At a loss?

So recently I have taken a step back from my novel (and writing in general) as I am starting to lack confidence in the skill and my work.

I know what I have written is a rough draft but I feel it needs so much work to it even before its called a first draft! And so the spiral starts…..

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Tiredness is also a factor- I feel I’m slowly loosing the imagination to tell the story. I feel as if my characters have gone on holiday or on strike! Disconnected and banned from their lives somehow.

The feedback (from most of the fellow critique people) I have been getting with the new blog hop for writers (Sunday snippets) has been so useful (and im so grateful for their time and help- big hugs to you), but at the same time it highlights just how much work I need to do to the point where I dread putting words out there. As a fellow blogger and writer told me once- maybe I need beta readers and not critiques?

Time is I guess another issue at the moment but its not like the novel has a deadline. I always said get it written then get it right- but I do find myself wanting to edit straight after writing it knowing something could be/is wrong with it.

Maybe because I have been ill it has taken the confidence out of me? Or could it be that there are so many great writers out in the world and im not brave enough to show my work to them? Am I even writing for me anymore? Is the fun gone?

I think im at a loss. I will put the novel away for a few weeks and go from there- maybe leaving it for abit will spark the flow again? In the meantime I might focus on my other WIP (this years nanowrimo).

Is this what writers block feels like? What do you do to snap out the lull?

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7 Responses to At a loss?

  1. So sorry you are feeling this way. Are you half way through your novel by any chance? I was reading the other day that it is very common for writers to hit a low or block at the mid point, and start doubting them selves. So take a good break and treat yourself to lots of nice things, and by the time you come back you will feel refreshed, and ready to go. When I get bloggers block, I take a week off and feel so much better for it. Also there’s a great book by Julia Cameron, The Artists Way which is geared towards getting over writers block and boosting creativity – it’s very good!

  2. Mayumi-H says:

    It sounds like life has enough stresses going on for you, right now. It’s okay to take a break, if you’re not feeling the words. If it’s more that still want to write but you’re not interested in writing *that particular story*, you may want to turn your attentions elsewhere, such as your NaNoWriMo, or a simpler/smaller project like the 100 WCGU challenges.

    This is not going to sound particularly helpful, but I’ve found the best cure for a lack of confidence is time. Keeping at your writing (or drawing, or whatever you’re trying to do) can help because it keeps you in practice, so you don’t lose your edge. But, often the most fulfilling way to recapture the spark is to distance yourself for a while. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, as they say.

    Feel free to take a break. Recharge your batteries. You may just need to step back for a while.

    Of course, babies are also exhausting. Nothing you can change about that, though. šŸ˜‰

  3. Hey Hun, sorry to hear you are feeling that way… I don’t know whether this will help, but I have also taken a break from my novel (hence the lack of tweets about it). I knew this would happen though, which is why I tell people I expect it to take at least a year or two to even write my first draft! It’s taken a long time for me to realise that’s just how I work. As the other comments say, time does help! I find taking a step back from the work really helpful. I also make a note of my dreams in the meantime, and what comes up in writing prompt challenges as sometimes it leads back to the ‘big’ piece. The links aren’t always there/obvious though. And having a child is physically and emotionally exhausting! Sometimes you need time out just to breathe, so you do that. One final note – never compare yourself to anyone else when it comes to… well, anything really! It’s rarely helpful. The only comparison worth making (in my humble opinion, of course), is with yourself. You started writing a book. You put it out there and accepted feedback with grace. That’s a BIG deal. You hadn’t done that before had you? So, go, enjoy your breathing space, congratulate yourself on how far you’ve come.

    Sorry for the epic comment, I just wanted to show my support! I might be able to help more if you’re interested (it’s something that could help me too!), DM me on twitter if so and I’ll email you. x

    • Thanks hun! I do need to see how far i have come dont i! Will still do prompts as if i dont do them then i wont go back to writing kinda feeling lol. Soz to hear your going through it too xx

  4. I wish I’d gotten here sooner now, because I recognise this feeling so well!

    Taking a break from the novel is a hard thing to do and I admire anybody who recognises the need for that before they have a minor meltdown (which is what I usually do).

    That being said, I really want to say that critiques are hard to receive and that anybody who dares to go through the process (putting aside that it is a necessary process) is very brave to do so. Good critiques take your work and point out inconsistencies, chances for stronger verb choices, repetitions, confusion and all sorts of other things that it may not be possible to catch on your own. They also do it in a manner that doesn’t attack you, your work or try to change it to suit the critiquer’s style/needs/preferences. All in all it’s very hard.

    I hope that the Sunday Snippets has been a useful exercise for you and that you’ll return when you’re back in the right head space for it. Personally, one of the biggest joys of critiquing for me, is seeing what other people have to say about the piece of work I might be talking about. I learn such a vast amount from what other people have to say and I also feel a great sense of pride in seeing somebody’s writing improve. Not that it’s anything to do with me especially, but pride in the community of writers out there who support each other so so well.

    Phew! That was a bit babbly. Anyway, I’m done, I hope to catch you in the ether some time soon. šŸ™‚

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