Monday, July 25, 2011

Somethings are worth giving up on. Others are not.

Truth: I've had a pear-shaped few weeks.

Truth: I haven't been able to write. Like, at all.

Truth: It's not that I haven't tried. But I open my WIP and just stare at it. My mind hasn't been in the game. I end up typing a few words and then cutting them. And then cutting entire scenes, and my word count has just been . . . plummeting.

Truth: I've had a few thoughts about stepping out of the writing world.

Big Truth: It was tempting.

BIGGER TRUTH: Further thought about quitting made me miserable.

See, the thing is, things weren't pear-shaped because of my words--it had nothing to do with those. But I kept thinking I needed to simplify my life. And cutting out the writing would definitely give me more time to do so. But my world without writing?

I'd miss it like I'd miss a limb.

I'd miss it every time I read a book. The way I miss dancing every time I see a performance. The way I miss college when I'm back together with my friends.

Except way, way more.

Writing is a part of me. It's who I am. And today. This week. This month. NOW. I am getting back to it.

Who's with me?



  1. Who am I to offer advice? I mean I have my own problems, but I have had the stare bug. I moved on. Starting something new and fresh always seems to get the juices flowing, for me anyway.

    Don't you leave, or even consider quitting. You haven't begun to write and besides I want to read your work.

    Good Luck, in finding your answer.

  2. I'm so glad you're getting back into it! <3


  3. "Never give up! Never surrender!" (One of my favorite quotes from the movie Galaxy Quest.)

    When the words just won't come for me, I take it as a sign I need to put something back in before I keep on taking out. Refill the well. Recharge the battery. Whatever you want to call it.

    Reading a book simply for pleasure, going to a movie, taking a bath & daydreaming, walking with no particular destination ... anything that involves in-flow instead of output tends to work for me.

    Quitting may not be an option, but occasional pauses rev up the creativity. :)

  4. Oh, I have SO been there lately! I'm hoping my trip will be just the inspiration I need to get me over that hump. Bust out the August spread sheet, I'm ready to kick some ass!

    Also, did you know that they're doing a summer camp nanowrimo in August? Maybe that will give you a boost. I'm thinking I might do it, just to keep me putting words on the page. Even if they are nonsensical words.

  5. I recently had a similar crisis of confidence/motivation after coming to the realization that I wasn't writing the story I really wanted to write. Joining the blogging community has given me a much-needed boost, and now I'm working on a new book that really excites me.

    That being said, I still have moments when I think the plot of my current WIP, which I previously found inspiring, now seems ridiculous. Some evenings I'm lucky to grind out 300 words, but then some days, a flash of inspiration comes and I write so easily I don't even care about the word count. In fact, my biggest leaps usually occur while I'm doing something incredibly mundane, like mowing the lawn. You never now if that guy down the street with the hedge trimmer is actually writing his next chapter in his head.

    Glad to hear you made it through the funk :)

  6. This is how I feel oh..about every other week. I get these burst of inspirations (like reading your blog) and then I feel down in the dumps about writing. Such is the life of a writer. I believe in you though. And like everyone else, I want to read your stuff so just keep on keeping on lady :)

  7. Dude. What you're feeling? It's normal.

    Also, don't confuse stress with other things as lack of writing talent. Or your right to create, imagine, dream, live the life you need to live.

    Also, you can simplify your life AND write. There are compromises (less travel, less blogging, etc., for example) you can make to free up more time, simplify.

    If writing is truly your passion, your dream, your gift, your path (ONLY YOU know what is inside your heart)... then giving up is NOT AN OPTION.

    You can find other areas to let go to simplify your life.

    You know I'm always here for you.
    Now get your ass back to your characters...they want to live. They have things to do and they need you.


  8. I'm with you. I can't imagine my life without writing--especially fiction. It's an addiction.

    Oh by the way, I found your deleted words. That must be why MY word count has been going up when I want it to go down. ;)

  9. If writing is your passion, then you must continue on. But one thing writers tend to forget (myself included) is that we need times of reflection. We also need times of whirlwind of life, because without living life, we have no basis to create. So many times, we chastise ourselves for not "getting enough done", when our brain needs simmer time to help us fully develop our story.

    The brain is a strange and unusual place, especially for that of a writer. And sometimes, while we're sitting there trying to force words on the page, the brain is simply telling us it is not time yet. That IT needs the time to sort things out - without our conscious involvement, so that when it IS time to write, the words can flow on to the page.

    Athletes know the value of warming up. Without the stretching prior to the game/performance, if they push it by trying to force performance cold, they are more likely to sustain injury. Use the time when not writing to "warm up" - and give yourself the okay not to write for the moment.

    I've learned this through experience and when I forget (because I do) I have good friends who remind me to give myself a break - rest helps restore the soul. And then, when I can't stand to be away from it any longer, I write.

  10. I think it's important to consider these things. It's painful, and it usually comes at a low point, but here's the thing. While you're thinking these things at a low point, what an amazing gift to realize that this truly is something you just can't give up. I mean, seriously, now you know, and hopefully this will carry you for a while. I've been there. Loads of times. Crises of confidence are a part of things, especially in the writing world--and for writers. It's what we do, I guess.

    I hope you soon rediscover writing as the thing that keeps you together. I'm confident you will.


  11. Everyone feels like they need to sacrifice something they love sometimes, in order to make the rest of their life work.

    Good-hearted, caring people like you, anyway. ;) It's natural to feel overwhelmed. I've been struggling with my wip, lately, too, so I know how frustrating that can be.

    But I also know, just like you, that if I stopped, there would be a void in my life. It was there during the ten years that I didn't write, I just didn't know what it was.

    Sometimes I just need to tackle writing in a different way to give my creativity a kick-start. Writing exercises, character interviews, outlining--sometimes with software like FreeMind--or just changing up where I write sometimes provide me with a necessary boost.

    Good luck getting back to the heart of your writing. I know you can do it!

  12. oh man, i hear you. The last two weeks for me has been hard. No drive, no desire to push that WIP forward, even though i love it, even though i can't start to fix it until that draft is done.
    Sigh. Maybe it's just the time of the year

  13. Sorry for the pear shaped few weeks--but I'm glad you're not thinking of giving up anymore. the world NEEDS your writing. And I hope you know if you ever did give up I would totally show up at your door and hold you hostage until you started writing again. Just sayin'. ;)

  14. Oh man...I know exactly what you mean.

    I gave up on acting/theater when I was younger and now when I go see a play or musical I have this ACHING feeling inside of me. I miss it so much, and I miss all the things I could have done. It's terrible, and I NO NOT want to do that again.

    I've also considered just giving up, but, nope. Can't do it.

    Glad you're getting back in the game! I think it takes having some bad times to appreciate how much it means to us.

    Good luck!

  15. I can relate to your pear-shaped weeks. But writing is a part of you. So don't let it go! Make it happen girl! :)

  16. I hope it doesn't sound trite, but I COMPLETELY UNDERSTAND. I mean I could have written this myself several times over the last few years. But it all comes down to the same thing, right? Life without writing just wouldn't be the same. :D So now that we've decided quitting isn't an option, I'm glad you're sticking around.

  17. I can certainly relate to plenty of "pear-shaped" weeks. You are not alone.

    Nice to meet you today, Sarah, on PK's blog. :-)

  18. Yes, yes, and more yes! Yesterday I had a chat with a 14 year old writer who reminded me that writing used to be fun. It seems more like work these days. This morning I asked myself if I should/could stop writing, and I was very glad that a quick NO! was the answer. So...here's to diving back in and keeping on with it! :)

  19. I can relate, my friend. I've been having a month like that myself. One moment my head is filled with ideas, then I sit to write and I stare at a blinking cursor or I rewrite the same paragraph three times. I've had flurries of interest on my book, only to wake up to inboxes with rejections.

    It's hard to keep it going sometimes and keep it positive, but know you're not alone. I have yet to meet any author who has not met with rejection, who has not reminded me how long this process can take, and the best thing you can do is to KEEP WRITING. It doesn't matter if it's a masterpiece or crap that day, just keep doing it. This is what you love. This is what you do. This is who you are, and above all else, you do not require validation from anyone else for that to be true. You have a gift.

    Hang in there, hugs, and roast that pear-shaped week and top it with vanilla ice cream, sister.

    xo Robin

  20. I'm so with you. I've had those "quit writing" thoughts too and I always come to the same conclusion you arrived at.

    Take care! I hope your pear-shapedness turns to some more pleasing shape soon. :)

  21. Aw, sorry about the pear-shaped week. I'm in the same exact place right now. I've been concentrating on (re)writing for the past couple of weeks and then all of a sudden, with two or three chapters left, I'm blocked.

    So I'm with you. To the writing cave!

  22. Just write. Turn off the inner editor and just write.

    That speech was for me too. :)

    I'm with you!

  23. No need to feel nervous about posting this. I think a lot of us contemplate that at times, but I think you found your answer. We all love it too much. I'm sure the flow of words will return. Give it time.

  24. Sara--I feel your pain. The process is painful, particularly in the low zone. The good news: the rule of impermanence. It will get better. The true news: Writing is who you are. You can't deny it.

    You are a bright spot in the writing world. Give yourself time to breathe away from it, then dive back in.


  25. Oh, I've tried quitting so many times. It always left me feeling so empty and I just had to come back. Thanks for being so vulnerable!

  26. Oh. My. Gosh. It's like you read my thoughts or something. I've felt the same way for a while....and I only realized today that the story I'm writing is HARD. And with a background in theatre, I've been using some "method acting" to "feel" my character better...and it's depressed the crap out of me.

    No more method acting or um, method character writing for me!

  27. I <3 you like whoa, but I think I would tear off your limb FOR you if you quit writing! :) I would venture to say that all writers who are truly writers to the core, have had to experience that horrid feeling of 'writing emptiness'. And as sucky as it is, I think it's also necessary. How else would we really be able to appreciate the sweetness that comes when we FINALLY nail a difficult sentence/paragraph/scene/chapter/character/fill-in-the-blank...know what I mean? Just remember a break isn't a break. It's a RECHARGE. And when your writing mojo DOES come back (and it will!), you'll be exhausted just trying to keep up with all the possibilities. So chin up, sweets. <3 <3 <3

  28. Don't worry, if you tore of a limb I'd sew it back on for you. And if you tried to quit writing I'd fly up there and tie you to a chair until you changed your mind. ;)


  29. I'm so glad you decided to keep on writing! I've been in a similar place where I felt like giving up. But like you, I realized that writing was my dream, my passion. Never give up on your dreams! Or tear off any of your limbs...you need them! =P Things may seem cloudy now, but keep your chin up because soon the sunlight will shine on through.

  30. Glad to hear you are hanging in there.

    Many times I've let life get in the way and the first thing that got set aside was my writing. I always go back to it, because it is in me.

    Never, never, never, never give up on it.

  31. And that's how you know you're destined to be a writer! Good luck with it - and with your word count.

    And, since my email address isn't connected to my profile, caryn@caryncaldwell.com. :-)

  32. Keep on keeping on, pretty lady.

  33. *Hug hug hug*

    I've basically quit writing, but I prefer to think of it as a pause. I know the passion will return and when it does, I'll be ready.

    I hope your new resolve results in fruition!


Yay! I love when you have things to add :)