Tuesday, August 2, 2016

A Challenge

Here we are, running headlong into another month which means it's time for another installment of Insecure Writer's Support Group. Stop on by the Ninja Captain's blog and say hi or jump on the linky. This month's co hosts are Tamara Narayan,Tonja Drecker, Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor, Lauren @ Pensuasion, Stephen Tremp, and Julie Flanders!

More and more, my words are dogged by doubt.

Well, I mean, that’s unfair. My words were always filled with doubt, but now I can see where those doubts come from: now I know the shape of them.

It’s a funny thing that by the time you know enough about writing, you know to be careful with it, when really, when we’re writing our early drafts what we really need is to be wildly carefree. We need to throw our words around, send them where we will, experiment with the emotions of a scene.

But you’ve heard all this before, and this probably isn’t helping except to reaffirm that these feelings we have are real and other people have them too.

So here’s something new. A challenge. Are you still with me?

I’m always talking about learning how to not compare myself to others? How when I compare myself to others, I only disappoint myself? Well, there’s someone else I keep comparing myself to, and it drives me nuts. I keep comparing myself to me. I compare my rough drafts to my finished novels. I compare my scenes on paper to the ones in my head. And the most annoying thing about comparing myself to me is that I always find myself wanting.

Like I did a good job back then, but that ain’t happening again. I’m convinced the thing that makes the stuff suck between the idea and the words is that the idea and the words pass through me, like I’m some filter of suckage.

Of course the rough draft isn’t going to be anything like a polished published novel. Why do I even compare them? It’s like I forgot all those intermediate steps I took to make it all the way to the end.

Of course my ideas aren’t going to translate perfectly to the scenes in the novels. Those scenes are just guideposts anyways.

So I need to challenge myself to stop comparing me to me. No big deal. This should be totally easy.

Spoiler alert: Totally not easy!

Also, did I mention I'm running a little giveaway for my book? Just comment on this link (FB link) for a chance to win an eCopy of Acne Asthma and other Signs You Might Be Half Dragon!


  1. There have been so many times when the words in my head sound great when I run through the scene in my mind, but when I put them down on paper, they kind of suck. Or at least they aren't as good as I remembered. I don't know if I'm the problem, or if the words in my head just weren't as good as I thought. You need to go back and compare these rough drafts with your old rough drafts. You might find your words are better than you thought.

  2. You know, I pretty much hate my manuscripts until they're in the 5th draft form. Then I start to like them. I've developed a healthy separation state of mind until they get to the point where I can stomach them.

  3. I feel for you, Rena. It's hard not to be hard on ourselves. We wouldn't let our children do it. We'd tell our friends to be kind to themselves. We'd hug our parents. My advice, remember that you are always changing while remaining the same. The change and contrast will make you stronger, wiser, better. And then there's always IWSG Wednesdays! Happy Writing.

  4. I honestly think the further I get into being an author, the worse my confidence gets

  5. Competing against yourself. Now that's a new insecurity. Leave it to a writer to get creative about stuff to drive themselves crazy!

  6. I am going to tell you the same thing a dear writer told me two years ago. She said, Pat, be a gentle friend to yourself. I didn't realize how hard I was on myself and how tolerate I was of others. I made a decision to learn to be a friend, a gentle friend to myself. So I say to you, Be a gentle friend to yourself.
    All the best.
    Shalom aleichem,

  7. You are better now than you were then. Relax - the polished final draft will rock.

  8. Take pride in your rough drafts. Grab lots of coloured pens and doodle all over the pages - write little asides or things that you know won't make the final draft, or shopping lists your character would make. Just anything that means you know this isn't the final, polished piece - just have fun! Soon, you'll stop comparing, you'll just see the journey from rough to perfect :-)


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