Wednesday, March 2, 2011

What I've Learned Wednesday: The Ups & Downs

Over the past few days, I've been feeling way overwhelmed with writing. I haven't even touched my manuscript. *shame on me* It's happened many times before, and will happen again and again, I'm sure of that fact. One thing I've learned along the way is that being a writer is hard. It is a difficult process; one that has many ups and downs. One day I feel like I'm the queen (or King cause that's my last name) of writing and other days I feel like I'm the scum of the earth type of writer. Writing is tough, can make you depressed, and yet, can make you more happy than you could ever imagine. Writing is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure.

More for selfish reasons due to my being in a bit of a writing funk, I pose the following questions:
  • What do you do to get past the lows of writing and rise back to the writer who feels like he/she can conquer the world one one at a time again?
  • How do you cope with the downs?
Lets start a conversation right here on my blog to help not only me, but all those writers who may be struggling as we type. Lets help each other get back on the top again!

Yippee! Hallelujah! Hot Dog! Did I just say "Hot Dog?" Yep, and I'm keeping it there.


  1. My biggest downs are that I'm scared to death that what I think is a good novel others will hate. I sometimes lay in bed wondering if I should shove it all under the carpet, so I don't have to face the situation. My highs are when someone tells me they love something I post on my blog. It's during these times that I feel like a writer and not an imposter. :o)

  2. When I'm stumped in my writing, I beta read for others, join a critique group, outline, re-read what I wrote, take a writing related class, go to a writer's conference...just hang out with other writers and become remotivated. A great place to do this is and

  3. I feel the same way as Tiffany sometimes, when I think of my novel as a whole and think of the kind of criticism it could receive both from the masses and from the intellectuals, both of whom I would love to appeal to. When I'm feeling down, it helps to go back and actually read some of my previous work and try to scrutinize it. I always come out feeling appreciative of the parts that I'm happiest with, so it helps me realise that the weaker bits don't mean I'm a terrible writer. That's what revision is for.

  4. When I don't feel like writing, I "clean up" the manuscript. It doesn't take long and I'm writing.

  5. Tiffany - I agree. I'm worried what people will think of my novel. I should stop worrying so much about that cuz some people will hate it but more will love it. So "ha" to my insecurities.
    LM Preston - great ideas for motivation! I will have to check out the links. Thanks for following my blog.
    Starlight - Yes, revision is what makes it shine. I have to remember that. Thanks for following my blog.
    Patricia - I'm in the revision process. It is tough to think I have to go through it again and again. Yet, like I said to Starlight, that's what make it better!
    Thanks everyone for commenting! You rock!

  6. I give myself permission to suck. First drafts are allowed to suck. It helps when I'm feeling down on myself.

  7. Kasie - Thanks for giving me permission to suck. That lifts a weight off my shoulders. You rock! Thanks for following my blog. I am happy to have you grace my bloggy friend.

  8. Julia,

    I have felt this way before as well, and it is a hard place to be. After reading your post, I tried to think of some of things that get me going again when I am in a writing funk. So, are a few. I hope they help and encourage!

    1. I read - Anything and everything. Immersing myself in a book can help my own words to flow.
    2. I go back and read what I have written - Oftentimes going back will spark new ideas.
    3. I fall in love with my characters all over again- If I don't write their story, no one will.
    4. I revise - Revising scenes shows the potential of the story and helps me to get back in the right frame of mind to write.
    5. I outline new ideas - Plotting new scenes, concentrating on world-building, etc., can get things going again.
    6. I work on another project - This is why I like having two novels to work on simultaneously. If I am stumped in one, I can work on the other. When I return to the first, I have all sorts of new ideas after my short break. Sometimes letting something sit for even a day or two can make a huge difference.
    7. I write - Even when things seem overwhelming and my brain is fried, I try to make myself sit down and write *something.* Even if it's just a sentence or two.
    8. I remember the joy - This is the most important thing. If I think of why I began writing in the first place (the love, the joy, the *need*) things don't seem as overwhelming anymore.

    Despite those overwhelming times, writing is definitely worth every minute. Like you said, " can make you more happy than you could ever imagine."

  9. Kristin - great great great advice. I thank you for putting so much effort into your comment. It has given me a lot to munch on. Thanks!