Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Grey Days


Be positive. Rejoice in your creativity. Let the words flow. Be confident and secure.

Bleh.

My attitude toward my writing can vary wildly. There are days when I look forward to writing and then...

there are days I really do not.

I understand writing takes dedication and self-discipline, but it also seems to take self-confidence. I've had moments of looking over my manuscript and thinking "You think you can write? Seriously?"

Most successful writers seem to be able to channel the Little Engine That Could and know, in their hearts, they will finish and the work will be worthy. Unfortunately, my mantra somedays is not "I think I can, I think I can" but more "Don't give a damn, don't give a damn."

I know many of you out there are writing away industriously. I envy you. I can stare at the screen paralyzed with self-doubt.

However...

I'm not a quitter. If I listen very carefully, I can hear my own Little Engine chugging away (or it's last night's supper).

I just wish it was louder.


11 comments:

  1. Oh Elspeth, I hear you loud and clear. Most days I'm exactly in the place you describe here. Sometimes I can override the negativity; sometimes I can't. All I can tell you is if we feel compelled to write what's inside us, we need to just keep putting the words on the page and let go of the outcome. Worry about that once the darn thing is done. Good luck!
    Karen

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  2. Oh ho ho! I'm so with you. That voice won't be quiet some days. Today I'm really in the mud and I've said that I've got all this time so I hafta! I'm just breaking it up with eating popcorn and reading the second Stig Larsen book and trying to sneak up on it. You have all my wishes at your back!

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  3. I was just wondering this morning what I am doing trying to write books... Is the book I'm working on worth the effort? Do I still believe in it? Do I care any more?

    Glad to hear I'm not alone in the pit of self doubt...

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  4. Been there - felt that. If you've got some sunshine, take a walk outside & enjoy it. Give yourself a treat. You'll feel stronger :) Good luck!

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  5. I have days where writing is a chore. Those tend to be first draft days. (Where I am now.) That's when the self-doubts plague me. But I chug along.

    Don't give a damn is a great mantra. I might use that!

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  6. Karen; Thank you for your kind words.

    Jan; Popcorn! What an excellent idea. Crunchy food may take away the 'don't give a damn's

    Jemi; No sun today. But a walk sounds like a good idea.

    Stephanie; I'm so relieved to discover this is a common feeling. By the way, I'm rather envious of your holiday.

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  7. If you keep listening, the engine gets louder. When you stop listening, it sits on a side track and rusts.

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  8. Carol; That's encouraging and depressing at the same time. Well done.

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  9. I feel that way now and I think it's because I'm too busy. I can't write when I have a billion things on my mind. Great post.

    ann

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  10. LOL, I can SO relate to this post. Well put, and hang in there, Elspeth.

    Marvin D Wilson

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  11. Elspeth - I wish I'd had the chance to stop here yesterday; I feel bad that I've waited 'till now! Still, I've learned to deal with "bleh" days by telling myself that writing progress is incremental. Even one sentence is one sentence more than one had before. If it's a one-sentence day, you've still made progress.

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