The Writing Blues

I’ve reached a hiccup in my writing journey. A bump in the road that has me in a bit of a funk. I have “writing blues.” I’m not sure if that’s actual terminology, but for me that’s the best way to describe how I’m feeling.

When I began writing my current manuscript, I was full of passion and ideas. A flame burned bright within me for this story. I loved the characters, the villains, the world, the story. Everything spoke to me. I had trouble sleeping because characters wanted to chat endlessly. I wrote when I could, which was never often enough. It took me almost 1.5 years to finish the first draft of my novel. When I typed “the end,” I nearly cried. While I was thrilled I had finished my novel, the happiness was shadowed by some gloomy thoughts.

“Why did it take me so long?”

“This is a complete pile of crap, but it’s MY pile of crap.” 

“This isn’t good enough for any agent to love.”

“This is probably the manuscript that will get rejected over and over. No matter how much I love this story, it will probably NEVER see the light of day.”

Still, I was so excited, I pushed the gloominess away in favor of thinking positively. I’d done something I could be proud of. I finished a book.

Then came the next part — letting other people read it.

I’m fortunate to be a part of a fabulous writing group. The ladies I write with are unbelievably talented. They are all at different stages of the publishing process and bring fresh perspective to the table. I’m in awe of them. We traded manuscripts.

I waited, choking on my own nerves.

I started reading what they sent to me. And I wanted to cry…again. Not because I begrudge them their amazing talent. I can promise you are going to see some incredible stories come from this group. They are SO good.

For me though, the doubt crept in again. “Will I ever be this good?”

Surprisingly, I received some pretty favorable feedback to my MS. Renewed in my love for my story, I attempted to tackle editing with gusto. It was a failed attempt.

Fear led to uncertainty. I’m stuck in that “everything I write is awful” rut. I feel as if my words don’t translate well to the page. My characters don’t speak to me. The world, once so vivid, is hidden behind a veil. The flame that burned so brightly sputters and flickers in the whirlwind of doubt.

It’s hard.

I heard a song recently. It doesn’t have a whole lot to do with what I have going on, but there was one lyric that stood out to me.

“Don’t be so scared of the things you love.”*

I love this story. I will stoke that flame until it burns brightly again, and it will be beautiful.

*From Waves That Rolled You Under by Young Summer