Mar 25, 2011

Wannabe Writers #46 (The Pain of Writing)

Wannabe Writers is an Internet writing group. Everyone is welcome to join. It's a place to meet other writers, ask questions, and get feedback. Bascially, my posts are about my current writing progress, my problems, and any questions I need help answering. If you've created a similar post of your own lately, feel free to link in the comments.

Where I am in the writing process: Unpublished.  2/3rds of the way finished with my current WIP.

My current problem(s):  Self doubt.  UGH!  I'm at it again.  Holding myself back.  I want so badly to finish my current WIP.  I've been working on this thing for well over a year now (nearing two!) and I just want so badly to be finished.  I think what I have so far is decent stuff.  I have a couple of critique partners who at least say they're enjoying it so far.  My problem...finishing it!  I'm stuck inside my own head and dreading and stressing over every single word I write these days.  I want it to be all be perfect but everything I read seems to suck in my own mind.  What do I do?  I'm not going to work on another project.  I can't.  I started this thing and now I have to finish it.  How can I force myself to finish?
It's hard being a wannabe writer. :(

My question(s) this week: Writing through the pain.  How?


Witless Exposition said...

This is going to sound hard, but I think at this point you need to stop reading other things. When you're feeling insecure, the last thing you need is to read a wonderful book. That will just get your inner voices going.

Also, set really small goals for yourself. Like 100 words a day small. It will make time drag on, but if you can meet the goals, that will give you more confidence in yourself.

It's good to hear that you're still working at it, even if it's really tough. Good luck!

J. L. Jackson said...

It's not easy finishing a novel. Don't let the self doubt get in the way. It's important to finish, learn, and grow from the experience. I've suffered from self doubt. I am fortunate to have found some great writing partners who are encouraging me to continue.

Wanton Redhead Writing said...

I agree with both of your earlier comments, but will add my wee words of wacky wisdom as well.
I just love 'w's)
When I get stuck, I edit the last three pages prior to where I hit the bump. This makes me think of where my characters are at this minute instead of focusing on the end goal. IDK, but it works for me.
Great to be following you!

Sarah said...

Thanks guys!! I'm going to try out your ideas and hopefully by next post I'll be getting somewhere! :)

Talia Jager said...

Hi. I'm a new follower. I try one of two things when I get stuck.
1 - step away. It can be for a day, a week, or even a month. Then go back to it and hopefully you're ready.
2 - set a goal. Mine right now is 1000 words a day. It's not always in the same book. 98% of the time it is. But, the other 2% of the time, I just want to write, and if that means writing something completely unrelated, then so be it.
Good luck and don't let self-doubt get in the way.

Dianne K. Salerni said...

One thing you could do to push yourself forward is give yourself some dedicated writing time where you sit down to specifically write for 1 hour (or 1000 words, or some other goal) without stopping to fret, worry, or edit. Just work on fluency -- getting words down. You can go back and revise them later.

You might want to check out Tina Laurel Lee's site The Practice Room -- she has regular meeting times and I host every Thursday night. It really helps me out when I'm malingering -- because I know I have to report back to the group at the end of the hour.

Often, I like what I've written and keep most of it. Sometimes, I look back and say -- ugh, that needs major revision. But I always accomplish something. The site is here:

Gina W. said...

I have no idea. I am going through the same damn thing. Hey, if you get an answer will you let me know? I'd really like to know........seriously.

Tony Van Helsing said...

I never have the self-discipline to finish stories and to be honest, they start off strong but end weak. I'm happy to stick with blogging but good luck to you guys.

Vanessa said...

Sarah, I feel the same way sometimes - believe me!

You need to just push yourself. Don't think of it not being perfect - just finish you story. Bang it ALL out. A first draft is NEVER perfect. Even if you have a strong desire to figure out how to write the perfect lines, or want to revise as you write, you should just remember that hardest part is finishing.

Once you finally finish, you can always go back and revise - multiple times. You can make those words, paragraphs, and sentences as perfect as you can make them.

Perhaps give yourself word count goals daily or weekly. Or get your CPs to keep asking you for the next chapter until you feel the pressure to write it for them. That's what a writer friend of mine is doing - she's basically hounding me for chapters. But you know what? It gives me motivation.

I know it's hard, but you can do it! Don't reread what you write - just pound it out!