18 Apr 2018

Creative Exhaustion and Other Atrocities

I have been trying to write a post all week. Nothing, I've got nothing. I didn't know it was possible, but I think I have finally exhausted my creative resources. Maybe I just need some sleep, or to let myself breathe for a minute. I'm not very good at that, I am constantly told I need to relax.



Ahem....

So I might be a little uptight. I am anxiously awaiting my edits from Rooglewood Press, I am both excited and scared. I reread my story, well skimmed it. I can't seem to see past the flaws, so I'm happy I will be getting professional editing help with it.

I also found out that I'm allowed to continue using my characters and world in other stories. I had already started a sequel for it, Fool's Bet. So I got this great idea to try and finish the first draft before 'Falling Snow' is published, so I can release it shortly after it.

After doing the math, I decided that 500 words a day would suffice. I know, 500 words is nothing to most of you. I am, however, an inconsistent writer, or maybe I should say a very particular one. I overthink every line to death, erase, and rewrite as I go along. My first drafts are more like most people's second drafts.

I'm a perfectionist, so nine days of five hundred words has worn me out. I also can't read anything I've written, because it's awful. I'm not even being modest.





I'm going to share the parts I like, which is maybe five sentences.




As my teeth pierced my gums, the sharp tang of fresh blood hit my tongue. This was the last time he would make me bleed.- Cynfael




Cigarette smoke added to the mix, every dwarf seemed to have one dangling from their mouth.  For a moment I could pretend nothing had changed. It was just another night. Snow would be practicing on the high wire, and I would watch her dance across it. Thinking things I had no business to.-Chayse




He was a razor blade, sharp and alluring. To touch him was to accept the risk of getting cut. I was already bleeding.-Snow


So I've been writing. Which is a good thing I guess, but I've seemed to forgotten how. I think it's insecurity. After this contest was over, people started saying how they couldn't wait to read my story which was and is amazing. It's everything I've always wanted! I'm incredibly grateful, you have no idea.

But, there is this small voice telling me that maybe I don't deserve it. My story isn't good enough. I know it's stupid, but it doesn't stop me from thinking it. It's showing in my writing, I'm starting to doubt myself. No one gets it, they expect me to be over the moon. Which I am! 

Self doubt is a hard beast to fight. 


 That basically catches you up. I've been doing a lot of praying and work lately. I always used to be hesitant to call my writing and art work, but it is. It's mentally draining and I wish more people realized that. 

I promise to have a more coherent and interesting post next week. 
  

26 comments:

  1. I feel ya. Writing really is work, and I think a lot of people don't understand that. In my family, it's simply the question of "why do you pour so much time into this hobby?" Because it's not a hobby, and people get tired doing their job, even if it's something they love.

    I'm so sorry to hear you've been so down lately. I'm praying for you, Skye. <3

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    1. It is! They seem to think because your sitting, or at a computer it's easy. I wish it was. I've gotten my fair share of that. Yes, excatly! It's always nice talking to other writers because they get it. I hope you never let the hobby remarks get to you!

      I hope I didn't sound like I was complaining. I've actually been doing okay lately, but I always appreciate the prayers! <3

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  2. Gracious, Skye - your writing is just <3. Fool's Bet sounds AMAZING, honestly, I'm sorry its being so hard to write! Here's sending all the fast-writing vibes your way. Keep us updated on how everything goes with your Rooglewood story and Fool's Bet!

    ~ Savannah | Scattered Scribblings

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    1. Thanks Savannah! I will take that as a huge complement, because your story had me entranced!
      It sucks, but I'm going to work through it. :D Thanks!
      I will!

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  3. I feel ya, Skye! But I wholeheartedly applaud you trying to get 500 words a day. You can do it!

    I'm so happy you can keep your characters!! These snippets are wonderful! So happy. And I LOVE the title. Ack! So much love right now. I can't even.

    You looked at your story? You're a better woman than me lol. I took one look at the comments on my feedback sheet, decided I have no idea how to fix the things that were pointed out, and have since buried myself in writing Bad Boy so I don't have to think about it. Which is probably not a good thing, but that's how I roll.

    You are absolutely right. Writing (and artwork I'm sure, but I can't hardly do it) is totally work. Even if you're not doing with the idea of being published, its still work. It takes time and effort and energy.

    Sometimes I think a person just needs a good vent. To yell and scream and throw gifs out that also yell and scream, just to get it out of their system, and then they can carry on.

    It's gonna be ok! Everyone loves your story for a reason! It's good, and it's only gonna get better! Based off all I've heard of the Rooglewood editors, they know they're stuff, but they're wonderful to work with. We will survive!

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    1. :D It's a lot harder than I anticipated! Some days it's easy most days is torture!

      Me too! Thank you so much! I'm so glad you like it, the whole book is like a high stakes poker game so a card trick seemed to fit. <3

      I did! It was awful, I never like reading my own writing. He he, definitely not. Remember she told us not to worry about any critiques. Which I know it's impossible not to. I'm really excited about that story! Whatever works for you!

      I wish that was more widely known or accepted or something. Definitely,it can be just as tiring as physical work.

      I agree! He he, most of the gifs are from Parks and Rec, which is a hilarious sit com.

      Thanks! I've been trying not to let the doubts get me down. I am excited to have them fix it up. We will!!!

      XD

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  4. I am so sorry you're feeling this way! But it is perfectly natural. Writing is DRAINING. Especially when people don't realize it is, in fact, WORK. I was literally talking to my friend about that this morning, about how if you have a computer job, most people think you have it easy because hey, you get to sit around "playing" on the computer all day. Um. NO. Sometimes I welcome physical labor, because writing takes up soooo much mental energy and just... *collapses* IT'S SO HARD. But it's important, wonderful work, no matter what anyone says. And it IS work, and sometimes we get tired and need a break and that's completely okay.

    But ANYWAY. You're doing amazing, girl. I think I heard that this last Rooglewood contest was their biggest one yet, and yours got picked! You have such wonderful talent. I mean, DOSE SNIPPETS. O__O That one from Snow's POV just SKDJLFKJLSKJDF. SO GORGEOUS. But it's fine to feel drained and tired! I think that's just a part of the creative life, sadly.

    So let yourself be tired, let yourself have some self-doubt. Your body knows what it needs and your mind knows what it feels more than other people. These moments in life happen, but they always get better. And I know this one will too. You're doing amazing. *HUGS*

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    1. Thanks Christine! I'm actually doing okay, tired but okay. It is, and I have a hard time explaining that to people. I wish we were just playing around, it's super tiring. Me too, I clean or do something that doesn't require brain power. It is, it really is! I hope I didn't sound like I was complaining, because I do love it.

      Thanks! I keep trying to remind myself of that. Awww thanks! I really,really hope this post didn't come off like I was feeling sorry for myself. I'm so glad you like them, I'm having a hard time with them. writing Snow is going the best right now. *HUGS* Thank!!! Sad, but true. I guess I better get used to it.

      I will,I think I'm going to take a day just relax,and get back to it with a clear head. Your comments always encourage me, thanks for giving me a boost! <333
      *HUGS*

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  5. I feel you. I think the hardest thing I ever wrote was the first book AFTER winning the contest. It was like I had this huge pressure to be *good* now because I was published. And it wasn't necessarily pressure from other people, it was pressure from ME. So yeah, writing Cloaked kinda sucked for the first couple weeks because of that. But I found the joy again once I stopped pushing myself to be *good* and just let myself remember that first drafts are first drafts, no one reads them but you, and getting the story down is the main thing. (My first drafts are more like people's second drafts too. I basically don't do Nanowrimo anymore because I can't bear to waste time writing drivel just to fill up wordcounts. I don't have that much writing time anymore!)

    So kind of what I'm reading between the lines in this post is that you're feeling dry and empty. My creative writing prof in college once said that for some people, creativity is like a reservoir. You draw creativity out of the reservoir like water flowing out to water crops and so on. And creativity flows into it when you do things like watch movies or read books or go to an art museum or hike in the woods, just like water from rain and rivers flows into a reservoir. If you let too much water/creativity out with out refilling it, you will start to run dry. You'll feel empty. Then it's time to refill the reservoir. Whether it's reading books or watching movies or going to an art gallery or hiking or drawing or wandering around a craft store -- whatever it is that refills your reservoir, do that. A LOT. Stop drawing on your resources until you've filled back up again.

    That's my unsolicited advice, anyway :-)

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    1. I'm so glad I wasn't the only one to feel like this. Yes, that's excatly it. Ya, it's all from me, no one has said anything, but I am putting pressure on myself anyway. Oh I need to read that, I was going to re read all the collections and then I was going to see what other books the winners had. That's really encouraging, thanks for sharing that. I'm going to try to remember that. Nano never worked for me either, I don't think 50,000 bad words is worth it.

      That pretty much sums it up. I really like how he describes it. It really does seem to work like that. I have been pushing myself a bit. I think that is excatly what I need to do!

      Your advice is always appreciated! :D
      Thanks!

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    2. You're welcome! Glad I could help.

      My best friend is also a writer, and we're at a point with each other where we can tell from each others' emails if the other person is running dry and needs to refuel. We'll say stuff like, "Man, you sound like you're running on empty -- take a day or two off and retank, that might help." Burnout is a real thing, not an excuse, and a lot of times unless there's a legit deadline looming, it works better to quit pushing at the words and just take a step back, breathe, refuel, and try again.

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    3. :D I really appreciate it!

      That must be so nice. I always feel like I'm making an excuse, so I try to work through it. Then I hit a wall, I need to start realizing it for what it is. I'm definitely going to do that!

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    4. Yeah, it's pretty amazing being best friends and also writing buddies. Because we can help each other through stuff like this.

      There are times when I can't tell if I'm running dry or if I'm just being lazy, but usually if I just inhale a book or watch a couple movies, I can jumpstart myself if I'm just beling lazy. If I'm running dry, it takes longer to build the flow of words back up. I try to "feed" myself while I'm writing heavily, reading about a book a week and watching at least one movie a week just to keep myself tanked up. Usually that works, but not always.

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    5. I need to get more writing buddies, it can be pretty lonely.

      That's what I thought at first, maybe I just needed a quick break. Turns out I had to take a weekend off. That's a good idea, it's been nice finding inspiration in other people's stories.

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  6. I hope you feel more creatively awake soon!

    Your snippets were great, I can't wait to read your story. <3

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    1. Starting too! Just needed some rest!

      Thanks! :D That means a lot, thank you!
      <3

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  7. Sending lots of hugs and encouragement!! You can do this, Skye!

    Catherine

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    1. Thanks Catherine! They are very appreciated!

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  8. Don't feel like you have to push yourself past your limits, dear! Writing is hard, and some days, self-doubt makes it almost impossible. Using myself as an example, I've gotten a lot of compliments on my writing, from my professors, from published writers, from others who've read my writing, yet every time I submit a project, I'm positive it's awful. In English, I get consistent A's. But every time, I send a paper in, I'm sure this is one that's gonna send my grade plummeting. Self-doubt is hard, and many writers struggle with it. I guess what I'm saying is, “You're not alone. And as hard as it is to believe some days, your writing is super awesome.” <3

    500 words a day is a worthy goal! Stick to it, but take the time off if you need it. I have given you permission. ;)


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbosityreviews.com

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    1. Trying not too. :D It is, I've been drowning in self doubt lately. Seems like we have a lot in common, I'm always convinced everything I do is awful. I think a lot of it has to do with being a perfectionist.
      Thanks, that was super encouraging! <3

      I did take the weekend off, planning on getting back to it.

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    2. Yeah, probably. I'm a perfectionist, too, and since I know I'll never be perfect, that self-doubt always niggles. It's something I'm trying to learn to let go of.
      You're welcome! I'm glad. :D

      *thumbs up* Sounds good!

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    3. It's awful isn't it, I wish I was happy with average things. Hate the self doubt. You and me both!

      Your comments are always great! :D

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  9. I'll occasionally do a month of 100 words/day when I'm trying to finish a project. And to be honest, I get burned out at the end of the month if I've been consistent. I usually have to take a bit of a break. So I totally get you there!!

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    1. That seems more doable, maybe I should try that. I'm hating that feeling, I never like to run on empty.
      Glad I'm not alone in this!

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  10. I've found that I really need a meaningful block of time to write well. My first book, I would sometimes only write a hundred or 200 words at a time, just to get something down when I didn't have much time--I eventually removed or rewrote much of that. What really makes the writing a joy is when I can take a block of time and become totally immersed in the world I'm creating, getting inside the characters and wearing them like my own skin. I completely lose track of time when that happens. It's magnificent.

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  11. I found that works best too! I like being able to just write and not worry about word count.

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