Wed, June 7
Blogging Prompt: Make 3 writing related confessions.
I don’t have the time.
This is an excuse I’ve heard slip out of my mouth so often I might as well have it tattooed to my forehead (ouch, just thinking about that makes me cringe xD). But really, I don’t have time! It’s true but at the same time, it’s not. I find myself staring off into space, mindlessly watching a tv show I don’t even care about, or (my personal favorite) scouring the internet for inspiration or just wasting time refreshing a page expecting something new and exciting to appear. Apparently I have time to do this but not time to write.
With the way my brain works, I counter any logic with this: “I need to relax / unwind,” “I’m working too hard,” and “I have writer’s block.”
All of these are valid reasons for skipping out on writing and doing something less productive but using these excuses will never get me closer to accomplishing my goals. If I constantly skip out on writing, how will my novel get finished? And how will I make the next one and the next one? I have so many stories waiting to be written but recently, I’ve been stuck, sinking farther into the couch with no inspiration or drive to continue tearing my drafts apart in order to make a well polished one.
Is it truly lack of time? Or is it more than that?
Sometimes I feel it’s a valid excuse, when I work doubles or have a frustrating day at work. As an introvert, I feel completely drained after working and the thought of doing anything else just makes me grumpy. Sadly, that’s the reality when writing isn’t your full time job. You have other jobs that steals away your time, attention, and energy. You have to fit writing in whenever and wherever you can. But pushing through the day trying to make “writing work” when you want it to even when it’s not isn’t exactly a solution either. I know there’s a happy medium out there somewhere, I just haven’t found it yet.
I have writer’s block.
I’ve been struggling with it since April but I haven’t done much to overcome it. In the past, writer’s block would always strike right after NaNoWriMo (or if I’m really lucky, during it >_<). But that made sense. NaNoWriMo was draining, tiresome, and after the event, all you’re ready to do is throw your work in a coffin and take a vacation.
My writing stopped this time because work got busy and I piled too many task on myself while trying to release a short story blog post everyday. Then I got sick (honestly, I had gotten sick before that too in February. It’s just been a bad year of constantly being ill and my body isn’t the only thing suffering from it. RIP wallet) and even though I’m nearly better now, I have no desire to edit my novel or continue writing short stories on my blog.
I’ve never been certain of where and why writer’s block strikes but digging deeper, I’ve come to the conclusion that (at least for me) it’s a combination of stress, having no writing plan, lack of inspiration, and writing entirely too much (and burning out as a result. Hey, burn out happens with everything). But secretly there’s another reason that no writer wants to openly admit. FEAR. Fear causes us to run away from things that make us happy simply because we’re afraid we might fail at it or not be good enough (even be made fun of).
Fear consumes me on a daily basis.
It’s hard pretending like it doesn’t. Hard holding my breath, smiling like I’m confident or know what I’m doing while, with every typed word, I know in my heart that my writing is not good enough and will never be good enough. No matter how many times I rearrange it or use pretty words to describe a scene, it’ll never be as good as theirs. I have plot holes so large a T-Rex could fall through them (better yet, Jupiter could orbit inside them), too many characters with potential that I let waste away on the pages, even I’m not sure how the story should end. And all of that piles up until I’m back to tossing my work in a coffin and running for the hills.
I think the biggest contributor to fear is comparing my work to other people’s work. I know, that’s practically a sin for writers. But is it even possible not to? If there’s a secret to this, please let me know. I’m dying to know how not to make myself feel shitty because someone else is good at what they love.
I hear it all the time. Don’t compare your work. But when you’re reading a book and falling in love with the words on the pages, it’s impossible not to think: “Will my book make readers feel like this? Feel anything at all? Will they make it this far? Will they even pick up the book to begin with?” So much doubt clouds the finish line and it doesn’t help that I’m learning the process of publishing a book all on my own.
I wish my writing confessions could have been positive, cheerful, something with a happy ending. Unfortunately, it’s not. I wonder if any writer’s “confessions” could have fallen under those categories (who are you and why are you so darn happy about everything? lol). But I do want to end this on a happy note because who wants to reach the end of a blog feeling hopeless? No one.
Each day is a new day with brand new opportunities and decisions to make. You can either keep feeling sorry for yourself and remain afraid of accomplishing anything or you can fight to change your outlook and attempt the “impossible.” I’m not sure how much longer I’ll dwell in doom and gloom (sometimes you need this then dust yourself off and get back to business) but when I’m ready, I plan to dissect my novel to pieces and get another draft polished. Then another until it’s ready for beta readers. Eventually, I want to hold that book in my hands and hug it with tears in my eyes. Maybe no one will buy it but the fact that it’s in my hands is good enough for me.
I hope you (whoever is reading this jumble of thoughts and feelings) will do the same! ❤
Btw – I have no idea how to find beta readers (Like I said: I’m learning as I go, please don’t judge me). If you have any advice on how to find some or if you want to be a beta reader, please let me know in the comment section below. Thanks!
This was an entry for Wordbound 🙂 They release new prompts every Wednesday. Check out their page for more writing prompts!