Monday, May 9, 2011

The tipping point?

It's been a while, hasn't it?

I could tell you I'm sorry for not blogging in so long, but that would be a lie. Instead of blogging, I've been struggling just to keep writing. It's not been easy, since life has decided to turn nasty the past few weeks.

I can't go into detail, but suffice it to say that things have been somewhat intense lately. I hate when things get all life-and-death, you know? Add in the fact that I've been really struggling with this whole "I'm a writer" thing, and you've got, well, me.

Several times over the past couple of weeks, I've started to write a blog post and it was so depressing that I deleted it. I'm honestly tired of feeling sorry for myself and sharing it here for the whole world to see. It gets old.

I realize I am at a critical juncture in my "career." A tipping point. This would be the time when most sane people would pack it in and get a real job. I'm close to doing just that. But I've forced myself to sit down and write on my new manuscript anyway, even when I would rather chew off my own leg than do just that.

God, it's hard sometimes. I suspect that for some of us, sitting at our computers typing away on some piece of work that will likely die on the vine anyway is our own peculiar brand of insanity.

Goddamn it. I want to write and publish a novel.

There. I said it. I want to write and publish a novel. Or twenty. I really, really do. It's been my dream since I was a teenager. I love writing (or, having written, actually). I used to think I was good at it. I'm not so sure these days.

Life and my own self-doubts just keep popping up, day after day.

So, I haven't been ignoring you, my friends. Instead, I've been dealing with some hard times and some killer self-doubts. But I'm still writing. Maybe not well, but writing nonetheless. And when I read my new book, I sometimes get that old feeling back. I find myself sometimes thinking, This thing is pretty good. In fact, it's damn good!

And these days, that's enough to bring me back to the computer the next day. Right now, it's all I have.


  1. It'll get better. Then it'll get worse. And then better again. Just the way it goes.
    all the best,

  2. I've got the same dream. Ever since I can remember.

    All I can say is, don't give up. You know what you want to accomplish, and that's not going to change. That's your guiding star, despite all your self-doubt.

    Have you read "Do the Work" by Steven Pressfield? It's a short, quick read, but it's a great little pep talk when you're down. The Kindle version's free, so...

    Don't give up.

  3. I'm right there sitting beside you. Bubba's BBQ is looking for waitresses again.

    I figure I can give up and fail, or keep trying until I've written everything I possibly can and then fail.

    And then self-publish. But I wouldn't do that. I want the dream. And if I work hard enough and long enough, hopefully it will come true. What say you?

    And if you want, you can always email me and scream and vent and throw things. I know when to duck.

  4. Sometimes critique partner/group helps the writing ego. Gotta keep the real world in perspective, but nobody should have to completely give up on their dreams. As long as you keep writing and submitting, there is still hope :)


  5. sounds like writing one day at a time is a wise decision... afterall, that's all anyone can do, right? i hope the life stuff gets under control soon!

  6. Hey Terry! I really do know exactly how you feel. I guess that's why I ended up back in school. But I'm still writing.

    Just keep at it. I know shit gets old, but before you know it, things will be different once again.

    Your pal and almost non-existent blogger,

    I'll get back to it, I swear!

  7. I feel like I could have written this myself. I like what "mood" said: It'll get better. Then worse, etc. I suspect we all feel this way at some point, so it's good to blog about it. You get it out of your system and we can rally around each other to say "Don't give up!"

    I really need to take my own advice :-)


  8. Self-doubt is the killer that you have to fend off, tooth and nail. I have the same thoughts all the time, however at least I'm getting paid for a full-time job that actually does pay quite handsomely, and boosts my self-esteem.

    I take issue with the statement that you like "having written." Writing isn't about "having written." If you don't get thrills and chills and moments of anguish and despair (but mostly soaring joy) from the process of writing itself--if the writing itself isn't the reward for the hours spent doing it--then I think that you will end up bailing out.

  9. Your heart to mine. I call mine "The Sticking Point", instead. Being immensely stubborn/feisty, forcing myself to keep walking into the wind, I have reached the point where I have said, "This far, and no further."
    That's when I started climbing up out of the darkness. I had to get medical help for a long-standing depression, talk about a painful past with a counselor, and then talk with my family.
    Writing has been an outlet, even if it is scribbling in a journal about the darkness of the day or the thoughts that I had buried long ago.
    Take off the pressure of "I've got to get this done!" which always results in desperation. Instead, write bits that can be digested slowly.
    Write meaningfully, and honestly. Don't delete it. Keep it in another file.
    You are in the hands of God.

  10. If you're a writer, you write. Maybe you take breaks but you still go back to writing.

    A lot of people expect that first ms to sell quickly and maybe be big. Doesn't happen. For most of us, that first novel is a learning experience. Work on the next one. And the next one. Then when one sells, you have the others in your inventory.

  11. I understand this so well. I felt as if I were reading about myself. I have written since I could put pen to paper. I've written short stories, poetry and have a sci-fi novel in progress. Sci-fi would have been the very last genre I would attempt to have written but it was done on the "mandatory" suggestion of a college professor who wanted to take me out of my comfort zone. Despite a lifetime of very positive reviews of my writings from family and friends (which to me they don't count cause they can't be objective) and professors, there is a part of me that struggles with this sometimes. Is it fear of failure? I don't know. All I know is that I find myself not committing fully to the craft as many writers do. I pick up my WIP and can objectively see sections that I think creatively brilliant and well written but then of course there are sections where my inner critic screams "elementary!" and that is when I put the laptop away and say "who am I kidding?" Yet no amount of support and belief from others can change this; it can only change within ourselves. I so feel your pain but all I can say, which is the same thing I say to myself, is keep on truckin' and don't give up. If you can say without conviction that you can put your creative away and never write another word again, then you're not a writer. But if you can't like me, then you are and so keep at it, keep at it, keep at it. That which we do often becomes habit. Will be following you.....

  12. I usually throw myself down and howl on days like that. We all do. It's coo, Terry. You're in good company.