Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Ready to Write? Maybe Not...

I haven't worked on my manuscript since...oh dear. Let me think. The first week of October! Granted, I've had plenty of reasons why I couldn't write. That whole trip to England was a major one. And then moving was another.

So suffice to say, I can't wait to get back to it. But then again, I'm also scared to death. Why? Because I'm worried that after being away from the manuscript for so long, I'm going to look at it and think it's total crap, or my stupid brain is going to tell me that I'm not a writer after all, that I lost my "magic", that I won't be able to write another sentence that sounds half-way decent.

Don't get me wrong - I have been writing. I wrote every day in my journal while I was in England. I've been writing at work. I've still done my freelance writing. In fact, it's pretty hard for a day to go by where I'm not writing. I just haven't been writing on the novel.

For some reason, I am dreading getting back into my story. And here's the weird thing - I really and truly believe that this is a good story. I love my characters. I love the story itself. Then why, why, do I have this fear of going back to it?
Any ideas?


  1. Writing a novel is an immense commitment. Maybe with all that's been going on in your life, you're just not ready to give it that commitment "yet." Settle in a little, take a breather, then look at it again? Give your self some time first.

  2. Joanne - Wow. Great advice and insight. I think you're right - with everything going on, I'm not quite ready for that commitment. But I can't wait until I am! I miss it so...

  3. I'm in the same place. I haven't worked on mine since I left for Scotland and ever since I got back, the election has consumed me. I decided not to beat myself up about it. I'll get back to it after today.

  4. I have no advice/ideas at all, but I always feel like that if I've had to take a break from the current story. I can't wait to get back into the swing of it, but I'm scared to death I'll look at it and realise it's complete rubbish.

    I also find that when I finally do start on it after a break, my writing is dull and stilted. It takes me ages to get back into the flow.

  5. Count me in with you and Lisa. It's the ms I want to do during NaNo, but I think part of the reason I'm putting off starting is that I'm afraid it will all fall apart once I actually start writing. That what is in my head just won't translate properly once I try to type/write it.

    Could that also be part of what's going on with you?

    Love today's pic, btw :)

  6. You've had so much going on in your life recently, and I'm sure you'll get right back into your ms once you're ready to.

  7. I think that's a pretty normal feeling. I tend to think my writing is crap while I'm writing it then I go back after a hiatus and realize its pretty good.

    I do think you need to get back into writing your story. Its too easy to let everything else in your life take over. That's why I do NaNo. It is the one month of the year my writing excuses hold no weight and I don't allow myself to justify them.

    Open you WIP and read through it. You will be pleasantly surprised and I bet it motivates you to do some writing.

  8. Lisa - It's hard to get back into the swing of things after such an extensive vacation. And the election has been consuming me, too.

    Shirley - I think you described me exactly. I know it will take me awhile to get back into the writing flow. It is so frustrating to embark on that process, though. Wish it were easier, but then again, if it was, everyone would be doing it, right? ;-)

    Tess - Absolutely. I never feel like I can translate what I "see" in my head to what appears on the page.

    Debs - I think you're right. Time is what I need right now. And when the time is right, the manuscript will call my name. :-)

    Rene - I do need to read it. I haven't even bothered to look at it on the computer. I wish NaNo was at a different time of the year, like January or February where you don't have any holidays to interfere or plan for. Those cold, dreary days of winter would be perfect for writing!

  9. Pick it up and read from word one as a reader. I'm betting that will get you back in the mood.

  10. I have an idea. Don't be so lazy! Start writin!!! : )

  11. Travis - I hope you're right. :-)

    Calfee - As always, you're the voice of reason. ;-)

  12. M: Sometimes the best gift you can give to your writing is to be removed for it awhile, then when you come back, your eyes are fresher. You may even get new inspiration. I'm pretty sure you'll still love it and be anxious to get busy again. It's the doubt similar to if you were away from your child for a good while, say, like it they're off at camp. When they come back and you/she have had new experiences, you wonder, "Oh, my, will she still love me the same? Has she changed? etc." Write on!

  13. Melissa, you have a lot of changes and emotions going on right now and for me, that always affects how I write and how I view writing. But this could bring an added dimension to your writing that is just what you need. What about tackling some of the scenes that are match your "mood?" It might help bring out the drama in the story.

    On a personal note, I am praying for you. I know all the change is difficult and heart breaking. I am sorry for your sadness right now. Keep in there, each day is a new day.

  14. I think I'd try something different and short if I was really struggling, but if I was itching to write and yet dreading it also, I think I'd sit down and try the writing part.

    That looks nothing like my house, by the way ... :o)

  15. I love Heidi's advice! use your mood for certain parts.
    But you know, I feel that same way you do. I put mine aside for a week because I want to work on some short story submissions for awhile. But in the meantime, my thoughts have been telling me when I return to it, I will see it was a mess and why have I wasted my time on it?? But then I remember, deep down,like you said, how excited I was to work on it when I did. So I guess we need to listen to that voice and I bet when we look at them again--we will feel the same way. You will say "Wow--that's some good writing!!"

  16. Sometimes the distance of time gives you perspective to take your manuscript to the next level. I hope so. I just read something of mine and was ready to burn the lot :)

    I bet yours has got lots going for it!

  17. I know exactly what you're talking about with that fear. I think you're right, part of it is the fear that we'll go back and look at it and find it's all crap. Also I echo what others have said about the commitment. Not just time, but emotion. To be so emotionally invested in the characters and story for the length of time it takes to write a novel is enormously scary.

    Plunge back in. That's the only thing that works for me. The longer I put it off, the harder it gets. Sit down with it, read it with pen in hand, let yourself back into the story. You'll do beautifully.

  18. Angie - Great analogy. I do think that once I'm back into it, I will rediscover the joy. :-)

    Heidi - Wow, that's great advice on writing the scenes that match my mood! Didn't think about that before, but it makes a lot of sense.

    Thank you so much for your prayers. They are very much appreciated and very helpful. :-)

    Diane - I do think that something short would be beneficial, just to get me back in the fiction-writing "mode." And no, that's not your house - why didn't I take a picture of it, especially the gorgeous fireplace? ;-)

    Terri - Exactly! You said it perfectly. Aren't our minds just strange in how they perceive things sometimes?

    Toni - I read a bit of it last night and was ready to burn it! But I think it's because I feel so overwhelmed in trying to get back into that "place" to write it - back into the mindset of the 1940s, all the research, etc. That will be challenging, as well.

    Christine - More great advice. I think that is the only thing to do - plunge back in. :-)


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