Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Beginning to lose confidence

Inigio: More pursuit than study lately. You see, I cannot find him. It's been twenty years now. I am starting to lose confidence. I just work for Vizzini to pay the bills. There's not a lot of money in revenge.

This what I've been feeling like.

Writing has become more frustrating than rewarding. I cannot seem to find the right words. It's been more years than I wish to admit and I am starting to lose confidence. I just work as a secretary to pay the bills. There's not a lot of money in writing.


Piedmont Writer said...

There's a lot of people feeling this way lately, usually I tell them to clean the house or go for a walk, it will pass. But this morning I hear something in your voice that I haven't heard before. Despair.

If this is really bothering you that much, then you really, really need to take a break. A serious break, from your writing. At least a month. And at the end of that month, if you don't want to go back to writing, well, then you found your answer.

You can't force yourself to do something you don't want to do because it will be crap. Maybe it's the story? the Genre? the characters? Who knows, but you won't find out until you step away. Live your real life for awhile, spend time doing other stuff with the kids, dog, husband.
It'll not only make you feel better, it will give you clarity.

Jen said...

I hate this feeling and often times I do give up for a day or two, but the writing still sits, I know I haven't touched and for that I feel bad until one day I'm eating ice cream and I see the stars and the writer in me comes back... "What if I could catch a falling star?" I ask myself, and immediately I'm back in the game.

So I say change it up, do something different, have ice cream late at night when you normally don't splurge after 8! Take a chance, sometimes the way we think is just too boring for our muse!

Kristi Faith said...

You and I are writing the same book my friend. :0) I stopped working on my wips for two weeks and just wrote whatever crap came to my head. And sometimes that is exactly the word....CRAP. And I wrote CRAP CRAP CRAP all over my screen until something broke.

It is depressing that writing isn't the job to pay the bills...YET. Feel free to email me anytime
kowens1308 at yahoo dot com

Tabitha Bird said...

Oh I hear you. I understand about when writing is all too much like rotten work and nothing is coming of it. I took a break from my writing for about 3 months early last year because I just couldn't face writing another word. I didn't return until I was bursting to. The writer in you will burst through when it is time to come back to the words. In the mean time, be gentle with yourself. :)

Candyland said...

Arggg. I had this day yesterday, so I'm sorry you're feeling it too. I wish I had the right words to make it better, but really, there aren't any. Chin up, dust yourself off and persevere are about the only things I can think of because I'm lame.

When you find a cure, pass it on to the rest of us:)

Seriously, as hard as it feels, you have to keep going. Through the pain, through the doubt, through the everything.

"Professional writers are amateurs who didn't quit."

Patti said...

Thanks for all of the advice and well wishes. It's good to talk to people who understand what your going through.

Just read this on Kidlit.com

Remember, despite all the rejection, the creative upheaval, the ice cream binges, the end-of-publishing-as-we-know-it news…writing is supposed to be fun (at least most of the time). If it’s not, you might not be experimenting and playing enough.

I think that's what I need to play more.

Elana Johnson said...

Oh, Patti, I so feel you. I'm sorry you're losing your confidence. I've felt this way. I will loan you my parachute until you can open yours. Don't give up! No, there's not a lot of money in writing, and even if you do get a published book (which you will) you probably won't be able to quit your job.

But that's okay. You'll have YOUR NAME on a BOOK.

Don't give up yet!

Southpaw said...

Hang in there. It's just a dip in the road. I know there seems to be a lot of them but remember they always go back up.

Melissa said...

I'm feeling exactly the same way! I haven't written anything new in over a week and a half, but I'm okay with that for now. I think I need a break because I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself to finish my WIP. I know that when you're published you'll have deadlines, but I'm still learning how to write well. So it sounds like you may need a break as well, or like you said, try something different. You know, I may just do the same thing:) Good luck and keep us posted on your progress!

Heidi Willis said...

Patti - I agree with all of the above!! Up until a few weeks ago, I felt the same. I've felt that on and off for two years.

Elana is right, too. I have my name on a book and it's not paying the bills! (well, maybe the very, very small ones...).

The frustrating thing was that writing the second one isn't easier than the one I published. The doubts didn't really go away. What if this one isn't as good? What if I can't do it again?

BUT I finally let go trying to make it great and just write to enjoy. And now I'm loving it again. I'm not looking down the road at what to do with it or whether its good or whether a publisher will want it. I'm just writing.

There is so much stress out here! If you need to take a break, do! I'm proof that it's possible to come out the other side of despair!

K. M. Walton said...

By all of the comments, losing confidence as a writer must be par for the course, unfortunately. However, its what we do when we lose confidence that really matters.

Do you give up and succumb to the voices of doubt? Or, at your lowest point, do you push yourself harder and dig as deep as possible to pull yourself out of the black hole of doubt?

Go for the second option. You're worth it. Your writing is worth it. Your effort and time and dreams are worth it.





Julie Dao said...

I'm sorry you're feeling this way, Patti. I'm going through a patch of frustration and uncertainty myself when it comes to writing. I think when we feel this way, it's best to step back and take a break - don't look at the story for a week, and then come back to it when you feel refreshed and ready to take it on again. I know you can do it :) Be easy on yourself because it seems like all writers go through these rough patches. You are not alone! Take courage, it will get better!

patti said...

Oh, dear one. I know how you feel.

And I don't know the answer. But God does.

I am praying for you.


Belle said...

I love your idea to play a little more. I was feeling discouraged with my writing a while back, and what helped me most was letting go of everything I'd come to associate with being a successful writer. Once I did that, play and fun were exactly what came back into my writing.

Laura Pauling said...

I think it's very normal to feel discouraged at times! And it's very easy when we look around - especially in the blogging world. It's okay. Just admitting it is brave. And helps! Hope you find your joy soon!