Tuesday, October 21, 2008

No Pressure? Ha!

Like many writers, I am my own worst enemy. I write and delete, write and delete, fret and pull out my hair. Good thing I have extra hair.

I've been making something that almost looks like progress on Novel #2, but I keep having trouble with the fear of writing crap. Sometimes, particularly in the early days of a novel or story, I just write and see where the story takes me. But once there's some semblance of something salvagable, I seize like an engine without motor oil. I can't write crap because that wouldn't be worth writing. What?

Sometimes, I push myself anyway and find that these fingers are capable of writing not-crap. But the fear of writing something I'm only going have to undo or redo is causing some serious slow-downs in writing.

I've been gutting, filleting, and redoing Novel #2(but not starting over and somehow that's important. Look, if I wasn't a head case, I could hardly be a writer!). In this process of redoing so much of it, I can't seem to force myself to write just anything. My fingers resist. And then they go clicky-clicky over to the internet. =/

I've been noticing how my writing habits wax and wane with phases of the moon. A period of good writing makes me want to write more. A drought... and I spend a lot of time in the kitchen looking for ways to break the drought. So far, I've not had any great inspiration in the kitchen, but one never knows.

Too much pressure to write. I've got to find a way to get past this. NaNoWriMo's coming up, which should help. (Yes, I can be counted amongst the foolish! Fourth year now.) In the mean time, does anyone has any ideas to get some of the pressure of myself? Writing is supposed to be fun, both the good and the bad.


Josephine Damian said...

I find by outlining, I working out all of those blind alleys that writers get lost in and lose a lot of time having to re-write.

I started out like you - a go with the flow type of writer, but learned the hard way that I wasted a lot of time that way.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I constantly edit to put off going with the flow. I mistrust it though when I let it happen something good usually happens.

sandra seamans said...

When I stop going with the flow, I start to overthink the story. I try to keep the first draft simple, then go back and change words and sentences, get rid of the baggage that doesn't belong, fill in the holes. In the rewriting is usually where I find out what the story is all about because I start asking myself "why?". I've had flash stories of 400 words morph into 2000 word stories by just asking why the characters are doing this or why is this character so stupid. There's a thousand whys to any story and finding the one that opens the whole story up makes for some of the best hallelujah moments in writing.

Emily Veinglory said...

Wow, a serial Nano-er. Once was enough for me!

Ray said...

Just go with the flow - I don't have time to think because I want to know what happens next.