob and sob every time I drank. I'm glad I've gotten over that though.

I need to get rid of the lazy, kid me who always had parents to do everything. I need to fully embrace adult me.

Lenny Lee! said...

hi miss elana! i like how you could share how you feel with your blogger friends cause that just as good a help as crying. mostly in all the comments i could see how much people could want to stop thinking their not good enough. that pretty sad cause is just real important to believe in your self. for me lots of stuff gets me crying mostly not for myself. i cant think of any part of me i could want to get rid of. mostly i could want to not have lukemia any more but thats not part of me. that just the sickness i got and getting chemo and raidated is just what i gotta do so mostly i dont cry cause of it. i hope you have a really nice weekend.
...hugs from lenny

SWK said...

It's hard to let go of the ceaseless querier. Even though I've got an agent now, I still feel tempted by those pitch contests and stuff. Maybe it's insecurity or maybe I'm just really competitive. Regardless, many years of my life were spent working toward the goal of publication and, now that I'm on may way, I'm not gonna forget all that angst. It's part of who I am but now I try to channel it into my characters--teens struggling with their own problems, dreams, disappointments. So let go--but hold on, too. And don't be sorry! -Stasia

L.T. Elliot said...

My most recent sobfest was yesterday and nearly about this same thing only not "querying" me that I have a hard time letting go of. *hugs* I'm with ya.

Colene Murphy said...

Oh no! Hope you perk up!
It's hard letting go of those past things but you totally can it you will feel SO much better!

Shannon Whitney Messenger said...

Oh yes--to quote the Holiday--I'm totally a weeper. But you already know that. And have been there for me. Here's hoping I can always be there for you. ;)

And you are NOT that girl anymore. Let her go. She served her purpose. And now she's gone.

Liz Fichera said...

A good sobfest every now and again is almost better than chocolate. Almost.

Jeanette Levellie said...

I need to let go of insecure, fearful me.

And I don't cry as often as I need to. So there.

Belle said...

I really, really like this post. I'm a firm believer that we are whoever we choose to be, so this really resonates with me. A great reminder to embrace the me I want to be. I can hug the me I used to be, and then let her go.

Ishta Mercurio said...

I cry more now than I used to - I blame motherhood. Hearing about bad things happening to kids gets me going every time.

I need to cut loose the me who never used to finish things, who left half-knitted baby hats and half-read books all over the place. I finish things now - I'm querying manuscripts that I've finished, I've given away knitted gifts that I have completed, I finish redaing my library books and I return them. I finish things. But I'm still hanging on to that old me who hardly ever did.

You know, I didn't hear about you until you were "Elana the novelist, who has a book coming out in 2011 and who got together with a bunch of other authors and organized a kick-ass conference." You're really not the same girl who had to query and query and query. Good for you for taking steps toward letting her go.

kangaroobee said...

I know exactly what you mean Elana. It is so easy to become very intense as a writer, whether it is in the querying or the feedback or whatever. I have taken a step back into life recently and I'm much more productive, less addicted, and more creative. And most importantly happier. It's good to cry from time to time. If writer's didn't have emotions, how would they tell stories?

Katrina L. Lantz said...

Yes, I definitely need to cut loose the part of me that worries too much. I do the opposite and refrain from querying when I should. Working on that. Thanks for this!

Gave you a cutesy award on my blog today, too. :)

Marsha Sigman said...

The last time I cried was a month ago when I had to clothes shop with my teenage son. I am not lying. At least I waited until we were home. And I apologized later for telling him he had to wear the same three outfits over and over.

I ordered the rest online the next day. We were both much happier.

Krispy said...

Actually, I really really hate crying, especially if there are other people around. I do feel better sometimes after a good cry though. Anyway, I need to let go of the doubting part of myself. We all have doubts, but I don't know when mine became so insistent. :P

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

I love a good sobfest. It always makes me feel better.

But I understand. Sometimes, I have to remind myself that I'm not that same girl I was years ago, that I don't have to be insecure. That others' judgments can't hurt me.

But it can be hard to cut loose the person you were for so long.

Misha said...

I have this part of me that really cares what other people think. That part has a surprising hold on my actions and responses.

That part is freaking dangerous and has to go. Unfortunately she is tenacious too...

Holly Ruggiero said...

I need to cut loose the scared writer.

lotusgirl said...

Crying can be therapeutic. I'm a weeper in movies and hearing sad or touching stories. Sometimes it's good to let it all out.

SusanneWrites said...

I don't cry often, but when I cry it's not pretty...lol

Sara B. Larson said...

I am a cry-baby, too. But yes, you have made it. You can let that go. You're awesome!

Nicole Zoltack said...

I find crying to be therapeutic. I have a tendency to be very emotional.

Let's see... what part of me do I need to let go? The voice in my head that whispers doubts. Oh, and feeling like I have to say 'yes' all the time.

So, no more doubts and 'no.' I feel better already!

~Jamie said...

I cry all the time. Seriously, it's my go-to reflex... happy, sad, whatevs...

but right now, it's ALL about the whole me thinking my pub journey is just over--like, it's gone as far as it's going to. I mean, it's already much further along than a lot of people's so I SUCK for wanting more... but I do, and I don't think it will happen. EVER.

Taffy said...

I had to cut myself away from a family member recently but I didn't cry because the well has already run dry crying over this person.

Connie Arnold said...

A girl's just gotta cry sometimes. It's good to recognize something in yourself like you have and realize it doesn't define you and you can control it. I haven't sobbed in a long time but a quiet cry comes at times and is all right.

Elizabeth Mueller said...

Be good to yourself. We all have our own trials and it's no one's place to judge--or they shall get their come-uppance.

*HUGS*

I cry lots, mostly when I'm angry. It had do to with family matters. My writing? Well, I'm in the editing stages. I've yet to have the query quries! :)

Indigo said...

Oh, I had one of those cry fest at the beginning of the week. The whole "I'm not good enough and this is too hard" ballgame. When I finished my husband asked, "Feel better now? Yeah. Cool go write, because sometimes people see things in you, you can't see for yourself." And...he's absolutely right.

What do I need to let go of? "Perfectionism". I can't reach perfect, I can sure as hell try to come close. Honestly, I need to be okay with that, or I'll never reach the query process. (Hugs)Indigo

Kelly Dexter said...

Is there something in the air? It's been a teary month for so many people, myself included.

Ah, I need to let go of so many things. If you could see my metaphorical baggage I'd probably look like that funny little lady Jennifer Connelly meets in the junkyard in Labyrinth/

Jemi Fraser said...

I totally want to cut the zero-confidence me and the if-one-little-thing-is-wrong-it-means-it-sucks me out of my life. I'm working at it!

Jonathon Arntson said...

So... I got a little confused as I read this post, but that's probs because everything you do is awesome in my eyes and I am not sure who the girl is that you are shedding, but think of it less as a molting and more like a metamorphosis.

(That's a really long sentence, ew.)

Heather said...

I had my own #sobfest very recently actually. I have to let go of the girl who had an agent who was all wrong for her and her work. That isn't easy. I mean jeeze, that girl had an agent. But I'm no longer her, and that's a good thing. I'm free and liberated, and well on my way to finding the agent that is perfect for me and my work. Here's to letting go!

Cinette said...

I rarely cry, and when I do, it scares people. Last time I cried I was sendind my four teen girls on a three hour drive through the mountains. When I burst into tears, I scared them, my parents, my sister, and my husband! Needless to say, they texted me every 15 minutes to tell me they were still alive.
But when I'm feeling overwhelmed, I wish I could cry to clear out the stress!

Julie Musil said...

I'm glad we're having a sobfest! I got rejection yesterday, and even though I'm prepared for them, they still sting. Hubby put things in perspective for me, and now I'm on my way again.

Amanda Borenstadt said...

I need to cut loose the part of myself that wants to write, but I don't think that's going to happen. :/

Roxane B. Salonen said...

You're so funny Elana. But I know you're speaking from the heart here. I understand the need to shed some behaviors that haunt. I also think it's good to be reminded of from where we came, to stay humble. But certainly, that person is not welcomed back in to stay permanently if she is hindering the light that you are meant to dwell in. Keep reaching for that light. Even publication will test you. Don't let it sway you from being who you were destined to become.

Jan Markley said...

That's a great observation to make about yourself. thanks for sharing!

Clara said...

Since I'm still on the query untill my eyes bleed out phase, I cant be something else lol
But seriously now, I used to be a lot more insecure. Still am a bit, but Im much stronger now =)

Marieke said...

Reading SPEAK the other day, watching RENT... And lately also realizing I don't want to take the safe path, but chase my dreams instead. It's a good decision, but scary and emotional at the same time! :)

(Also, I can't believe I'm not a follower yet! *goes to rectify* )

Krista said...

I wish I could let the housework go (ha ha).
Seriously, lately any wisdom I hear about being true to your soul sets me off. I must be trying to find who I am, and I'm really feeling that someday, I'll need to defend that. Writing is a HUGE part of that.

And that little bit of wisdom given to you? GENIUS.

ali said...

I'm not so much a crier, even at the worst of times. Instead all that junk piles up and I'm like a pressure cooker that goes POP along with some really wild fallout. It's not pretty.

((hugs)) E. It's good to let go sometimes.

Jo Schaffer said...

Sometimes crying is the healthy thing to do.
I'm a strong person, but there are times I need to let loose with the tears.
Parts of me left behind...hmm...we all lose bits here and there as we grow and change.
I guess...being the "big girl". I was always bigger than all my cute little friends in high school...so even though I have lost weight and have been smaller for years, I think I always feel kinda big when I'm probably really average size. Guess I should feel different about that now, huh?

Nichole Giles said...

I don't cry often, but lately I feel like a running faucet. Maybe it's all that teenage angst in my writing. Or other outside sources. Who knows. Anyway, you're right. You aren't that girl anymore. Thanks for making me wonder what parts of me and my past I need to let go.

CMOM Productions said...

I need to stop hiding due to fear of failing and just get back to trying.

Sarah said...

Wow. LOVE this post.

(I'm a big crier too. People only wish they had that kind of emotional intensity. ;)

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