Sunday, February 27, 2011

A Bad Book Weekend

Last week I asked what you do when you're feeling frustrated or down about your writing. There were some great answers: books, sleep, retail, movies, and chocolate. And while I do employ all of those I've decided that what I do most when I'm feeling out of sorts about writing – is avoid doing it.

On Friday night after work and a basketball game, I read through the first chapter of both of my books and decided that I totally suck. It wasn't just a I really need to fix this kind of suck. It was a full on – I should never write another word kind of suck.

I shut off my computer and didn't turn it on again until this very moment. Okay that's not entirely true. I did check email Saturday morning, but I didn't look at my book at all.

And to be honest with you, I don't feel any better. My chapters are still sitting there sucking.

But just like the dishes that aren't going to clean themselves – those words aren't going to fix themselves.

So the goal this week: Fix Chapter One and send it to my crit partners, who will hopefully tell me I'm brilliant and I shouldn't change a word even if they have to lie to do it.

Only joking. You don't have to tell me it's brilliant. You could also use the words – great, awesome, or wonderful.


Laura Pauling said...

I know! That is the hardest thing to experience - and we all do. Those times where we question why we even try doing this because our writing is so bad! It'll come around. Promise.

Anne Gallagher said...

Sucking only lasts as long as you let it. WE all go through the sucking phase periodically, we have to otherwise we wouln't find the great stuff. Hang in there. You don't suck. You just can't see the brilliance yet.

Jennifer Shirk said...

Oh my gosh, I totally think that about myself least once a week. Maybe more if it's a bad week.
Don't let self-doubt get you down. It might be brilliant. It might be awful. You can always fix.

Wendy Paine Miller said...

I'm editing and writing all at once...a little crazy. I went back and rewrote my first chapter to novel five. It bit. It doesn't bite so badly now. ;)

~ Wendy

Heidi Willis said...

LOL!! I felt exactly the same last week! I hate my chapter two. It seems boring and unlively and ugly. But necessary, which is killing me.

I pushed through it because I had to (deadline this week!), but I came out a few pages later and found the next scene I absolutely love. And the next scene too.

So the realization that I only suck PART of the time was comforting. :)

Keep going. There's gold in there. You are a great writer, and all you need to do is keep persevering. :)

Ellie said...

I've felt this way so many times I've lost count. Sometimes you just need to have a break and then hope something or someone will motivate you again.

Ellie Garratt

Candice said...

We all have times like that. I'm guessing the most brilliant authors in the world get a case of Isuckitis occasionally too. That's why critique partners are so important! Hang in there!

Melissa Marsh said...

Oh gosh - there must be something going around. I felt the same way about my novel last night. In fact, I thought about throwing the whole thing away and never looking at it again.

Colene Murphy said...

BEEN THERE! I really hate that feeling of suckage. BUT the good thing is, is that you have a community of writers who have all been there and can tell you that there is a 99.999% that it's just not true. I hope you find your love again for your writing!

Holly Ruggiero said...

I've had those days too. They stink.

Tamika: said...

I'm definitely riding this wave with you:) I've been curled up with great books all weekend, and now I know my book sucks!

But...reading infuses me with large amounts of momentum to tackle the trash heap of words sitting on my laptop.

We. Can. Do. It.

K. M. Walton said...

I can relate as well. I am certain your writing does NOT suck because you are so honest on your blog - and honesty = good writing. Keep at it Patti. I will send you some positive vibes!!!

Jessie Oliveros said...

Okay. He-hem...You are brilliant, great, awesome, AND wonderful and you don't have to change a word!!!

Do you feel better?

For the record, your books are the opposite of suck. Really.

Carolyn V said...

I'm so sorry. I'm kind of doing the same thing. I'm really struggling with it, so I'm taking it one bite at a time.