Thursday, July 1, 2010

What Do You Do?

Do you ever read books that are truly amazing and then reflect on your own work and decide your writing sucks lemons?

How about the times when writing Every. Single. Word. is like pulling teeth without medication and then, after all that agony and labor, they sound stilted and fake?

Or you get everything organized and know everthing about your characters and exactly how things should work in the story ... and IT WON'T .

I've been reading some stories lately that make me feel like I should just hang up my keyboard -- they're that well written. Some days that feeling just drives me harder, makes me work to improve, throws down the gauntlet and issues me a challenge I can't refuse to take.

Lately, it's been more on the discouraging side. The Eyeore on my shoulder telling me everything I do is awful and I should just give up.

What do you do when you get discouraged? Do you have certain pick-me-ups that help you get back on track?


Kayelle Allen said...

I keep all my reviews and open them, read thru the good things, find anything that people thought needed improvement, and pick one to work on for awhile. Perhaps it might be that a story could have used tighter editing. I will go back, look at the story, and see where I could have fixed some of that. Often I learn; sometimes I just shrug because I don't see anything. Usually, it pulls me out of my doldrums to read good things, and even more so when I'm working to improve an aspect.

I also keep a notebook called "Evidence of Talent". This contains rejection letters (we all get them). The ones that have notes from editors explaining why a story was rejected often help me see areas where I can improve.

This sounds like it would be more discouraging, but in fact, if you look at negative comments as feedback on where you can use help, it's encouraging. If you get a personal note with a rejection letter, you've gotten the attention of that editor. That is a major feat and shouldn't be discounted. That's why I call the book "Evidence of Talent". It's proof I have been noticed and am worth making a comment about.

Tie Eyeore's tail back on and keep going. :)

Mysti Holiday said...


Thanks! Lately it seems I have very little time to sit and write, and when I DO take the time, it comes out horribly stilted and forced.

But you're right about keeping on!