Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Insecure again...

Oh crumbs... it's that time of the month again.

The time we lay bare our insecurities and fears, and hope that someone out there has felt the same and can offer words of wisdom.

Sometimes my insecurities aren't things that I can explain; sometimes they are pent up gargles of frustration where I want to throw all my notes into the air and walk away.

Don't worry, I'm not quite at that stage at the moment, but I am writing a few paragraphs and then throwing my hands in the air in despair. I'd love to ask for help, but when you don't know what the problem is it's hard for people to offer a solution. In fact, I don't even think it's a WIP problem...

[wait for it, folks, I might just be solving my own insecurity...]

...  it might be a I've-just-published-a-book-and-my-head-thinks-I'm-finished problem.

Whenever I finish a major project, my mind seems to want to take a six-month holiday to celebrate, whereas I realise that I've got two more projects lined up and ready to work on, as well as coming up with some really clever marketing!

Take yesterday as a really timely example. After going to the gym - and wobbling home again on legs that did not want to move - I had a whole four hours of writing time. The dishes seemed particularly in need, so I washed them, obviously. Then I sat down and wrote a paragraph... yes, folks, a whole paragraph. Then I looked at it and realised it was just ordinary. But then I thought it really deserved to be an amazing paragraph, so I rewrote it, made a cup of tea, checked my emails and... erm, not much else. Four hours 'writing' and only one ordinary paragraph to show for it.

So, here's a photo to make my head think I'm on holiday... (which is in no way a flimsy excuse to post yet another picture of a sunny day!) It might work, mightn't it?

Yes, that's me popping up from the bottom of the picture!
I have no idea what I was doing!

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67 comments:

  1. You made me smile, Annalisa. I can picture myself doing the same thing! Some days the writing flows easily and sometimes, well it doesn't. Hope you nailed that paragraphy btw!

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    1. It would be so much nicer if you could guarantee the flow!

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  2. Keep in mind that your one paragraph is still more progress over someone who doesn't try at all.

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  3. *snorts* Finished? FINISHED?! Lady, you are only just getting started! I don't dole out praise to just anyone, you know? Of course, I am a teensy bit biased but that doesn't change the fact that every time I sit down with something you wrote, I can't concentrate on anything else until I've finished it.

    Stick with it, it will come together. If we lived closer, I'd have you whipped into shape in no time lol!

    A holiday, you say? I happen to be planning a brief jaunt to Bristol... *giggles* :p

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    1. Thanks Kyra. 'Only just getting started' is exactly what I needed to hear today :-) If we lived closer together, I'd never get ANY writing done - too much fun!

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  4. Mental breaks are always a good thing, the trick is reminding your brain that it does have to go back to work at some time. I've found a good friend who is willing to read a chapter or two at a time can be a great help for insecurity. Mind does an excellent job of pointing out my more ridiculous mistakes and remind me not to take myself or my writing too seriously.

    I might have to steal the oh crumbs thing. I like it!

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    1. Six months was my biggest 'break', and that was horrible. I'll make sure it's not THAT long again. 'Oh crumbs...' I'm sooo British lol

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  5. people need time to success and accomplishment after major projects are finished. the imortant and big part is to start again.

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  6. Dont beat yourself up too much. That one paragraph might turn into something amazing later on, but even if it doesn't, at least you wrote SOMETHING that day. :)

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  7. I can totally understand how after you've invested huge amounts of your time and life into a project and see it through to fruition you would feel an "Amen" moment and think it is finished. It would be hard, I can only imagine, to regroup and remember there is more to be written! I hope you do take a time of refreshment though. Birthing a book is a huge labor of love!

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    1. I guess sometimes you just don't realise how exhausting it is to birth a book (great phrase!)

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  8. Someone told me once that art cannot be rushed. I try to remember it every time I'm agonizing over getting a lot done very quick. I think if you give yourself time, your own muses will kick you back to work. After all, the writer's mark is something we carry in the bones. You cannot get rid of it permanently. :)

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    1. The writer's mark! That's a great way to think of it, thanks :-)

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  9. I'm not even finished and I feel like I need a break. The book The Artist's Way says artist need to play. So go play! Even if you only write a paragraph, it's better than a blank page.

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    1. Oh yes, those blank pages are fearsome!

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  10. You have every right to feel like celebrating your success and taking a moment's break. I must be in the right frame of mind to write. I can try and force myself, but what I write will always come out crap. Sometimes, getting out and seeing something new helps inspire me to want to write again. Maybe all you need is a good holiday, lol

    And that's a great picture!

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    1. I could never be a writer who writes every day no matter what - like you, I need to be ready for it, otherwise it's going to be bad. That might have been the problem yesterday. Luckily my sister mentioned going away for a few days - she doesn't know how timely she is!

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  11. Celebrate and take a break! You deserve it. Be good to and reward yourself.

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  12. Rest is vital. Fields lie fallow for a reason. It's part of the harvest.

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  13. I've done that -many- times. Sitting down to write and it's at that precise moment that I realize the shelves need dusting....or the towels need folding...or I need to go work out...or, something!

    Relax and take breaks, but make sure you're taking care of your writing business too :)

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    1. Yes, shelves are always dustiest right before dawn... Or something like that?

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  14. I can identify with that! Each time I have something accepted the urge to write something new takes a back seat and I get the urge to bask! Maybe it's the brain's way of telling us to take a break and re-fuel - although it just feels like complacency!

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    1. Some authors are able to just push on to the next thing, but maybe I have to accept I'm not!

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  15. I spent all of Monday dealing with family drama via phone calls, so I am jealous of your one good paragraph!!

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    1. Yes, those uncontrollable things are the hardest to work around. Hope the drama was smoothed out.

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  16. One good paragraph is better than nothing.There's always chores to be done and the muse sometimes just doesn't show up for her allotted writing time. What are we to do?
    Nutschell
    www.thewritingnut.com

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    1. My muse does enjoy playing hide and seek!

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  17. Great picture! I know how the muse can be when you set aside time to write and nothing much comes out. I think you deserve a little break, you have been a busy woman. I want to wish you all the best and hope that you find the solution that you are looking for.

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  18. Haha! Oh man I've been there. I sit down thinking I'm going to be so productive and the next thing I know I've watch 10 cat videos and written three words. Yeah, you're not alone...

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    1. Lol, yes! Really I should try turning off my internet, but it's just so hard to do that... :-)

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  19. Maybe we should have a little holiday after finishing something? Not six months, but perhaps a day or two.

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    1. It would serve as a mental break between projects, wouldn't it? Perhaps some of my problem is I'm still thinking about the last project.

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  20. Oh man, the same thing happens to me. I'm drowning in A-Z emails, as in about 200 a day. Threw together today's post...it's just a busy time of year for me. I'm not even able to think about how insecure I am...but I'm getting better because I'm reading L.Diane Wolfe's book about publishing. It rocks. And encourages me. Highly recommended. She was the "getting to know you" post recently so if you're interested it shouldn't be too hard to find...I just don't have time to look up the link. It's almost 1:30 and I haven't had lunch and my hypoglycemia is screaming at me, "Eat something you idiot or we'll pass out."
    Tina @ Life is Good
    Co-host, April 2013 A-Z Challenge Blog
    @TinaLifeisGood, #atozchallenge

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    1. Lol. I hope you enjoyed your lunch. I think I saw that post, but I'll check it out again. Now, take a deep breath and relax :-)

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  21. Yeah, I know what you mean. Sometimes I just want to go on holiday for the rest of my life. But that's not how it works in the big city.

    And for the record, a single paragraph is way better than none, so that's a good start.

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    1. Yes, definitely better than a blank page.

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  22. I have the I'm-not-published-and-my-head-thinks-that-means-I-should-sit-and-do-nothing syndrome, so I understand completely.

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    1. Our heads are against us - I'd never noticed that before! :-)

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  23. That's why I always tell new authors to dive back into something right away! Because the brain seems to go to mush after a release and the excitement dies down.

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  24. Yes, sometimes insecurity is just a feeling...or an inarticulate scream.lol

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    1. A scream can say so much, though, can't it?

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  25. I often have troubles shifting gears between projects, too. So, it's not just you. Sometimes I think it is because I need a bit of a break. And I usually give myself a few slacker days for that reason. But trying to rein myself back in and be a disciplined writer can be a bit of a battle. I find I'll start myriad projects all at once, spending bits of energy on each -- a form of writer ADD. Today, I made myself settle down and work one through. The ending is really bad at the moment, but I know it won't stay that way... it's holding the gist until I nail it down and beautify it. Shrug. Maybe it's all part of the process.

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    1. Well done for getting to the end - I'm sure it will be nailed and beautified soon! My process definitely calls for lots of 'thinking time', but that always seems like such a waste... until I sit down and pour out the story, then I realise the thinking was necessary!

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  26. "Four hours 'writing' and only one ordinary paragraph to show for it." I've had those days. Hang in there and may there be sunny days full of easy writing in your near future.

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    1. Oh there definitely will be sunny days ahead! Thanks for visiting :-)

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  27. My four hours of writing tend to go like that...

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    1. I sometimes get more done when I have less time...

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  28. Been there....done that. Don't worry, it is what it is...and you'll get past it!

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    1. I have an overwhelming urge to sing 'I am what I am'... Thank you - it's a good message :-)

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  29. We all have those days. We allll have them.

    Allison (Geek Banter)

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    1. It's good to know I'm not alone, but now I feel sorry for everyone else too :-/

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  30. I can commiserate. I've not even done anything of importance and that happens to me more often than I'd care to admit. Having just published you deserve a bit of a break!

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  31. Thank you for your thoughtful words today!
    The writing stops and throwing hands up in the air happens to me too:) Amazingly, a moment does eventually come when I'm able to write pages upon pages and everything sticks well. I think it just depends on the day and whether I know what the scene is about ahead of time. The important thing is to keep going :)

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    1. I love those days when the writing flows and it's dinner time without even realising!

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  32. Hi Annalisa,

    Take a holiday just not a six month one unlike me. And congrats on the new book. Will put it on my TBB list.
    The beach(?) looks enticing, won't really blame you for wanting to stay there. :)

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    1. Thanks Rekha! The picture is of a lake, and it was a beautiful hot day a couple of years ago.

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  33. The lake looks wonderful right now. A vacation would be nice.
    Congrats on the new book.

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  34. I guess the trick is to use the time taking care of all the other writerly things that need doing. Like studying craft or reading blogs or just letting your mind relax for a while. Congratulations on being published in the first place.

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  35. Knowing the right questions to ask is such a huge part of solving the problem. That was always a tough one for me in school. I knew I needed help, but sometimes I didn't know my own question. Starting small and working through things bit by bit helps. Your "whole paragraph" idea is a good one:)

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Please comment - I love a good chat!