Monday, July 27, 2009

Where Am I?

I’d like to thank everyone who had commented on my previous post “I Don’t Have Anything Else To Do”. Each one of your comments had helped me to go deep into understanding my current frustration.

From my last post, I mentioned that my current frustration might have come from that fact that I have nothing else I want to do with my life, except writing!

Looking at writing from this point of view, I see that I have invest a lot in my writing. Thus I have become extremely critical to my skill and progress. Yes, I did manage to give myself free run for writing up first draft. And when I started the re-writing of STOS # 1 on June, I thought I was o.k. with the story. It took me this long to realize that there’s a part of me who’ve been sneering at all my effort all these time. Underneath it is the sinister voice of the eternal critic who said:

You wrote shit!

You’ll never get published!

You should have stories published by now if you haven’t wasted all these years only “talking” about writing!

Now, this last comment (you should have stories published by not if …) is also crucial to my frustration. It loomed so big in my mind that I started to feel desperate and panic. And how do I deal with it? I required myself to work harder and faster. In another word, I've been trying too hard. I have turned the entire writing process into a CHORE. The daily 200 word count is just a thing on my To-Do-List which I can’t wait to get it out of the way. Having a writing (or creative) routine is one thing, but if it becomes only a task, it freezes creativity. (Having said that I’m still a big believer of routine based working method.)

And thanks to Holly’s keen observation, something else started to make sense to me. It was about the initial “glamour” associated with starting any new project began to wear off, the project became … just a project. It lost the shine and glory which I have placed on it. Holly also mentioned it might be time to give writing a rest and do something thing else. I’m not quite sure about this as when I was doing other non-writing project, I felt agitated from being away from my stories.

This is where I am:

My desperation of becoming a published writer had me pushing myself to a corner. The result is my creativity froze up and the stories no longer sparkle.


I haven’t yet figure out steps or an action-plan to deal with it. But I believe I need to go deeper and further with the comments I so far gathered from the previous post.

Thank you for listening and hope you’ll still be with me next time …

P.S. The "arrow signs" on the pix said: Where Am I?

P.P.S. "STOS" is my current writing project. It is developed on Dec 2008 and is a series of stories which based (loosely) on the same theme.


Leone said...

I really think you would benefit from reading The Artist's Way. Julia Cameron is a writer and what she says makes so much sense and addresses a lot of what you are struggling with. That Censor or critical mind is so damaging and holds us back. I felt that same desperation with my art and had to lighten up. I keep reminding myself that it's PLAY and it helps me to lighten up.

WrightStuff said...

I wish I could come up with some enlightening words but the only comfort I can suggest is that you are not alone. As I read your post, I wanted to yell out "me too" to much of what you have told us. The 'talking about writing' point struck a particular chord - with me I just write about writing (the novel) rather a lot. One way I've found of silcing the inner critic is to simply create something just for yourself with no thought of publishing or even anyone else seeing it. Just let your thoughts flow and see what you come up with. It's a good exercise. Who knows, if you come back to it at a later date it may just prompt you in the direction you need to go. Never throw any writing away - it may just contain that hidden spark. Now, I must dash as I am late for work :)

Grammy said...

Think positive. We are our own worse critics. As some on once said? You need to step back and have fun. Enjoy what you are doing. Let go and believe in your self. And don't give up. I learn from being a sales person. You have to get a number of No's before that yes comes along.
I wish you much success.
Most of all happiness.

Pamela said...

I can empathize as I get those same feelings of desperation myself. It's hard not to think about publication because we all want that I'm sure. However, I believe writing without thinking about publication is key as your other commentors have said.

We must ask ourselves if the world stopped publishing stories altogether, would we still write them? Could we still enjoy playing with words and ideas, create interesting characters and exciting adventures even if we just told them to friends and families around the campfire or told them to no one at all?

If the answer is no, perhaps we should look at writing as hobby or maybe there's another area of the field we're more suited to, such as becoming an editor or publishing an ezine.

As Holly said, stepping away from writing for a while could be the answer. I recently lost my desire to write, read, pretty much do anything creative I think because I was putting too much pressure on myself. After stepping back from it for a while, I now feel a renewed energy and excitement for the creative process.

I'm sorry about the long comment but I do feel for you and know this can be a debilitating issue. I hope you find your answer and a renewed feeling of joy and excitement for the creative process in whatever form that might be. You are clearly a creative person and I just know things will turn around for you. Oh, and tell that inner critic to take a vacation until the time is right for her to return! :)

Many blessings and hugs!

miruspeg said...

Hybrid I like the way you are analysing where you are at regarding your writing. That is what is great about blogging, we can put our thoughts into words and get some feedback.

When I wrote a post about writing back in March, in the comments there were 2 books people recommended:

Stephen King "On Writing"
Brenda Ueland "If you want to write".

May be worth checking them out.....nothing ventured, nothing gained.

Sending you lots of light.

Barbara/myth maker said...

I love to read everything you write, so I am glad you do it! The critICK sits on our shoulders, making nasty remarks. It is the job of the muse to kick the critics rear. Find support in your muse... she will help you slay the evil ICK.
I am 55.. the last time I had something published (some poems and a short story) was half my life ago. I don't even send anything out anymore. Writing is necessary, whether or not it goes to publication. Give yourself a break. The time will come.... even for me, I believe the time will come. You love writing; when you do other stuff, you want to return to your first love (writing), and that's exactly what you should do. Routine is good, too, but not when you feel locked in a box of "I have to". Other arts/creativity seems to be the way to open yourself to writing freely.

I hope this made sense... I'm in a very nervous mood today, and my thoughts aren't too straight. :-/.

Kim said...

Couple of thoughts - #1 you're not alone!! #2 you are wonderfully creative spirit and thinker, trust that you will come up with a way to handle this - you will.

Holly said...

Hey Girl:
The question becomes much more real would being 'published' feel to you in regards to your work...than say...

How you feel now about your writing considering so many of us read every word, and love every second of absorbing what you produce?

What would 'publishing' bring you that this sort of being published on your own terms brings now?

Hope that question makes sense!

Thanks for walking this many of us are walking it too, but not looking for the same sort of clarity in the stroll....