Come join me Sunday, July 30th!

Come join me Sunday, July 30th!
Mysterious Galaxy Bookstore- San Diego

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

IWSG : Is this just a waste of time?


 

 

Ah, it’s that time of month again!  When writers of all stripes and backgrounds join forces to scream our fears into the night and hope to be shown that we’re wrong.

 

Welcome to Insecure Writer's Support Group Wednesday!


 

Today I’d like to share a fear that probably has lurked in 99% of writer’s hearts—that we’re just wasting our time.

This fear can strike at any time and at any writing level.  It doesn’t matter if you’re a brand new writer or been at this for years with 20 books under your belt.

The horrifying thought that this is all a waste of time can hit anyone.

It often hits me when I’m feeling depressed (go figure) and the whole world sucks. The suckage may not even be related to writing, but that Universal Suck Monster pulls it in anyway. I begin to question why I’m doing this.  Why I spend hours out of an already time crunched week to scribble down stories. Why I spend more hours editing and revising said same stories.

It also hits me when I find a favorite author who hasn’t had a book out in years.  I wonder what happened to them? They had a few books make it (against great odds) then….nothing.

I know what happened to some—their publishing house pulled the plug even against decent sales.  So was their work a waste of time?

Even though this nasty worry hits me way more often than it should- I think I’d have to answer NO—it’s not a waste of time (of in my dark moments, a different answer might fit ;)).  I can’t seriously imagine a life with no writing in it.  I just need to find a way to make the dark voices shut up.

Come and share YOUR greatest writing fear!

 

 

18 comments:

  1. God, that's definitely a huge fear of mine. What if it never gets published. What if they, as you said, pull the plug. It's terrifying. But a part of writing, and a part we have to put behind us in order to get anywhere. Keep writing! Keep trying. It's the best we can do.

    Happy two years IWSG!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, S.L.! The only bit of mental security I have is that we now do have the self-published option out there. But still, sometimes that "why am I doing this to myself?!" monster pops up anyway!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  2. I fear I will never be seen as anything but mediocre. I want to do something amazing. I really do.

    Happy IWSG birthday!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You WILL do something amazing, Molly! :) I think wanting it bad enough is a serious start. (I tell myself that daily ;)).

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  3. Thanks for sharing this. I feel like this quite often and I agree MollyMom, the mediocre monster chomps away at me all the time. On top of that, sometimes I struggle with the internal debate, am I a writer or a marketer/self-promoter because that's what it feels like sometimes. I'm just not comfortable with self-promotion. Congrats to the two years :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear ya, Mimi. I think writer's today have to wear many more hats than they did even 10 years ago. Best we can do is hang on to the dream and keep reminding ourselves we are writers :).

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  4. I fear I have a very limited imagination, education (on oh so many things), no depth, no understanding, no style and still argue with myself where to put the comma and most of all, no understanding of both the English language and of human nature. LOL, I'm just a scardy cat. Hence I stay home in my dark corner.

    Happy anniversary
    Carla

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. ACK Carla! Ok, I have to admit that pretty much all of those have hit me at times...sometimes many times ;). But come out of your corner into the light! :)

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  5. The Suck Monster attacks me when I'm tired. Once I get some rest, I know that I'm not wasting my time, because I enjoy what I'm doing - and that is the most important thing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Very good point, Izzy. I've actually put a halt to my writing for a short bit-- my day job and the lack of sleep were making me destroy/hate what I was working on.

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  6. Marie,

    Wow, you really struck a chord with this post! Thanks for being courageous and speaking up.

    Something to remember, Smart Successful Women (yes, you all deserve the Caps) often suffer from Imposter Syndrome. You can look it up. 'If they only knew how little I know, they'd fire my ass.'

    A person can fake it til she makes it in a lot of jobs. But, when we show our writing to others, we are showing how much we know about our craft, as well as how our imaginations and fantasies work. It takes a tremendous amount of courage.

    Especially because there are trolls who love nothing better than to stomp on anyone who dares to expose a bit of their soul.

    My worst fear? That that latest bad review is the CORRECT opinion, and not all the positive reviews my work has received.

    Best,
    Cathryn Cade
    http://www.cathryncade.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for such a great comment, Cathryn! And I think you are so right, we expose so much of ourselves through showing our work that it's hard not to let it have a negative impact.

      Totally agree about the Imposter Syndrome too. You can't see me, but I am nodding my head like a mad woman! :)

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  7. Thanks for posting this quandary, Marie.

    I have to be addicted to writing. I have to be addicted, otherwise I cannot form a habit.
    That has given me a life without addiction, except to my writing. And after a long Labor Day Weekend, I have to get back into the habit. But how?

    For me, it's the carrot I dangle in front of myself: my next novel. If it isn't a new way of writing toward some impossible challenge, it doesn't interest me. The world is changing so fast, the reader is changing his/her predilections so often that I'm afraid I won't be able to keep up.

    And as a generalist in science, I'm itching to set forth my TOE. No, not the one on my foot, but my Theory Of Everything. I'm trying to keep my posts down to a couple of paragraphs per week. That might change, increase, and spell the end of my lovely romance writing career. That's what I'm most afraid of.

    Susan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Susan. Theory of Everything, eh? It might be better if it remains undiscovered-LOL.

      But I do agree about the idea of "that next book" as a carrot- that's what usually pulls me out of the doldrums!

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  8. Yeah, I have those same thoughts about never being published sometimes, when I'm absolutely sure it's never going to happen. Fortunately, I seem to have an amazing ability to forget all about that kind of stuff when I sit down to write. One of these days, though, I'm going to finish my book and I won't be able to ignore that possibility anymore.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear ya, Ken. But the reality is, even if it doesn't happen for your current book--it might for the next ;).

      Thanks for coming by and commenting!

      Delete
  9. Okay, today's comments are an example of why I wonder if writing is all a waste of time. Just got back from visiting relatives and saw this post. A couple of days traveling, a couple of days away from the computer and internet access. I had fun, didn't I? What made me agonize over all that time away from my story? I kept telling myself: It's not going to amount to anything anyway, right? I should just enjoy life with family and friends and forget about writing. Right?

    Can't do it. Read a plot structure book while riding in the car to our destination. Stared at the pretty landscapes I passed and imagined battlefields and journeys through dark forests. I just got to write.

    Sharon

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you're hooked, Sharon. There's no hope you'll break the addiction, so ya might as well keep writing :).

      I'm glad you've got the bug for good though ;)

      Thanks for coming by and commenting! (and see you in two weeks!)

      Delete