Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Mediocre Blues.

We all go through it. I'm curious as to your methods of pulling yourself from it. I refer to self-doubt. To overcome this, do you revert back to the reason you write--because you love it? Do you partner yourself with inferior writers to make yourself look better--hey! Do you compare yourself to already published material, scoff, and audibly declare that you write better than this drivel? (My personal favorite.) Or, do you avoid your laptop for a few days until the mood passes? Of course, this could be a bad week and I will be full of vim and vigor in a few days. But until then...what about you?

14 comments:

Hélène B said...

I eat too much, bitch to my DH, avoid the computer, berate myself for giving up so easily, go back to the computer, apologise to my husband, go on a diet and repeat when necessary.

Not the healthiest approach, but I didn't say I had it figured out. LOL

I hope you can shake the woolies out sooner rather than later. :-)

Carol said...

Hi Helene,
What! We shouldn't do that even on a good day! (throwing hands in the air) I hope I'll break loose of this soon, too. I did read a scene today that made me feel better.

Oh, and yours is today, mine is Friday. (wink)

Thanks for your support.

Cindy said...

Hi Carol:
This one's cheesy, maybe. (S)

In university I knew a woman who had been in a terrible accident and endured a long, painful recovery. She told me that when she was feeling a little off, she would go to the mirror and look herself straight in the eye. It was her way of telling herself she was all right, she was capable and she was determined. She would Get Through This.

I don't have any particular hardships in my life, but I do find that when I need a talking to, when I've forgotten my goals or been lazy, or when I'm having a crisis of confidence, that works.

I can re-connect that way.

Susan Adrian said...

Carol:

Honestly? Keep writing, even on days when you know it's crap. Do a writing journal entry and think about your book--come up with a new plot direction. Or write a short story or something else.

My personal motto is never compare yourself and never stop. :)

Carol said...

Hi Cindy,
Welcome to the blog. It's great to see you.

What a courageous lady. Although a shaken confidence cannot some close to what she went through, I can see the benefit of what she did. It doesn't really matter what everyone else thinks of you, does it? It's what you think of the person in the mirror.

Great advice. Thanks for sharing.

Jen said...

Carol,

Well, you probably know my solution. (g) SUGAR. LOL. When in trouble, I head on over to Tarjay and pick up gummy something.. I used to go for the peach rings, but they no longer stock 'em (jerks!), so now I go for the lifesaver gummies... anything I can find. I sugar myself up and MAKE myself sit down and write. It usually gets better once I get going... Not always, tho. You know I'm in a real funk right now, afraid D.A. will turn down my new outline. My mind's solution is to refuse to focus on the task at hand. I could've had this dang outline finished this weekend, but instead I avoid it like the plague... yeah, not anymore.. I'm running out of time for that crap!

I know the funk you're in...and I think it's natural for anyone partaking in a creative pursuit. Just remember that there are people (me included!) who love your writing... so hang in there and fight through it. Perhaps take a night off and do something completely unrelated to writing. Don't even turn on the computer, in fact. Step away, recharge your battery.

Hope you're feeling better. :)

Jen

Carol said...

Hi Susan,

I think this stemmed from someone's 'helpful' advice. I didn't agree with much of what she said, but she was very forceful and adament with her suggestions. This made me question the credibility of other people's opinions, which created my own doubt.

Hmm, I know you're keeping Jenna close to the vest. Let me ask. Do you share with anyone? I wonder if the key is to limit the number of people you share with. But then again, would that cause biased feedback?

Keep writing. That's the main thing, isn't it. If I stop, it's over and then it no longer matters what anyone thinks.

I'll have to try your suggestions, they sound like great ideas and who knows, they may even springboard future stories.

Thanks for your suggestions.

Carol said...

Hi Jen,
You get all sugared up and force yourself to sit? This explains the computer key that is worn down to the nub. (g)

Thanks for reminding me that you like my writing. That helps a lot. A LOT!

Now, Miss. That DA of yours knows a good thing--you. From what I've heard so far, you're right on track with what he wants. You have amped it up, slashed scenes horrifically, many of which were my favorites. (I'll never forgive him for that, btw.) So, let's go. Get that thing written and sent over to him pronto. Narc needs to be in stores.

Chris said...

I agree that you just have to write through it. When I feel this way (often), I go back to Elizabeth George's 'Write Away.' She writes a lot about feeling that way. I feel better after reading it.

Carol said...

Hi Chris,
I have that book! I'll go take another look at that chapter. Thanks for bringing it up.

Susan Adrian said...

Hi Carol:

Sorry for the delay in responding--I was on vacation. :)

As to your question: I've shared only a few tiny snippets (not more than one or two paragraphs--not enough to get any context) with a couple of very close writer friends. I haven't done that for feedback, but just to share excitement that I had for a particular passage or idea.

In TMT I shared all over the place, and some of that was positive--it was my first book, and sometimes I just needed encouragement or critique on sections. I also sent the whole thing out at the end for real critiques. But my feeling now is that the first draft is too early to share. (1) By keeping it to myself I keep the excitement and energy there, somehow, instead of diluting it by having other people's opinions at the wrong time. (2) By not sharing yet I also keep it flexible. I've changed MAJOR plot points, and guess what? I don't have to inform anyone or take sections back. (3) When I'm done I want to have my critters read it like first readers, without being biased by snips.

BUT, this is just what I'm trying, and for this book, to see if it works better for me. Some people need to share. But as Vicki told me once, be careful that you don't get dependent on your readers to prop you up or keep you going. It has to be within you, and YOU have to like it.

Sorry, that turned into a rant. {g}

Carol said...

Hi Susan,
That was a rant! It read fine to me.

For me, I still use a crit group, but am finding less dependence on them. Since I changed to a slightly different genre, I have a couple of ladies that crit me as I go. I am still learning a lot, so I'm not ready to let them go. I also was unsure if I was on target with this story and wanted more immediate feedback.

I have held FMS back from a few others so that they can read it through in one sitting. That day will be nerve wracking, I'm sure.

Do you ever wonder if you are on target, have your voice right, or are getting the feel for the genre? For me, new genres can be hard to become accustomed to.

Susan Adrian said...

Carol:

[Do you ever wonder if you are on target, have your voice right, or are getting the feel for the genre? For me, new genres can be hard to become accustomed to.]

Well...yes, sometimes I wonder if it will be in the genre I _think_ it is. And I've been doing a little reading in YA to see what's out there.

But I'm trying REALLY hard with this book to not write to anyone else but me. If I like it--and I'm a pretty darn harsh critic--it goes in. So we'll see what happens when all is said and done. :)

Carol said...

Susan,
Writing to yourself sounds like the perfect way to write. (s) Good luck with it. I can't wait until you've finished and are at the place where we can read it. From what I know of you, it will be great.