Wednesday, August 24, 2011
Question from a reader...
A dear reader emailed me the other day and asked the following question:
On Scribblechicks, you address finding and struggling to get ideas, but I can get ideas. My problem is that I don't stay excited about them, or think they are good ideas for more than a few days. I'll start fleshing it out and then think "this sucks, it'll never be good enough and is not worth writing if it'll never be good enough". Any advice?
In a word, yes! :)
First of all, never feel alone when it comes to self doubt and insecurities in the writing field. This is a tough business, whether you're published or unpublished. Unpublished authors fight the growly monster of Self Doubt in contest feedback from judges, or critiques from critpartners or other authors, etc. And published authors find that mean monster when it comes to bad reviews, low ratings, low sales figures, and rejections from other publishers on new proposals, etc. Never be so disillusioned that you think getting published one time means you have arrived, and will never struggle with Self Doubt again. NOT TRUE! You need to learn how to handle this difficulty NOW because it doesn't go away completely. Learn today how to commit to a project and stick to it, and hand over the negative to the Lord - He is the only one who can truly give you the strength and confidence inside to complete His will, and go for your dreams.
The above is very important - spiritually and emotionally and mentally, you have to be in a place to be able to stick with a project and turn off that negative voice inside that truly is from the devil...the devil, you ask? Really? YES. After all, when was the last time you heard God tell someone "you suck"? Hasn't happened ::grin::)
That said...the next step after prayer and getting your head/heart right, is commitment. Pick an idea you really like and are excited about and give yourself a deadline. If you commit to finishing a book in 6 months or one year or whatever works for your schedule and life, set the deadline and work toward it as if a real publisher was the one who had set it. This is good training because one day, that will hopefully be the case, right? :)
Get into the habit now and find someone to keep you accountable to your goal. A crit bid, a fellow author, even a non-writing friend who cares about you and will ask you "hey, did you write today?" It really does help. Working toward a goal and knowing someone is holding you to it does wonders for your creativity and motivation. A lot of writers actually work better under pressure. So put that pressure on!
If you find yourself losing interest halfway through (or whenever), stop. Ask yourself, is this boring? Why don't I care anymore? Figure out why you don't like it anymore and then fix it. Usually this can be fixed by adding more conflict to your original plot or by upping the stakes or by adding a ticking timebomb of sorts to your story. If you get stuck, don't quit. Brainstorm. Email or call another writer and say "help". Find someone in the writing world who can be this person for you. There's no shame in needing help sometimes, even the award winning, multipublished authors have brainstorming buddies and crit partners.
I hope that helps answer your question, dear reader! Who else has questions for the Chicks this week? :)