Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Insecure Writer's Support Group


Hosted by Alex J. Cavanaugh.

So I ask you what writer is not insecure. At this moment in time I am suffering from major insecurities. These past two months have seen go from raring to write to languishing in dread, wondering if I will ever write again.

Forget the politicians. I am the personified definition of flip-flopper. Ann/flip-flopper, flip-flopper/Ann. Why because I go from writing like the cloppers to dead in the waters of the wordless abyss.

At present I am working on a story (WIP). I have found 17,000 WIP words so far. I took a short break from my story(WIP) to write a short story of 2,000 words for a competition. I was in my writing like the cloppers phase. Short story was written and edited. Two wonderful blogging friends, Theresa Milstein and Nicole Zoltack,  kindly agreed to critique my little story. Pleased with the results I posted it off. It now fends for itself in the world of Short Story judgment.

I felt empowered and decided to write another short story with a picture prompt. Filled with excitement I felt this one was going to be wonderful. But alas, the tidal waters of the abyss started to edge its way in my direction. I had a premise of where I wanted the story to go, but was unable to pull it together. Ideas bobbed up and down in the tidal waves of the abyss, never quite catching their breath. In the end I had to concede this one was dead in the water. I changed gear and returned to WIP.

I ordered a book on Amazon awhile back on the recommendations of fellow bloggers and Writers Support 4U members. “Writing the Breakout Novel” by Donald Maass. I am finding the book very interesting. I hope to discover what is required for a breakout novel and apply that to my WIP.

Last night while reading,"Writing the Breakout Novel" I found myself wondering if I had it in me. With each page I turned I questioned my ability to tell a story anyone would care to read, to grab a reader and hold them within the grips of my written page. To actually write something someone couldn’t put down, the coveted page turner.

The book keeps telling me that first time writers/novels are usually not up to the task. You really have to have something special and most first timers don’t have it. Voice in head said, “I told you so!” Voice went on to remind me of unsuccessful short story. I sighed, closed the book and wondered why do I do this to myself. Why was I allowing this book to give Voice credence, allowing Voice to use book to undermine my already fragile confidence. I toyed with the idea of banishing book to the bookcase or maybe hurl it under the bed. But then I wouldn’t find out what Donald Maass, literary agent looks for in a manuscript. And more importantly the pitfalls of the first timer. So book will be read and finished. Voice will be ignored (hopefully)and who knows, an idea just might surface from beneath the waves for the picture prompt. I live in hope.

12 comments:

Donna Hosie said...

Everyone has moments like these. EVERYONE! You'll get through it.

Mohamed Mughal said...

Hang in there, Ann. Steinbeck had deeper concerns about his own writing than you do and he managed to crank out a few decent works despite that.

Old Kitty said...

Voice needs to be put in the naughty chair! Bad Voice!

I think the more you are able to argue with and ignore this Voice, the more confident and powerful you will be!

Keep writing Ann - your stories will find homes! Take care
x

Talli Roland said...

I think any writer flip-flops between despair and hope. I know I do!

Liza said...

Oh dear. How does that nasty voice get around to so many of our heads? Sadly, as a first time writer...I'm likely in the place D.Mass refers to. But that said, I love to write. And the more we write the better we get, correct? So my way to escape that voice is to keep writing, even on the days when the words don't flow...with the idea that at least I must be improving. With luck, the rest will follow.

Brigid said...

I agree with Old Kitty, Ann, ignore the voice and let the writing flow.
If you are looking for some inspiration, the Telegraph newspaper is now running a short story club, with a short story competition each month and writing challenges during the month. It's on my sidebar if you are interested:)

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Ann .. have faith - we all have these crises of confidence .. ups and downs of life ...

Wonder that Theresa and Nicole critiqued you through and one book has been submitted ...

As Tally says .. flip flops - almost time for those to come out! Cheers Hilary

Jemi Fraser said...

I do think we all go through it - I'm not where I'd like to be yet. When I get there, I'll try querying. Don't let it get you down. It takes a lot of time!

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Don't worry about the voice now - just write and it will come.
Hey even after two books, I still didn't know what my voice was or if I had one. Then something this weekend finally revealed my voice and now I am excited again!
Thanks for participating in the IWSG and sorry it took me so long to visit.

A said...

What writer is not insecure... I guess the ones that can't write don't know how bad they are so they are not insecure? Ergo, insecurity is good :-)

Theresa Milstein said...

These moments are familiar to me too. And you've been writing for a while, so give yourself some credit! I wish you luck with your short story submission. I liked the version I read, so I'm sure your most updated is even better!

D.J. Kirkby said...

Oh this all sounds so familiar. I am about to begin novel number three and am still wracked with bouts of self doubt...I think this is more normal behaviour than unusual. Keep up the hard work!