Monday, July 25, 2011

Who am I?

I often wonder who I am, and what do I want to get out of writing… maybe my problem is: I can’t answer those questions.

Since my last post I haven’t written a thing… my intention was to immediately begin a complete rewrite. But I haven’t been able to do it yet. I am not sure if its confidence or the lack of understanding exactly what, or how, I am going to fix the prevailing issues that exist in my manuscript.

I have worked to tighten my plot, define my MC goals and elaborate on missing world building details, but for some reason I can’t write a thing. Nothing feels right or has that pop.

I think the hardest part is realizing what needs to be showed vs the parts that need to be told. I am learning emotions and scenes that evolve action should be shown, and crisp exposition should be told… but it goes much deeper than that.

I think it boils down to me not really know what I am doing or how to fix it—but at least I am trying—and soon I hope to find that piece of literature or advice that makes me see the light.

I am leaps and bound farther than I was when I started, and I hope to keep learning.

I guess the biggest problem we as writer have is this: the day we find out our best writing isn’t even close to being good enough for publication.

What advice can you give a struggling author? To me or anyone that might read this.

Thx for your support and advice, it means the world to me.

And thx for any comment you might leave!!!


  1. We all feel that way sometimes. I find the best thing to do is just sit down and write. Don't worry about whether it's good or bad, just DO it. After a little bit I find I get back into the "zone". But more than that, revision doesn't always have that spark, sometimes it's more mechanical, but that doesn't make it less important. Also, you may need more than one more draft. Don't look at it as this next thing has to be polished and perfect because that's it. Just look at it as a step forward. I've done as many as 7 revisions on manuscripts. Maybe more if you count small things. You do however many it takes. No one gets it right on the first pass. Period. Not even JK Rowling!

  2. Maybe it's time to take a little reading break, Jeff. Read a book from your genre--from an author that really inspires you. It couldn't hurt, right?

    Don't put too much (immediate) pressure on yourself. You're taking all the right things into consideration. :)

  3. Everyone has that feeling sometimes. In the beginning, everyone's work is like that. Seriously. No one starts out writing at a professional level.

    I have literally been writing fiction since high school, reading critically, writing novels and short stories, doing everything possible to teach myself the craft...and sometimes I still read my stuff and wonder why I ever thought I could do this effectively.

    Only way to beat it back: learn and improve.

  4. I went through this too. I got so wrapped up in all the technical aspects of the art that I forgot about my love for it. I finally learned to just let it all go, write what I felt, and deal with everything necessary alongside proofreaders and editors at the end. My best work always happened when I was in that emotional mindset and wasn't distracted with technicalities. You love your work, flaws and all. Don't let that slip away from you in the mess of literary jargon.

  5. Yep, definitely take a break and come back to it with a fresh perspective. Also, remember it doesn't have to be fixed into perfection on the first round of edits. It takes time and it takes many editing passes to get it right. Critique partners might help too--someone who can give you a second opinion.

  6. Take a holiday from your manuscript. Read a few new books, reread something that inspired you to want to write in the first place, write something completely new, try some short fiction or poetry, mix it up a bit. Regain the love of stories. Then go back to your manuscript with open eyes and a skip in your step, and start on draft 2. It doens't have to be perfect. It doesn't have to even be great. It just has to be honest.

    And there's always drafts 3 to 25.

  7. Take it easy, Jeff.
    Some succeed because they are destined to;
    but most succeed because they are determined to.
    We all are always here to support you.
    Always remember:
    You aren't alone.

  8. I'm a struggling author too... so I know how you feel!

    My biggest piece of advice is to just jump right in. I've found that when I'm having difficulty writing, starting is always the hardest part. After that, its all downhill. Sure, there will be struggles--LOTS of them. But once you get your fingers moving and your mind alive, you'll amaze yourself what you're able to accomplish.

    Good luck!

  9. I've been in your shoes, Jeff and writer's block stinks. Although I agree that taking a short break can help prevent burn out. I wouldn't stay away for too long. Otherwise, you may become detached from your characters.

    I've discovered that my block resulted from a lack of planning. I wasn't sure where I wanted to take my story.

    Outlining the entire novel really helped me focus the plot, how and when I wanted twists to unfold etc. Now that I know what I want my story to become, the blocks are a thing of the past. Perhaps this could halp you.

  10. Always good questions to ask yourself, but only you can truly answer them:) Cool blog:)

  11. I love all the advice you've gotten - read, take a holiday, let yourself relax! Your ms isn't going to run away. Finding the razzle dazzle - that "pop" - in writing is the hard part, and we're all there with you.

    I'm sure when you bring yourself to write again, it will be awesome. Don't feel discouraged. You're not a machine...let yourself recharge before you ask more of your creativity!

  12. Carrie had some great advice. Take a writing break and read LOTS of books in your genre. Watch movies in your genre too. A Newberry winner was speaking at one of the conferences I went to. She said you should read at least 100 books in your genre before you write in that genre.

    Sitting on your ms while you are "studying" other works will allow your story to fester in you mind...when you are ready to tackle it again you will be armed with ideas and wisdom from all you read and watched.

    (((hugs))) You can do this just takes time. :)

  13. Just keep writing. I know it's hard. You want everything you write to be amazing and ready. But you know what? I've been writing seriously for...well, about fifteen years now, and I still have doubts. Here's a little something to inspire you. I don't know how to link it, so you'll have to copy and paste it. But trust me, you'll be glad you watched it.

    I can tell you this much. Every new story I have written has been better than the last. So just keep writing.

  14. We are all struggling, all learning. Even published authors don't have it all figured out. We just keep going, trying, fixing, and putting out the best we can at the moment we choose to get the words down. There are so many obstacles and people who would try to convince you that you're wasting your time. Don't ever listen to them, especially when the voice is your own. I've brought myself down many times, but I'm learning to stop that, along with congratulating myself for the parts of my writing that aren't half bad.

  15. We all struggle and continue to. Don't ever think you aren't just as good as the rest of us. Just keep reading and writing. It's all you can do. We support you.