Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Big Old Faux Pas?

Wasn't going to post until scheduled tomorrow, but...ugh...right now I am deep in the dark ocean of writers blues and nothing I have tried to lift myself up has worked at all.

I'm not normally a big ol whiner or anything, so forgive me for this today, but I just donno what to do. I hate wasting time I could be working on feeling so down. But no matter what I do, I just can't focus on my books.  None of them. All I want to do is throw them in a fire and watch them crumble.

This can't be unusual, I apologize if it's a blogger faux pas to bitch and moan publicly but someone has to have a remedy for this nonsense.

I can't even look at INTO without cringing and rolling my eyes at it, like it will feel my contempt.

Is it time to put them all away for a while? Slap myself and tell me to suck it up? Put the words away and do some art? Rewrite it and kill off all my characters in the first chapter?

Regularly scheduled post to continue tomorrow morning. Promise it won't be such a downer.


  1. It isn't a blogger faux pas to reach out to your fellow writer when you're feeling down. In my experience people come out and offer you support and make you feel better. This is one of the most supportive, amazing communities online.

    I understand what you're going through. I go through phases where I could kill all my characters. Watch them die with nothing but satisfaction. Where I hate everything I've ever written. But that's what they are, phases. I know it doesn't really help you now but this will pass.

    Please don't kill all your characters in chapter one. That'd be sad.

    Maybe you should curl up with a good book, sink into someone else's universe for awhile. Or do some art.

    Hope things get easier after you try something else.

  2. Who cares about blogger faux pas? Part of the fun of blogging is that we are all here to support each other on our journeys.

    Have you let anyone read them? Sometimes letting someone else gush over your story can help get YOU back into them. Have you taken a break from them? Perhaps because you are unfocused, right now would be a good time to step away. Give yourself permission to put everything down for a week and go have fun. Do a few new things. Go see a movie in the afternoon by yourself! Lunch or dinner with friends.

    It's okay to step away and then come back fresh. Just as it is okay to vent about your struggles. We all have them. No one gets up, goes to their computer and has FANTABULOUS writing days every single day of the year.

  3. Jennie makes a good point about letting someone read them, even only a few chapters. When I'm in a slump, I'll talk to my husband who has read them and my best friend (also a writer) and they're really good at making me feel better.

    I don't think you should put them away but maybe you should try setting the stories down for a bit? Something that also helps me is reading a novel when I'm not in to writing. I usually get an urge to write-- especially if a novel is not so good or is really good. Another thing that might help is to just suck it up and keep on plugging away. That's the worst but it does work too. I'm currently editing after getting some beta reader feedback and I really don't want to do the last two bullet points on my list because they involve some major overhauls. I tackled one today and it actually made me feel a lot better.

    Mostly, try not to feel bad. We all go through days when we think our writing is crap and can't stand to be near it but always come out on the other side as a stronger writer!

  4. Omg, don't throw them in the fire- that would be awful!

    I totally get where you are coming from. Sometimes, when I read a really good book, I get all depressed and think, "I could NEVER write as a good a novel as that!" But in this business we have to believe that we are good, or else we'll fail.

    But, like the others said, its good to set it down and take a breather. Do something else for a while. Or write something else- just for fun. It doesn't have to be another novel.

    When I get discouraged, I kind of get all mopey for a little, think about how my book will never be as good as my favorites, and maybe eat some cookie dough. Then, I suck it up and write some more. My mom, best friend, sister and crit partner love my book, so I must have some kind of talent (although three are biased so I can't really base it on that lol).

    But seriously, totally not a blogger faux pas. As writers, we need all the support we can get :)

    Oh, and another thing that might be fun, is write little stories about your characters. Play with them- have them do things they wouldn't normally do, or meet people they wouldn't normally meet. I haven't done that, but I may just take my own advice since I've been in a bit of a slump myself.

  5. Step away from the flames . . . ;-)

    It's common practice for me to love something I wrote one day, and then pull it out the next and want to rip it apart.

    I did that once, and I still regret it. I had written one of my favorite lines of all time, and I still can't remember it.

    Don't shelve it, but don't force it. Trying to force words that aren't there is like putting an infinitely high brick wall between you and your manuscript. Put it down and look at it tomorrow, or the next day. It's a wonder what fresh eyes can do.

  6. I came back with one more thought. I'm probably evil, but I have a certain terribly written novel that I read and read and read when I'm feeling down about myself. It makes me instantly feel better about my writing. You should have one. That way you can pick it up when you need to. It doesn't take me very many pages to feel good about my own writing again. Oh, I sound like a rotten person, but whatever works, right?


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