These mysterious forces are also largely responsible for my bursts of literary creativity. It’s during these moments that I am tempted to choose themes for my WIPs. Sometimes the themes range from the completely bizarre to the weird, from the wild and wacky to the strange and quirky. What starts off with an initial burst of promise sometimes takes just moments to fizzle out, and then after several pages have been filled I am assailed with doubts about the commercial and literary potential of what I once considered my future masterpiece.
What started off as awesome has somewhere along the line turned into a big bore? Honestly, this is my current state of mind. I feel my plot is no great shakes, the stakes are not high enough, my character’s story is not page turning enough, the antagonist is not coming across as strong and the world building is pretty slow, the supporting characters are too dull. I am doubtful whether any editor will even want to read my first book, forget about the trilogy.
I don’t know why I am so caught up by doubts that I am second guessing everything and dismissing most of the scenes as not happening enough. Though I am still working on my books, I am not satisfied with what I am writing. Maybe I should work on something else for a few days, distance myself from my manuscript. The long wait for a reply from the publishing houses is straining me emotionally. And my agent search that didn’t go too well also psyched me up.
Do you all go through what I am going through. How do you all tackle your doubts? Do you distance yourself from the project or do you plough on? Do you feel I should work on an entirely new project for the next few days? Maybe even work on some short stories so that I can let the doubts and worries fade from my mind? Please share your wisdom.
I switch off mentally when thoughts desert me and start afresh... though I write little:)ReplyDelete
I wish I knew the answer. Perhaps you just need to step away from writing for a week or two. Just read and visit with friends. Go out drinking if you're so inclined. Visit an art gallery or go to a symphony. You never know what might put you back into the mood.ReplyDelete
I think having those doubts comes, part and parcel, with being a writer.ReplyDelete
The good ones..the successful one...., though, rise above and press on.
Keep going and I think things will snap into place for you :)
Distancing yourself sounds like a good idea. Go do something you're good at and really enjoy for a while. Maybe that will charge your writing again.ReplyDelete
I've been there. I'll write something new or do something else creatively, like color or draw. And sometimes a mental break is all that's needed to break through the doubts, so maybe get away from your writing for a couple days. You'll feel refreshed when you come back!ReplyDelete
Good luck, Rachna!!
Happy reading and writing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines
I think we all go through those periods of doubt and self-doubt at times. However, doubt is often the door to improvement. I'd list the doubts you have about the work, then put it aside for 2 or 3 weeks, and then read it again, checking it against your list, but in a practical way: i.e., if you still think the characters dull, list ways you might make them more interesting. If the stakes really are too low, what could make them higher? Same thing with details about world-building and strong antagonist, etc. You actually may find out you were wrong and that the story rocks just the way it is. But if you do find room for improvement, then it means another re-write, which, while vexing, isn't a sign you should despair. Every well-known writer you can think of has had to re-write more than they initially envisioned or wanted to. You are in good company. :-)ReplyDelete
I'm kind of moody so sometimes I do not have any rhyme or reason. Sometimes I need to shut it off for a while and do something else, then came back later.ReplyDelete
Yes, yes and yes. I zigzag between loving whatever project I'm immersed in and thinking its tripe. It's not fun, but I really believe its part of the creative process.ReplyDelete
Doubts and lack of confidence challenge me sometimes. So I wallow a bit sometimes, then press ahead, praying for wisdom and the right words. It all comes out all right in the end, thankfully.ReplyDelete
Happy weekend! :)
I think all writers go through this at some point in a WIP. Don't let it get you down. Just write through it, get to the end and then you can go back and punch things up where they need it.ReplyDelete
I get these feelings too and generally there's usually some truth to them. I find that I'm settling for ideas that make sense and are reasonably dramatic, but aren't exciting me or making me enthused about the project.ReplyDelete
I tend to plough on and complete the draft (it's always easier when you have stuff on a page to work on) but then I start looking at each scene and spend a lot of time trying to come up with more entertaining versions. It's quite a slow process, but much more rewarding when things start clicking.
Sometimes I tell myself, go play. Like for a few days pick a writing prompt and let the words flow with the idea of it. Write a poem (I tend to do haiku!). Play words games. Let the subconscious do it's work...ReplyDelete
Maybe doubts aren't a bad thing. Maybe they're plateaus for the next level :-) Good luck, Rachna!
Great post, Rachna! All writer's go through the doubting stage. Then it is the time to refill the creative well. Take a vacation or read a new book. Then start again!ReplyDelete
I know just what you mean, Rachna.ReplyDelete
The way I deal with my doubts is that I make sure my story has a purpose to it. I always have a specific message that I want to give my readers, and I don't stop until I've done that. The rest is details that can be negotiated but the message is always the same.
when i step away for a few days, i feel better and not want to give up. thanks for stoppy by my blog! newest follower!! :DReplyDelete
I think all writers go through these phases... highs and lows... it will soon pass and then you'll be back to your normal self.ReplyDelete
Keep your chin up!
Writer In Transit
I'm actually in this state of mind right now. I'm qestioning everything--from my ms to my current WIP to my validity as an author (I feel like a hack). But fear not, we shall conquer this. There's nowhere else to go but up and forward.ReplyDelete
Hugs to you!
I hate it when doubts crowd in. Sometimes, it helps to give it to a trusted crit partner and have them help me remember what I love about it!ReplyDelete