So, I'm back. I dropped off of the blog hop, and my blogging completely, for a while there. Lots of projects going on the last few months of 2019 (two already came out and two more will be out in the next few months). Now I'm trying to get some balance back and this blog is part of it :).
And I'm starting my first IWSG blog in over 6 months with believing in yourself. Which seems a bit odd since...well... we're insecure by name ;).
But even being insecure, and having tons of self doubt leap up and smack you in the head upon occasion, at some point we have to believe in our stories--in ourselves.
Every time I get the, "I suck and I can't write!" beast coming at me, I tell myself to quit. Stop writing. Inside of my head sort of looks like this:
ME: I'm a horrible writer!
My brain: Then quit.
ME: What?! No! I have too many stories to tell. *sniffles a bit*
My brain: Then just don't publish. Show them to no one.
ME: But I want to share them! Some people like them!
My brain: Exactly. So stop whining.
My brain can be very direct when calling me out on these things.
There seems to be a culture where we as writers are supposed to hate our work. Like, all the time. "Woe is me! My writing sucks! I suck!" Part of it is a wish for validation, someone to come forth and tell us we're awesome. Part of it is because if we bash our work before others do, it's not as painful.
Neither of those reasons are healthy, nor do they help us. External validation can be taken away, and telling people they will hate your work before they read it (directly or indirectly) just pushes them that direction.
Somewhere, deep inside, you need to like your work--or why would you do it? Writing is HARD. I write to provide escapism for myself and my readers. I'm not changing the world, saving billions, I'm providing an adventure. If I don't like what I write, that will come across and readers won't like it either.
So Happy IWSG day! Go out and remind yourself why you write!
I think I do like what I write but sometimes it just takes a while to get to that point. When the writing is more difficult, that's when it's harder for me to believe in myself.
Thank you! I hear ya--there are times were I just break down and curl into a ball. But we let ourselves crash, then crawl back to our feet and keep moving :). Thank you for coming by!Delete
That's a very healthy attitude and one we could all use more of, I think! I don't know why the default setting is to do ourselves down for most of us. It's good to be self-critical to push ourselves to do better, but too much is self-defeating.ReplyDelete
It's a balancing game between believing in ourselves enough to work hard, hire pros, get the best work out there--and knowing when a direction is just crap-LOL. I actually love getting things back from my editors because I know it's making my work better ;). Thanks for coming by!Delete
You're right – we must learn to like our writing (or learn to write something we do like!).ReplyDelete
Good point! Maybe if someone really hates their work, they should look in a different direction for a new project. Sometimes people write what they think they should, but it's not what really speaks to them. Thanks for coming by!Delete
That's why I've always believed you need to take time off between projects. Or when switching to a new project, let the old one sit alone for a time. Then when you do go back and read/edit/revise, you can read it with fresh eyes and think, "Wow, that's pretty good!"ReplyDelete
Distance can help for certain! Thanks for coming by!Delete
Believing in yourself is huge. Elana Johnson posted about how that mindset is so important and was one of the things that helped her to hit $100k in sales in January. Considering the cost of advertising to achieve that and the lag between when you have to pay for the advertising and you get paid for the sales it generates, that's a huge leap of faith.ReplyDelete
That's a massive leap of faith! I'm still working on getting there myself, but something I;m aiming for :).Delete
I have this exact same problem. The first comment I got on my writing was "I've read worse." Ouch. Then I got the comment, "It's not that bad".ReplyDelete
The comments have gotten a lot better over the years, but those are the ones I remember most. I've worked hard to hone my skills and become a more competent writer.
I'm a work in progress.
Anything with a heavy emotional attachment is going to be hard to forget--good or bad. But you've kept going and are getting your books out there!! (LOL- we're all works in progress ;))Delete
I love your brain. It talks sense. Glad you're back. :-)ReplyDelete
Anna from elements of emaginette
Thank you, sometimes it's smart ;). It's nice to be back!Delete
I was at an event recently with fellow bloggers and was too embarrassed to share my writing with these bloggers that could help me. And I feel too exhausted to fix my blog. Like it's overwhelming to get it to where I need and want it to be. Thanks for a post. It's a reminder that I'm not alone and that my brain putting me in 'my place' isn't a reason to give up.ReplyDelete
Your place is getting out there and doing things! If it's overwhelming, maybe try one small task. Just one. Then in a week, another one. You're not alone and you can do this! :)Delete
I agree! We should like what we write. It's good to have a direct brain to tell you to suck it up.ReplyDelete
It can be a very pushy brain sometimes, but it keeps things real!Delete
I agree with you completely. We should like what we write. Saying that, when I look back at my old stories, something I wrote 10 years ago, sometimes I wince. Sometimes I cringe. And sometimes I pat my head and tell myself: wow, you're so much better now! That could be very therapeutic.ReplyDelete
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Okay, the blog ate my comment! Anyway, I was saying it can be good for us to look back to see how far we've come but also to sometimes find things for new projects. I steal from my older writings a LOT ;).Delete
Very good point. It's not healthy. Stop whining.ReplyDelete
Thank you and Thank you! :) Nice to be back.Delete
Those brains are smarter than us sometimes :).ReplyDelete
I think self-doubt affects us all, especially at the beginning of a project. I dislike almost everything I write in the early drafts. It's only when I get the light bulb moments, rewrite something and it clicks that I can say 'Yeah, that's not bad!'ReplyDelete
True! Sometimes we have to just get it down, then make it pretty and workable ;)Delete