Writing is hard. There are moments when you get sudden sparks of inspiration only for it to fizzle just as quickly. I’ve been slowly undergoing a rediscovery for my writing and feeding my creativity by doing things that will help me create the worlds and characters I’m currently writing about for my long-time, in-the-works fantasy novel. Because the urge to tap back into this side of writing has been strong for me lately, it was a good time as any to go back and read what I did write so far before taking a hiatus (2017 to be exact). What I discovered was maybe what I was writing wasn’t all that bad as I thought it was.
I suppose it goes without saying that all writers will be critical of their own work. I’m pretty sure all authors whose books have ended up on The New York Times bestsellers list have thought the same way about their novels. We worry and doubt unnecessarily when what we really should be doing is trust in ourselves and our creative process. And if you aren’t too reluctant to let other people read your work, they can be a good source of feedback. The way I see it, if your friends and family haven’t told you in a nice way that your work in progress is complete garbage, then maybe you’re onto something.
Although I have stepped away from my novel longer than I should have, especially if I’m really trying to get serious about finishing this manuscript at some point during my lifetime, it’s also good to give yourself some space from it. You can be knee deep into something and may not always have the perspective or insight to feel like you’re on the right path. By unintentionally creating some distance from my work, I was pleasantly surprised by what I have produced so far.
This renewal for my writing, which I hope will continue as time goes on, has only been made stronger by what I’ve read of my story so far. I know there will still be plenty of work to be done once I get to the editing phase, but knowing that what I have at the moment is good enough has been immensely encouraging.
Have you ever worked on something where you said to yourself, “This may not actually be terrible?” Did it inspire you to keep going?
5 thoughts on “The Writer’s Process: Maybe This Doesn’t Suck After All?”
That’s great you’re getting back into writing! It can be fun to reread old writing and realize it’s not so bad (although I have my really bad passages too)! I like how you mentioned every bestselling writer must have had their moments with their inner critic too, because I’m sure it is just part of being a writer.
That’s where I get stuck with my own writing – I tend to rewrite the same parts over and over to get them “right,” but I know now that it’s just an excuse not to move on. I can’t be a perfectionist about my writing, I just need to get it done!
Anyway, I’m excited to hear you’re writing these days. Good luck and let me know if you ever need a reader! 🙂
Thanks! It has been a long time since I’ve felt really excited about writing again. Creatively speaking of course. 😉 It kind of is fun to go back and read what you’ve written. I also found some sections that need to be reworked, but it’s a bit of a confident booster to know that you may not have to totally rip it apart in the editing phase.
Oh, I used to be the same way! I often would want to edit things, thinking that perfecting what you already had rather than continue writing your story, even if it’s crappy, is the way to go. Nope. Much better to keep pushing forward and ignore any mistakes or bad writing as you go. That’s why editing is the next stage, right? At least when you finish what you write first, in its imperfect entirety, you know what you’re working with. Another way to look at it is that you’re half way there to (hopefully) having a publishable book!
Thanks for the offer! I could always use more readers, so you’ll definitely be one of the ones I’ll reach out to when I’m ready to share! 😀
I’ve gone through almost the exact same thing. I’m in the long process of writing a novel myself and have also taken quite a bit of a hiatus from it, but sometimes, when I get the urge to look back at what I’ve written, it genuinely surprises me. I think, “Wow, did I write this?” or “Whoa, how did I ever come up with this particular idea? It’s awesome!” It’s those moments that make me think that I may have a shred of talent when it comes to this and will, at times, give me a bit more motivation to continue with it and someday finish it. I’m hoping my hiatus will end soon, though. Hopefully your newfound motivation takes you all the way to the end!
Good luck with your own novel! It’s tough trying to find the motivation to write, even when the desire to write is there. I think we just need to break out of mental habits that keep us from just going for it regardless of what our inner critic tells us. Easier said than done, I know, but I think it’s a lesson I’m starting to finally apply for my own writing. I hope that motivational spark will be coming for you soon! 😀
Thank you so much for your little pep talk! I really, really appreciate. I just hope all of that motivation comes back to me so that I can continue writing. Best of luck with your novel, as well 🙂