I've been in a writing slump for months now. Although I can write if its editing old drafts, I can't seem to move forward with the story from where the last chapter (chapter 13) ends. I have a problem with confidence you see. I just think I'm not a good enough writer, which puts me off writing anything.
You know how it is (I realize I'm not alone with this issues); I'll do anything other than write, though spend all my time thinking about writing. I make lists of things I really should be doing instead of it, do them all half-heartedly, because my heart is with my incomplete novel. I know I'm simply avoiding the challenges rather than meeting them head-on, which annoys me. I'm left frustrated and disappointed with myself, which feeds the lack of confidence.
I go round in circles and want to get off this ever-evolving ride.
What do you do to get past this (or your version of this)? Any and all ideas, if your please, ladies. My first draft will never end if I don't get past this.
Thanks, Shah .X
I found plotting out all of the scenes on post-its and then arranging them on the floor helped me keep moving. That and I told myself that the rough draft was suppose to be crap. :)
I just remembered that I have a blog post with a picture of the post-it notes. http://pickles-and-onions.blogspot.com/2010/10/trying-something-new...
There are a number of blogs linked, including the Plot Whisperer, that may help.
I just had to tell you how the plot whisperer link on your blog made my day. I have listened to all the clips and now understand why I have been getting the "I like it but..." sentence from publishing houses. I will be applying all the advice to my WIP and I am grateful. wishing you the best in your writing journey.
Boy oh boy can I relate to this! Wish I could help you, still trying to figure that out myself. It makes me feel an eentsy weentsy bit better to hear others have the same struggles, so maybe it'll make you feel a teeny tiny bit better as well.
Have you had anyone give you feedback recently on what you do have of your novel? Maybe that will help. I probably shouldn't even be offering my two cents, however, since I am still struggling to even get my novel (I dread even using the word) going. Have barely gotten started on a shitty first draft.
Best of luck to you, and if you come up with some solutions please share them.
Wow, Shah, have you been visiting my brain lately? This is somewhat how I've been feeling. Except the actual writing, I'm whipping pieces out faster than my brain can keep up with. BUT, there is this squeaky voice inside my head saying, "It's all crap, ya know?" I even answer the pesky voice by saying, "Oh yeah, well watch this!" and I write something new, only to file it away on the computer and never look at it again.
No matter what time of the day it is or what I'm doing, there isn't a second that goes by without me thinking about writing. I, too, will fill up my schedule to pass the day, and all the while, my work goes unfinished, and I lose interest.
You hit the big, red, blinking buzzer when you mentioned confidence. It's what I lack. That's the bottom line.
Today, I was thinking about a manuscript I let someone read over a year ago. She made a few revisions, but never finished it. I'd see her around, and she'd make up every excuse in the book as to why she hadn't finished. She even told me she'd misplaced it for a few weeks. I knew at that point, she hated it!
The reason I thought about it was because this morning my daughter asked me about the book. It is a middle grade, and she read over it last year. I told her it was still sitting on the computer, untouched, and that I thought it was terrible.
Remembering that this lady now avoids the entire subject when I see her, is humiliating! I was telling my writing partner recently, if I could just get one small, teeny break with something, even an article acceptance, it would sure help my mood.
I can't offer much advice, except try not to be so hard on yourself. You're certainly not the only one who suffers from this. Show up everyday, and write, even if it's just nonsense. Write it. When you're feeling stuck, go outside in the fresh air, take a few deep breaths and go back to work. It'll come. We're writers, it's what we do.
I wish ya all the best!
I struggle with confidence, too, ladies. The way it usually turns up for me is in my character developement. My characters almost always turn out somewhat insecure, and I think that it's just me, projecting my insecurity onto them.
I also relate to what Candy is saying about rapidly writing and then second guessing myself. I have a ton of things filed away with document titles like "needs work," "almost there," or "maybe this is shit."
The best advice I was ever given about tackling the lack of confidence thing, is to write for nobody but yourself. Write to entertain and move your own soul. I struggle to be a confident writer, but when I keep this in mind, it's better.
I actually just wrote a blog post about this very thing, in fact. http://literarylegs.blogspot.com/2011/07/perfect-narrator-with-impe...
Wow - fabulous feedback - its great (is it wrong to say great here) to hear you feel so similar. IT does help- I feel a little more connected to the writing community. As apposed to being detached and undeserving ;D.
I do blog - and write short stories and poems. I do write something therefore, everyday. But its the novel. The first nine chapters I wrote straight off (though they been edited to death since then) and the story has grown so much. IT now has layers. And I have really learned so much from the experience of doing all this. Howeever, I just want to at least get the skeleton/draft down. But the blockage is preventing it.
My husbands off for four days tomorrow though and I've told myself 'No bloggin/face book/making excuses - WRITE!!' So fingers crossed - I want to write at least four chapters.