Saturday, December 11, 2010

The Tough Stuff

I struggle with many things throughout the writing process, but recently, the things I've been struggling with the most are fear, lack of motivation and finishing.

Fear has always been a big part of my writing process, unfortunately. I'm fearful that I'll never finish a book, that people will hate my work, that I'll never be published, etc. the fears are endless and I've had to work really hard to ignore them and just keep writing, but sometimes, against all odds, they still manage to get the best of me and leave me shaking in my boots, terrified to set pen to the page (or finger to the keyboard).

Lack of motivation has been plaguing me a lot lately. I'm a college student, so my days are filled with school, school, school and that leaves me very little time (and energy) to do anything else. So by the time I fall into bed at night, the last thing I feel like doing is writing and instead I just want to do something that requires very little energy, like surfing the net, watching, T.V., or ha, you know, actually sleeping *gasp*! I've tried setting aside time during the day to write, but, of course, whenever I'm writing I feel guilty for not focusing on school and whenever I'm working on school I feel guilty for not focusing on writing! It's a constant tug-of-war between what I know I should be doing (school) and what I want to be doing (writing), makes me tired even thinking about it!

And finally, finishing. Ah, finishing. Finishing and I have a bit of a l0ve-hate relationship. On one hand, I've finished writing a book before and the feeling was unlike any other I've experienced before: a mixture of holycrapIjustfinishedwritingafreakingBOOKYAY!!! (aka "OMG, I am BRILLIANT!") to holycrapIjustfinishedwritingafreakingBOOKAHHH!!! (aka "OMG, this book SUCKS! What was I THINKING?!"). So I know what I'd get to look forward to if I were to finish writing a book, that, plus being one step closer to being PUBLISHED but on the other hand...It's just so darn HARD! It's been years since I've finished writing a book (I wrote-and finished-my first book when I was 14) and I'm not sure why, I think it has to with a combination of things, like fear, lack of motivation, being way too easily wooed away from working on my WIPs by evil, evil, SNIs (Shiny New Ideas), not being sure what ideas to choose to work on, and a ton of other things, but, obviously, I know that if I want to have a shot in Hell at getting published then I need to figure out how to get over all of these issues, so, that's where you come in: Do you have any tips on how to overcome any of the issues I've mentioned so that I can finally get past them all in order to write-and finish!-a first draft? I'd really appreciate your help! :)



  1. I've dealt with and am always dealing with these same issues. I've come to learn that as long as I don't think to much about the act of writing and just focus on my story (like it's a book I'm reading and I can't wait to get to the next bit) it's much easier for me to sit down and just write. I psych myself out in a way. I don't know how it works but it did throughout NaNoWriMo and I wrote 50k in 30 days! You'll find out what works for you but I would try a bunch of different things. Good luck!!

  2. For me, I have to fall in love with a project. I guess it's kind of like a relationship with a living, breathing person where you decide that you're all in, through better or worse until the end, and it doesn't matter what anyone else thinks. If you don't love it, then it's hard to believe that anyone else will.

    So I guess that's my step one - decide whether or not you're in love, and then make sure you can remember why you fell in love - so you can remind yourself when times get rocky.

  3. I try not to worry too much about first draft as I'm writing it, just write!...But you do need to love the concept. Write hot, edit cool :) How about making a playlist for your story? That always helps to get me motivated, keeps me energized and also helps get creative juices flowing. Good luck!