Writing: I Can’t Believe I Wrote This!

Am I bored with my own story? I created the characters, the worlds they live in, and the things they do, but I’ve been stuck at 26,300 words of my novel for about 2 months now.

I’ve been ignoring my manuscript because I am mildly obsessed, okay I can’t lie, I am completely obsessed with blogging. It’s a fun distraction. And, as I’ve said before blogging allows you to write and you have a finished product at the end.

Usually, reading through the words I’ve already written (good, bad, or indifferent), helps me reconnect with the story and find new inspiration. It allows me to rewrite and edit what’s there which can take the story in new directions.

The most recent attempts to read through my own words have found me abandoning the task quickly. Only making it through the first 10-20 pages before I give up and find something else to do.

Writing is an emotional business. It’s a love-hate relationship.

I found great advice in How to Write Science Fiction & Fantasy by Orson Scott Card:

The Writer’s Image. Writers have to simultaneously believe the following two things:

1. The story I am now working on is the greatest work of genius ever written in English.

2. The story I am now working on is worthless drivel.

It’s best if you believe both these things simultaneously … Of course, believing two contradictory facts at the same time is sometimes referred to as madness – but that, too, can be an asset to a writer.

When I am most unkind to myself about writing, these words (along with those of my loving and supportive husband as well as my writing partners) come to mind and encourage me through the rough patch.

But I find myself riding the pendulum of indecision right now. Swinging between these two extremes of loving my work and hating my work and waiting to be centered and still.

I am riddled with doubt about my skill to bring life to my cast of characters so there is identification with readers (including me). I am gripped with fear by the thought that I will leave behind a great story that needs and wants telling. Yet, I am hopeful for having a renewed energy and sharpened creative skills to finish well even though the break seems to be dragging longer and longer.

Fellow authors, if there is any advice you can give me about picking up where I left off and moving forward, please pass it on.

Because one thing I know to be true:  I haven’t abandoned this story and its characters won’t let me go!

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Comments

  1. Great blog, I am sure that all writers feel your angst at some point. I have no advice to give you as I am a newbie blogger and writer. I am a follower now and look forward to your next post. cheers Judy

    • Judy, Thank you for stopping by the Jotter’s Joint and for the compliment. I am sure you have great tips for your writing process. The truth is regardless of the advice each writer has to figure out what works for them and build it into their process. Hearing what others do is helpful along the journey. Thanks for following. I hope I continue to share things that are of interest to you. Gail

  2. Just write. It doesn’t matter what. Just let it spill out and, even if it’s gibberish about the characters in the book, just let it flow. Editing can fix it later. In other words, don’t edit while you’re writing. Just write.

    • That’s really good advice. I tend to edit when I re-read which isn’t always a good thing. I’ve gotten some other good advice too. Looking forward to putting these things into practice. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Spijder says:

    I would suggest using a random word generator and let it throw 3-5 words at you, using those words not to write the story but some sort of blurb-sized bit of detail, backstory, setting or a passing daydream of some extra-type character lost in the background of some scene you’ve already written. It’s what I do to sometimes to ‘just mess around’ my way through a writing block or force myself back into a storyline that I haven’t touched in a while.

  4. Well, I’m not sure I’m the right person to give advice (I’ve been stuck at 80% of my novel for the last 4 years because I don’t know how to end it), but I found that brainstorming helps push you ahead, even for a bit, or at least discussing your ideas with someone else. You never know when they might say something that will give you the push to start writing again!

    • Thanks for the advice. It’s a hard one for me but I try to put it in practice regularly. I value input but am still protective of the storyline, so cautious of who I share with. I am fortunate to have two different writing partners, both of whom have very different views from me and from one another. One I have weekly accountability discussion with … that usually keeps me moving forward, knowing that I have to report back. The other is more sporadic. Speaking with them is very helpful. And, you are one to give advice because you’re on a similar journey. Thanks again for the advice.

Trackbacks

  1. […] I would write one new scene. Maybe 500 words. That’s it. A small commitment to get me back into writing the novel after a long break from […]

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