Hi all! It’s been an odd summer – too hot, too busy, too many things to figure out – so my personal writing has been in something of a slump. (Yes, there were releases. Re-issues, dontcha know.) Anyway, I find myself battling some common writer maladies…
Also known as: I have to submit this. It’s as finished as it’s going to be. They’ll hate it. Oh, my gods, I can’t hit the send button. My stomach is in knots. (Eventually, that shaking finger manages to hit the send button – out it goes into the wilds. And still shaking.)
Symptoms include: OK, the publisher comes back. They didn’t want it. My writing sucks. I’ll never sell anything again. I’m a fraud. A failure. Publishers suck. They have no clue. But I still suck. (And around and around.)
Not so great review comes in which causes the following: I really am a fraud. Good gravy, why am I still doing this? Reviews suck. I suck more. Why did I ever think my writing was any good? (These same symptoms can be caused by (necessarily) critical beta readers – some head/desk symptoms may happen in addition.)
I should write today. I also have to do these several hundred other things. *does other things, guilt dogs footsteps* OK, now I’ll write. *opens document, stares numbly at screen* I’m supposed to write every day, how will this ever get done?
That writer has more reviews than me. Better ones. They write faster. That one just said they wrote seven hundred thousand words today. That one keeps showing up at the top of (fill in list of choice used to torture self.) I suck.
Does everyone suffer from these? No. Not always. Are these diseases of the new writer? No. Look, I’ve been doing this a long time. This stuff does not go away. Partly, that’s good. If you become complacent as a writer, you cease to grow. Then you just get boring.
The other part? Vent and rant to friends (usually best in private.) Take some time to do something you enjoy (This is important. You can’t just keep beating yourself over the head and expect good work.) Learn new things. Learn how to be better. Acknowledge the difference between critique that’s harmful and helpful.
Be nice to yourself.
No, it never goes away. But it’s gonna be all right, even if we need some chocolate first.