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Writers write–even when it’s hard.

Some days I just feel like quitting.

Life is too hard, I never accomplish as much as I want, and I don’t seem to have enough time to make progress on things.

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This past week has been like that for me. Demands of my life right now make me want to throw in the towel and say “enough.” It’s easier to quit and cut my losses rather than continue on and see myself fail.

But…as I’ve learned in the past, quitting is never really the answer. It’s a short term solution to a long term problem. I refuse to quit now and forever regret not soldiering on.

Because what this really comes down to is this: I want to write. I want to be a writer. I am a writer. Writers write–even when it’s hard.

I don’t want to be a quitter, I don’t want to say, “I tried that writing thing once.” I don’t want to fail, either, but the only sure way to fail is to never try in the first place.

There will always be something other than writing making demands upon my life. No writer can only write. If I were to use this reason to quit, even for a little while, it would be an excuse.

Can I take a break? Sure. I can take a week off here, or maybe even a few weeks, recuperate, and come back restored. I think most writers have a hard time vacationing from their work. They always have that little nudge of guilt in the back of their mind saying, “you should be writing.”

I’ve been reminded lately though, that it’s also important to give yourself time to rest. Trying to force the words out can be more destructive than productive, delivering words that are forced, if the words come at all. More often than not, that is when “writer’s block” descends and no words come out, even though you spend hours staring at a blank page and blinking cursor.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when you simply have to force yourself to sit down and write, too. But every so often, a person needs a break. When the stress mounts from self-imposed deadlines, or writing hasn’t become fun anymore, or life throws more than you can handle your way, something has to give. Sometimes, it’s okay if that “something” is writing.

It’s like the movie, “What About Bob?” says, sometimes you have to take a vacation from your problems. In this case, if writing is your “problem,” take a vacation.

It’s okay.

That seems to be the lesson learned for me this week. I push myself to write, and when I don’t get those words on the page, when I don’t do anything for my WIP, I am angry and disappointed with myself, and that leads to burnout. Burnout means I’m not enjoying writing.

This past week, I have been attempting to outline my current WIP. It’s been great, I’ve learned a lot, I’ve brainstormed, but in terms of actual writing, nada. Now, that’s not bad. When I get back to writing the actual story, I’ll know where I’m going and what plot points I need to hit, etc. But what this plotting endeavor has shown me is that I have a few flaws in my WIP that need to be addressed.

Granted, it’s best to find that out now, as opposed to later after Draft 2.5 is written. However, it’s also demoralizing to realize that this draft is probably going to be Draft 2.75 once I finally get writing it again. (I called it Draft 2.5 because I went back to the beginning at the Midpoint of Draft 2, realizing I needed to merge two characters. Now, I am thinking that another character and my MC should have been childhood friends, which involves going back to the beginning yet again and making that change.)

I knew in terms of my characters that there was something off, and outlining/plotting over the past week has shown me what, exactly, seems to be off. My problem is that I’m decidedly fickle with what happens between my plot points. Every time I plot a WIP, I end up with a different outline than the time before, usually significantly different. I brainstorm new ideas, I decide my old ideas are trash and throw them out; I change it all. Pretty soon, only the characters are the same–and sometimes not even them.

So what’s a girl to do? Should I stay with a tired plot and old characters? Or should I use my new brainstorm, throw out the past ideas and start fresh?

*Sigh* There’s no right answer here, I’m afraid. And that’s what makes me want to quit now.

But, I remind myself, I am not a quitter. The only thing that quitting will get me is failure. And I hate to fail.

RoW80 Check-In:

Continued outlining my novel with K.M. Weiland’s book, “Structuring Your Novel Workbook” as a guide. Now working on the First Pinch Point.

Continued to outline my WIP scene-by-scene. Now on Chapter 18/24 (plus 5 from last Sunday)

Latin Language Learning: Have been listening to, studying vocabulary, and trying to read Latin throughout the week, nearly every day.

I did not get to rewriting my Chapter 1 of this WIP, unfortunately. I did try, but every time I sat down, the words didn’t come, and I didn’t know where I wanted to go with the chapter. I’m going to continue outlining and plotting, in the hopes that I will figure out what needs to happen in my opening scene and then revisit the chapter.

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