♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
We all get discouraged at one time or another (or all the time!)
in the process of writing. How do you defeat the feeling?
Welcome back to another Open Book Blog Hop! The authors included in this ongoing series wish to thank you for your reads. Even more so, we appreciate that you share our writings with friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Prepare to become a regular reader.
Discouragement in the face of writing is a common emotion to experience for authors. Let’s not dress things up differently. When we don’t address the truth behind writing, other authors come behind us with expectations that can lead to greater frustration, if not ending their career altogether. I know that I have felt this discouraged in many ways around my art.
The ability to illustrate is one of the ways that I experience discouragement. Have you heard of imposter syndrome? That’s another one. Those two demons like to get together and create defeating inner dialogue that can keep me down for weeks. I do art, but I don’t feel that my art is quality or style that I need for my work. It’s not realism. It’s not like comic books either. If only I could create like Alex Ross. Man! I cannot get over his work.
My art isn’t terrible. I refuse to feel that way. It’s just different from how I would choose to illustrate my art. That said, with time, I am sure that I could up my game on realism. Who has time, though? When can I get to it? In retirement? By then, it feels like it would be too little too late. That leads me to feel discouraged.
We all have to work to pay the bills and when you’re scraping by and spending all your time and effort trying to make ends meet, you end up super frustrated. That’s right, I get less discouraged with writing and more discouraged by the things around it that cause me to have less time to write. That’s why readers and reviews are so dear to us authors. If ever we are to make a living from our writing, we need the reviews to encourage readers to pick up a book or two.
A place where I do feel frustrated by writing: when I cook along and suddenly forget where I’m headed, or can’t articulate the route (initial draft). Hitting the wall can end a great session and leave you reeling for days in its wake. This is not what I would label writer’s block, per se, as it is more about my ideas knotted before they can find the page. Writing constipation, so to speak. It’s there, but it’s not moving! A truly terrible feeling, just like the tummy ailment.
The way I get rid of this mental discombobulation is to go over what I’ve already completed. Not only does this reenergize me around the work, but it also combs out all the snarls and twists, so I can think clearly again. Thus I get back to writing. However, this can be discouraging, because in the flux of it, you may start to think you’ll never write again. The fear a block has arrived bullies your heart and soul, beating you up a bit in the process.
Going back over what you have can help to distract from that inner dialogue, and prove you’ve got more in you to share. It always worked for me. In fact, in the past, it helped me root out holes to fill, and generate other ideas to deepen the narrative. Besides, it also helps you redraft that initial writing, which will make it easier to prepare your work for the editor when you’re at that stage. Yes, my first draft is often partially my second and even third drafts combined.
To avoid having too much of a pile up in my brain, before it sends me to the discouraged dumps, I will write spare ideas down on post it notes. These become pieces in the work, or are pieces of a future work yet to begin. Having a small, spiral memo pad on hand is great for organizing the latter.
Be sure to click on the links below to see how the other authors on this hop will answer this question. Their links and tips are below…