A fellow blogger wrote a post that made me think. She had a bad night and began having doubts, which seems to be par for the course for many a writer. No matter how well you write, you’re going to have times when what you write is utter shit. When you don’t like it and want to trash it… Delete, delete, delete. I’ve learned not to do that. I save it in a file called “Deleted shit” so that later on I can go back to it.
“Judging your early artistic efforts is artist abuse.”
― Julie Cameron
I’ve also learned that I need to take breaks from writing, especially if I’ve hit that sweet spot while writing and managed to get quite a lot accomplished. If I don’t take a break then I will either burn myself out, end up with writer’s block because I’ll get stuck after such a big run of it…
Or I might just fall asleep in my chair, sitting at my desk…
Yes, I’ve done that.
I’ve also done the whole take a long break from writing. There was a period of time when I didn’t write fiction, not even a short story, or poetry. I lost a lot of my poetry when I left the ex, and maybe that was for the best. I had serious inner demons back then and it took me a long while to exercise them.
Not that I don’t still have a few inner demons, I do, but now they’re the normal ones. I get tired, burned out, insecure, overwhelmed… there are times when I feel isolated and lonely… times when I’m not sure I’m talented enough… disciplined enough…smart enough…There are also times when I feel like I’m wasting my time and effort, that it would be much better for us financially if I went to work full-time instead of working on my writing full-time…
Thankfully I have a husband who is supportive. Who appreciates all that I do around the house (never thought I’d be a housewife). Who believes in me and has faith in my talent.I am working on a novel that has been simmering for almost 2 years now. NaNoWriMo 2012. I finally got the story right in my head, and now I’m working on it for Camp NaNoWriMo. Maybe it will be SHIT. Maybe it will be decent. Maybe it will even be great. All I know if I feel the need to write it.
“Writing isn’t about making money, getting famous, getting dates, getting laid, or making friends. In the end it’s about enriching the lives of those who will read your work, and enriching your own life as well. It’s about getting up, getting well, and getting over. Getting happy, okay? Getting happy. …this book…is a permission slip: you can, you should, and if you’re brave enough to start, you will. Writing is magic, as much the water of life as any other creative art. The water is free. So drink.
Drink and be filled up.”
― Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft
I’m writing for me. Maybe no one will ever read my book except for me, my husband and my children. It doesn’t matter. I’m getting the words of the story out there on the page. That’s what matters. And the words don’t always come easy.
“The most important things are the hardest to say. They are the things you get ashamed of, because words diminish them — words shrink things that seemed limitless when they were in your head to no more than living size when they’re brought out. But it’s more than that, isn’t it? The most important things lie too close to wherever your secret heart is buried, like landmarks to a treasure your enemies would love to steal away. And you may make revelations that cost you dearly only to have people look at you in a funny way, not understanding what you’ve said at all, or why you thought it was so important that you almost cried while you were saying it. That’s the worst, I think. When the secret stays locked within not for want of a teller but for want of an understanding ear.”
― Stephen King, Different Seasons
Being part of a community where writing is concerned, whether you’re blogging, writing fiction, or poetry or all three, makes you feel like you’re not so alone in the world as a writer–at least it does for me.. I feel as if I’m part of something so much bigger than myself and that I have a kinship of sorts with other writers. Blogging, being part of NaNoWriMo and Camp NaNo has really helped me branch out as a writer. I’ve learned, been inspired, and motivated over the past few years.
“Writing is a little bit like prostitution. First you do it for love. Then you do it for a few friends. Then you do it for money.”