I have been drafting a new project for the last couple of weeks and it’s killing me. Despite having one book published and two on the way, I am still ambushed by feelings of uselessness, of being rubbish, of not knowing whether I can actually write. It sucks!
The only way out from this mess (and I know it to be true) is to write, write, write until all my thoughts are on the paper and none are left in my head to sabotage the day. Unfortunately, this isn’t as easy as it seems. Or is it?
I just read this post from The Craft of Writing Fiction and realised: I am useless and I am rubbish, until I drop all the moaning and groaning and just get on with what I love to do. Why torture myself with this writing gig unless I love it? And if I love it, why torture myself?
And now, inspired, I’d love to get on with the job of writing. Only thing is, Fergus is about to wake up…
But so what? I’ll grab the ten minutes while I can. (Thanks Rebecca)
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March 7, 2011 at 6:36 am
Congratulations on finishing your novel and getting an agent. You’re totally right…we wouldn’t be doing this if it wasn’t for inspiration and passion. And perhaps doubt bothers everyone, regardless of profession, so we writers are not alone? (I try to tell myself this :-))
Good luck with finding a publisher for your book. Let us know how it goes.
March 4, 2011 at 12:59 am
It’s interesting to note that the doubt doesn’t go away even when you’ve had something published. Doubt is definitely an ongoing part of all artists life. I know it well. But it does pass, luckily – until it comes again. In the end it’s all just thoughts though, not reality. Your solution is the answer, just get on and write.
If I’d known how hard it was to write a novel to the point of being really good, I’m not sure if I would have started. But inspiration drove me and I’ve done it and got an agent, ( I also have the drafts of 3 sequels already). Even if it’s not good enough to get a traditional publisher, at least I know I can improve.
February 26, 2011 at 10:22 am
Oh Cristy! Thank you so much for this post, you have no idea how much I needed it! I’m also up to my elbows in editing, and it just seems soul crushing… I usually try to write my first draft as quickly as possible and tell myself that I’ll fix it up in the edits stage. Except now I’m kicking myself that I didn’t take more care with the first draft!
It just goes to show we’re usually our own toughest critics, because when I read Takeshita Demons the thing that struck me most about it was what an excellent writer you were. You had the control and style to tell an amazing story that sucked me in from beginning to end, so it seems unimaginable to me that you’d doubt yourself.
Now I’ve read this I’m going to follow your example (and Rebecca’s) and stop beating myself up about writing, instead I’ll just get on and do it!
February 28, 2011 at 6:18 am
lovely feedback and I’m glad to know you feel the same way about the sometimes-soul-crushing-ness of being a writer alone…it can be an awful feeling when the work-in-progress isn’t going to plan! I’m really focused on getting this first draft down on paper so I can go back and add layers of detail. If I don’t do it that way, I think I’ll never get the depth I want. Argh. We shall see how it goes. Hope your own second draft works well… LEt me know how you go! 🙂