Monday, June 4, 2012

believe


I had an experience this weekend that brought hope into my writing world.


I spend days lamenting over my plot, theme and overall story cohesion… I know certain things need to happen at certain times of the story. The problem was, I couldn’t wrap my head around it—it felt to complex—my brain couldn’t handle it.


I printed my book out, and read it from cover to cover focusing on “story” to the exclusion of everything else… I then sat down with my wife and daughter, both had read my book, and worked out the problems.


To my enjoyment, the problems were minimal… the key elements were there, I just couldn’t see it, or except that it was good enough.


It still baffles me that I can be confident in everything I do; except in writing. I need to be convinced that my writing is good, that my writing is “publishable”.


I am slowly begging to believe in what I put on the page, I am starting to believe in my craft… I am starting believe in myself.


I spent months rewriting and reading how to books… every draft fraught with another “how to book” and another rewrite. Well, that is the past; I move forward firmly believing in myself and progress through the practice of writing, on my own merit and aspirations.


I hope every writer comes to believe in themselves and what they do… if you won’t, who will?
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22 comments:

  1. I really needed this post, Jeff. I've been feeling the same yo-yo emotions about my writing. Thank you for sharing this. It helps me know I'm not the only one who doubts my creative process. I'm glad you're moving forward. I'm sure you'll succeed!

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  2. Hey Jeff,
    I've noted that a lot of writers have self-doubts about their writing ability and yet can have confidence in other facets of life. Indeed, you can be your own worst critic.
    And now you have come to that healthy point where you are starting to believe in yourself and your ability to embrace the magic of the written word. Well done and continued happy, fulfilling writing.
    With respect, Gary

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  3. It takes time to believe in yourself. One thing that helped me was using critique partners. With each pass of a CP, your writing gets better and better. If you haven't tried it, I strongly urge you to consider it. (I make a great CP myself, having learned from some awesome people. I'm tough, but fair, and my aim is to teach all that I've learned, which is A LOT!!)

    I don't know which books on craft you've read, but the best are:
    The Fire in Fiction &
    Writing the Breakout Novel, both by Donald Maass
    Plot & Structure by James Scott Bell
    The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson

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  4. That's wonderful to hear, Jeff! We believe in you, too. :)

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  5. There, ya see? You just needed proof for yourself to see that you are a great writer. You just needed those new pairs of eyes to help you correct your story. Keep it up, my friend. :D (Thumbs up)

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  6. Yay! The thing is, there's so much rejection in writing, if you don't believe in your abilities then no one will. But rejection doesn't mean it's bad, it could be a million reasons. It's all about perseverance and the willingness to work. :D

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  7. You have to believe in yourself and your abilities in this business. Otherwise it is just too hard. I'm glad that you had this epiphany! We are always hardest on ourselves anyway!

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  8. You are on the way up, Jeff!

    It's like when I really started playing piano--lessons, diligent practice--only to realize, as the months went on, how far I'd gone AND how far I had yet to go. I knew, when you were in the self-doubt phase, that as long as you kept at it you would get to the oh-my-gosh-my-writing-really-is-working phase.

    Hurray!

    (Now if I can just get there, darn it!)

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  9. Okay - let's try this again... (something weird happened on my 1st try)

    Self-belief is tough. I think I've improved most by learning from others - this online blogging community of writers is superbe for helping out others!

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  10. Hey Jeff, first time visitor and great to meet you! It all starts with believing that you have a gift and are empowered to make it happen. Of course, a good editor helps too.

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  11. That sounds great, sir. I'm so glad you had that positive experience and was able to share it with your family! Really great.
    Heather

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  12. I can really relate to this. It was really hard to send The Emotion Thesaurus out the door. I constantly doubted myself, and doubted whether what I had written was strong enough. Some times it takes other people to help us see what we can't see ourselves. :)

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  13. I wish you a huge luck with your book Jeff, I hope you'll soon be posting about book touring :).

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  14. Yay :D It's a great thing when a writer finds inner confidence and believes in his/her work.

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  15. Hi Jeff. How are you doing? We all missed you. :)

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  16. Hang in there, Jeff. We continue to grow with every new thing we write. It's one of those things that we can only get good at by DOING.

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  17. I feel that way too with my writing. I hesitate to even take on a simple blogging job because I am so critical that I will spend hours editing a short post that only pays 5-10 dollars. It should only take about 20-30 minutes tops. I never feel like anything I write is very good but I am working on it. Glad to see you are making some progress it gives me hope.

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  18. Having others believe in you is a huge confidence booster, but confidence in yourself is key, otherwise why do it? Every story is publishable. The bards and minnesingers of old told many folk tales and variations that captivated audiences better than any movie or book today; and they had to recite it from memory. Never doubt yourself! Never!

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