Fun and Mind Games

Mind GameI don’t normally find myself blocked from writing, so the last couple of days have been good for me. Haha! From a certain point of view, anyway.

I’m trying to write the opening of the new novel I’ve been outlining. Though I haven’t completely finished the timeline, I do think it’s time to write something. Just a modest start, and honestly, it doesn’t even have to be at the beginning. A page, a paragraph or two. It’s not like I expect much. But it hasn’t been happening.

And I know why.

I have people looking over my shoulder. Not literally of course. Only Cedar, my collie, is here, a vision of perfect relaxation as she snoozes on the floor. However, every time I sit down to write my first words in this novel, I feel every critique partner it will have, every publisher that I hope gives the novel a chance, and every possible reader looking over my shoulder and saying “This sucks!”

Being somewhat logical, my next question is: Why am I assuming the publisher and readers will be negative? The critique group will be – or at least I hope so, since that’s their job – but why am I imagining them all disliking it with such force?

No reason but my own far too persistent insecurities.

So, I’m going to keep telling myself that if I write something I love, someone else will love it too. I’m going to visualize that it’ll even be fun to write, that the characters will practically leap off the page, that they’ll be heartwarming and engaging, that the story will be exciting and appealing to more than just me.

So yes, writing is fun! If I make it that way. The cost? The sometimes huge effort it takes to push aside doubts and fears and disgruntled, pessimistic, judgmental  imaginary editors.

Believe in yourself. Have faith in your abilities. Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy. ~Norman Vincent Peale

Posted in Fun Stuff, Novels, Random Thoughts, Reflections, Writing Life and tagged , , , , , , , , .

4 Comments

  1. Wow, Ang . . .

    As I find so often with your posts, your thoughts are *exactly* where I’m at and what I needed to hear. I had a similar session of “keep telling myself” recently. 🙂

    And I have to reiterate (for you, me, and anyone else with noisy negative voices harassing them!): “if I write something I love, someone else will love it too. “–ABSOLUTELY. I one hundred percent believe this. 🙂

    “I’m going to visualize that it’ll even be fun to write, that the characters will practically leap off the page, that they’ll be heartwarming and engaging, that the story will be exciting and appealing to more than just me.”

    ABSOLUTELY again. It will be fun to write. Your (and my!) characters will leap off the page, etc. etc. . . . and if I may say, I really do have faith your characters and story will be all the other things you envision for it . . . and I’m not just being nice. I have all your other wonderful stories and worlds as support for my opinion! 🙂

  2. Thank you, Ev! It gives the principle of ‘positive self talk’ more credibility when I know you have the same struggles. However, it doesn’t seem right that you have misgivings about your work when your stories and characters are so warm and likeable and engaging! 🙂 I guess that’s just further proof that it’s just part of being a writer, a part that all of us have to learn to manage if we’re going to do it at all.

  3. I’ve heard people insist we do our best writing when the words come hard on the page. All I can say is, Angela, I’m looking forward to reading what you write. I don’t want to be another set of eyes looking over your shoulder, but I hope you know there are people who will be pleased and thankful you took the time to write. Simply pleased.

  4. Thank you, Susan! I know there have been times when the writing has been hard and I think it’s terrible, but then I come back another day to discover it’s not nearly as bad as I remember – so I think the theory is right, at least most of the time. 🙂 I hope it is in this case too!

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