Wednesday, February 3, 2016

What happened? (IWSG)


Thank you so much to Alex and his awesome IWSG co-hosts! You guys are wonderful.

To be completely honest, I haven’t felt like myself for a while now. I had hoped that going on holiday would clarify why, but alas, I still don’t feel quite like myself. I’ve particularly noticed it in my writing. I haven’t been able to think clearly about anything writing related at all. In fact, I feel like I have lost some of myself, or identity in some way. I don’t know how!

I simply woke up a few months ago and just didn’t have any original ideas anymore. I might be published, but I don’t feel like a writer anymore. I think I’m a fraud. I haven’t truly written anything in over a year. I have been busy with The Amaranthine for so long that I never thought about the next project. I scraped book 2, to only have the new written chapters take me in a direction I definitely don’t want to go and thus, I scraped that too. What I am hoping to do is go back to the very first draft and see where I had started. To at least somehow try and get a feel for who I was as a writer 5 years ago.

I’m all for growing as a writer and learning new things, especially the do’s and don’ts, but somehow I have ruined myself. I used to think of myself as a storyteller first and now I’m not even that. Even though I have gotten so much great advice in the past, I am going to stick to my initial decision and go at book two alone. No critique partners. No beta readers. No consideration of plot ideas from family and friends. Why? Because I want to write the book I want. I need to write what I want. If it sucks, it sucks. I am and will always be way too much of a people pleaser to be able to work with others on my writing. Hopefully my editor can help me salvage my manuscript if I ever decide on a final version I can redraft and self-edit before passing it on to her.

Hopefully during this painful process of going at things on my own again I will find the person and writer who I’ve somehow managed to loose. I can tell you that the woman looking back at me in the mirror isn’t me. I could always count on my imagination and my weirdness and now . . . somehow I’ve just become generic and a sheep. I have so many notes on my Thelum Series, but I can’t connect to the part of me that wrote those notes. I feel no passion for the project and I don’t know why! Trust me, writing this series has been my dream for so long and now I’m sinking. How the hell did I allow myself to become this sad and pathetic person?


The Insecure Writers Support Group was created by the talented Mr. Alex J. Cavanaugh so that writers can share their insecurities and/or encourage others who need support with their own. You can visit Alex Here, or if you want to join us in discussing our insecurities on the first Wednesday of each month, you are welcome to join by going Here.

56 comments :

  1. I'm sorry! The slump will end. I never thought I'd have another idea, but they do keep coming. Go back to that original draft and see what happens.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The life of a writer - and yes, you are one! - is full of ups and downs and twists and drop-offs. We all experience them, to some degree or another. Hang in there!

    If I remember correctly, Stephen King talks about writing that first draft with "the door closed." Just you and the page and the story. When you're done, then you let other people in/read it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words:) It helped.

      Delete
  3. I have writer friends who run ideas past critique partners as they write, but I'm not like that. I don't share the story until I have that first draft done. I like what Madeline said. write with the door shut. Write what you want to write and you'll probably find out it doesn't suck at all and you'll find the energy and excitement again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Susan. I definitely work better in isolation.

      Delete
  4. You're not sad and pathetic. You're human!! I've been feeling that way myself. Then a few months ago, I had a heart to heart with myself and asked what changed in my writerly life? The answer was- I used to write for fun. I used to blog for fun. Then somewhere I screwed up and decided to work at it. I got worried over numbers and started asking myself if I was as good as the other writers around me. It killed my creative spirit. I'm now trying to get back to a place where I worry about nothing but the joy that writing brings me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly! You summed it up perfectly. I have to find the fun again. Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone:)

      Delete
  5. Writing for fun brought me back when I'd given up on writing for publication. Do what feels right for you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Diane. Writing for the fun of it sounds good to me:)

      Delete
  6. What so many others have written above is true. It's not easy, I know, but try to relax and write just for you. Don't worry about publishing it or what others will think. It's your story, told your way. All that other stuff will come later. Now, enjoy your characters, enjoy what they're up to, and the rest will follow. You can do it. Thumbs up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Beverly! Your words really help.

      Delete
  7. I get the lose of connection to your self and the way you use feel and see yourself. I, too, am going through something like that. I don't have any answers, except to keep the faith. You remember and you know who you used to be, before you felt like that. Life is change, nothing stays the same, but we can find our way back with time. I think you are on the right track with writing your book for yourself and shutting all that other out. I hope you find the joy and fun in writing again soon. Those were my goals for 2015 and they carry over for my 2016 goals too. My motto was for goals Rediscover the Fun in Writing, Write Forwards Not Backwards. I had it on my website profile for awhile, but have since removed it, but it still my goals. I think I am going to replace the word Fun with Joy this year though.
    Juneta Writer's Gambit

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Juneta. Finding the joy in writing is definitely my goal too. I hope you find the fun/ joy too.

      Delete
  8. I'm sorry you feel this way but please don't think you've ruined yourself!! I think we all go through struggles like this. I felt this way for most of last year and I'm still not totally back to myself. You're a talented writer and I know you will get through this tough time. Take care!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awe, Thank you! You are very kind. I'm hanging in there:)

      Delete
  9. We all go through our ruts. There's times when I can't write a thing and can't even read a book. You'll get through this. Just be patient with yourself. As Elizabeth and Diane said, find that love again. Don't do it out of duty but for fun.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for the kind words, Chrys. It's comforting to know I'm not the only one who experiences this:)

      Delete
  10. I'm sorry you are feeling a bit gloomy at the moment Murees. That's sad to hear. But it won't last. Just let it be and accept it. Do things that make you feel good. Appreciate yourself a bit more. And as for the writing, just follow your heart - sometimes too many heads is not a good thing. So, go it alone for a while and enjoy that solitary journey. Well it won't be that solitary because your characters will no doubt drive you nuts :) Do at least one nice thing for yourself each day - because you deserve it! I hope February is filled with happier moments.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Nicola. I appreciate the kind words. I do tend to be very hard on myself. I know this feeling will pass:)

      Delete
  11. You are not sad and pathetic! You're a writer! I constantly worry that I will never again have an idea, and that my writers card will be revoked. And then, somehow, I end up writing more.

    I agree with the rest of the group. Give yourself time, and you'll find your way back.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Murees - you're certainly not sad and pathetic .. and have much to offer - it's sticking with it .. and doing as you want to do - as long as you write. Then declare to the world ... good luck - all will be well .. cheers Hilary

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Hilary. That is good advice. I always appreciate your words of wisdom.

      Delete
  13. Murees, you are absolutely not sad and pathetic. You are amazing. Every single day you inspire me to keep writing and to keep going and I hope that one day, I can return the favour to you. Honestly, you're awesome. I wouldn't be where I am today without you. Perhaps you simply need a break from writing? There's no shame in that if it ultimately helps you become a better writer. I think that once you feel better in yourself, all your creativity will come flooding back. Writer whatever YOU want to write, and screw everyone else ;).

    (But seriously, you're awesome - don't ever give up!!)

    Rachel Pattinson
    February IWSG Co-host
    rachelpattinson.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Rachel! You are brilliant. And you do inspire me. Honest.

      Delete
  14. So sorry Murees. You have to write what makes you happy. It's more important to please yourself than anyone else so writing becomes fun for you again. Hold your dreams and don't give up on them. You should only change course if that makes you happy.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Deanie. You are always so kind and supportive. I appreciate it.

      Delete
  15. As the fearless leader of La Cruz Writers' Group, I've witnessed folks struggle with writing to meet the needs of others. I think you are wise to return to your roots. I'm sure you know how to do this. My method it to sit at the keyboard and type with my eyes closed. That's my way of writing just for me. Your imagination and weirdness are there waiting for you. :=)

    ReplyDelete
  16. You are WAY TOO HARD on yourself.

    Cut yourself some slack. Writing, editing, and publishing a book is a HUGE achievement! It takes something from us. Especially to put ourselves out there.

    Read. Watch movies. Watch TV shows. Absorb so much entertainment that you can't wait to tell another story of your own.

    You will find your voice again. Guarantee it.

    HMG

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Heather! Your words are a huge comfort. You are awesome.

      Delete
  17. Oh geez, sweetie.

    I think you're onto something with the no crit/beta-readers. Forget everything else. Forget wanting to show your work to other people and just write. For you. Because you want to tell the story you want to tell. You'll find your passion again.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you. Great advice. I appreciate it:)

      Delete
  18. Don't think about writing the book for readers or for publication. If this is a series you've always dreamed of writing, read your first book again and let the story re-inspire you.

    ReplyDelete
  19. don't beat yourself up! i consider you lucky to have so many supporters - i have always been pretty alone and begging for feedback. but i can see where too much help can take lead to a sort of dependency and losing yourself with their well-meaning input. Great for you to recognize it and get back to yourself! You will do wonders with all your new experiences in addition to the old creative you!

    Happy February!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Tara. I just have to get back to knowing what it is I want for this particular story:) I appreciate the kind words:)

      Delete
  20. Have you tried "Daily Pages?" It was recommended in the book The Artist's Way. I think perhaps writing something just for YOU could make all the difference. Here's a link with more info.:

    http://www.inc.com/jessica-stillman/why-it-s-worth-making-time-for-this-lengthy-morning-ritual.html

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Stephanie. I'm checking it out right now.

      Delete
  21. I sometimes get a feeling like this too. And you know what I find it usually is? Being too critical of our writing.

    I like your idea of going your rough draft alone. Remember to have fun!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Misha. I always tend to forget and be very critical.

      Delete
  22. I've felt that way before - I wasn't sure if I was ever going to get through Champion's Destiny and the paperback is still . . . in copy-edit status because of a silly issue with page numbers that I just haven't taken time to fix. I know what it's like to wonder where the ideas have gone and what happened to my creativity. I'm so sorry that you're feeling that way right now.
    At the same time - I applaud your decision not to let betas get involved too early on in the process. My first novel (not published) had some staggering issues because I allowed other people's ideas into the rough draft and then it didn't make sense together as a whole story.
    And, I know you can get through this horrible slump because I did. I like Stephanie's ideas - daily pages help. I think just getting a few words or a few paragraphs down every day helps, too, or setting a five minute timer, and then a ten minute timer, and then a 20 minute timer - working up to a comfortable writing time over the course of a week or a month or two.
    I'm also a fan of using writing prompts for character development stuff - what would my characters do with the phrase "wine dark sea?" Well, one of them would laugh, another might brood, and another might just roll her eyes. Anyway . . . I hope that you get back to feeling like you, soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for the encouragement, Tyrean. There is a sense of comfort in knowing that someone else has gone through something similar and conquered it. I appreciate it:)

      Delete
  23. I am sorry to hear about your writing blocks and the loss of your self. I've been there, way too many times to count. It sucks and it feels like it will never go away. Whenever this does arise in me, I begin writing exercises, journaling, and using prompts to work my way out of the slump. Most of the time this works. Best wishes on rediscovering your self and the writer within. ~Lori~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much, Lori. Writing exercises sounds like a good idea. I'm sure this feeling will pass:)

      Delete
  24. I think going at it alone is a good thing. Once you get the story you want down on paper, then you can check with others to make sure it all flows, there's no holes, and everything sounds right. I hope you find your groove!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Loni. I'm sure I will snap out of it in time:)

      Delete
  25. When I feel like I'm in a slump, then I write flash fiction, which is my passion. It restores my confidence. So try some writing exercises/journalling/short pieces that are fun, and see what happens.
    If going it alone works for you, then that's what you should do!
    Hope you feel better soon, Murees!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Michelle. I've been thinking of trying shorter pieces of fiction for a while now, but I'm terrified. I know I will only get better if I practice.

      Delete
  26. Oh my goodness, I feel your pain. I've had those same feelings and they're awful. Every writer has a different outlet, and sometimes when I'm losing it, I forget about my outlet and bask in my insecurities which only make matters worse.

    I force myself into the woods for long walks with my dog, or I go shopping, or I just get away from my computer, sometimes it works. One day when I thought I didn't have another story in me, one just popped into my head. Just a snippet, so I went with it.

    I usually go it alone, and that works for me. Good Luck and I hope the words start to pop....

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you very much, Cathrina! The thought of going at it alone does make me feel more hopeful, especially now that I know someone else prefers it that way too:)

      Delete
  27. I'm all about writing what I want to write. I know, for me, getting too much feedback or even learning too many technicalities of writing ruins my creativity sometimes. And being too buried in what you have to do instead of what you want to do. Go back to what you enjoy about it. I hope you can get it figured out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Shannon. I agree, the same thing happens to me. There is so much rules in my head. But I hope to sort it all out . . . soon.

      Delete

Please leave a comment. I love comments.