Monday, December 28, 2009

2010 ... A Writer's Odyssey?

Can you believe it's almost that time ... a new year? And not just any new year, but one that, like 1984 and 2000, has been historically celebrated by society's collective zeitgeist. Isn't it weird to think that things we take for granted now, like Skype and sending Russian billionaires into space, used to be the stuff of sci-fi movies?

And look at all the tools currently available to us as writers ... super-fast computers and manuscript formatting software (not to mention my personal favorite - that million "room" research library known as the internet.) But shave away the fancy trimmings and writing is still writing, just as it was for Jane Austin, Herman Melville and all the rest. It's the same impassioned, draining, exhilarating, daunting experience as it ever was, and no new technology is ever going to change that.

I originally wanted to do a post about new year's writing resolutions, and I may still do one, but I have to admit that, at the moment, I'm not really in a good space for such a topic. I was afraid this might happen (more on that in a moment.) We're still "on holiday," as my husband calls it, and I've allowed myself a little time away from my writing. My beta readers are hard at work back home, and hopefully they'll have some initial feedback on Part 1 of my WIP when I return in January.

Theoretically, everything is on track, but psychologically, something is amiss. I find that when I take a step back from my intense daily writing schedule, my Inner Demons start to rear their ugly heads. At this moment, I am feeling very down in the dumps about my potential career as a writer. I can't put my finger on exactly why I'm feeling this way, but that lingering "lump" is definitely in my chest. Do you ever feel that way? And do you find that re-immersing yourself in your writing generally cures these ills, or does it require something more?

I don't have a FIGURING IT OUT AS I GO for today ... I welcome YOUR tips on how to overcome these writer's humps that seem to constantly creep up in our paths ...


  1. Oops, just realized I confused Kubrick's "2001: Space Odyssey" with the "2010" sequel ... but you get the picture!

  2. Those two movies are easy to confuse - don't worry you were in the same movie series anyway ;o)

    I haven't heard of a writer NOT feeling that way. It's natural to have doubts. I have them - all the time, but I fight the feeling and write on, because, that's all I can do. We can only excel and get better at our craft if we work at it, no one is perfect right out of the gate (I know I'm not!)

    Realize you're not alone. Write anyway, for fun... start something new to get excited again, then go back to your WIP. It's always fun when that new idea emerges.

    Hope this helps!

    BTW both of those movies are awesome!

    Good Luck :o)

  3. Just keep telling yourself that we all have these moments and that they pass. I use N.L.P. on my ipod to get me on track.

    You'll bounce back, have a great writing New Year.

  4. I have moments like the ALL THE TIME--whether I'm writing feverishly, taking a break or anything in between. I think self-doubt may be the biggest hurdle we have to jump as we write and seek publication. I just try to remind myself that people believe in me and that usually I believe in myself too.

    Notes and another round of revision will probably help :)

  5. Erica, Carole Anne and Natalie - you ladies are terrific! Yes, you're right. I think I just need to go easy on myself right now - stop over-analyzing why I feel down, enjoy my vacation and then hit the writing hard as soon as I get back to my "writing zone" (the downstairs sofa) at home. I have a feeling being in my usual environment might wash away some of the blues. Hope all of your new years get off to a great start, in writing and in life in general!

  6. Remember Earl Stubbs? Yes! That "Earl" (who stood me up once in high school...). I've just learned that he got published for the first time recently at age 74 ("The Brown Recluse") and reviews are great on If Earl can do it, YOU CAN DO IT! Just keep plodding on...without a deadline, but with a goal of doing your best possible writing. It will happen if you keep at it for the sake of writing, and not necessarily for the sake of being published.

    Your Anonymous Mom

  7. Haha, now THAT is inspiring, Mom.