Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Like a Monkey on your back

It's like having a monkey on your back, this writing. There's no let up, no rest. I can't even get up in the middle of the night and NOT think about it. That's okay, actually, because it puts me to back to sleep quick. Now it's like, You will never make your goal at this pace. I say, SO WHAT? I'LL JUST MAKE A NEW GOAL.

Now when someone asks how the book is going, I know they're rolling their eyes behind my back, heck, they're doing it to my face. No one is taking me seriously. I could take a brake, but I'm afraid I won't remember stuff. Besides, it never goes away. Like a monkey on my back.

I remember when I was on fire thinking about writing. Every waking moment was consumed with it, always plotting, always making notes and soaking in every ounce of learning I could absorb. Then doubt set in and a slow death began. But I won't let it happen. I've got too much invested and doubt is not a huge thing. That's what I tell myself. Didn't I read somewhere if you have doubt, you're probably a good writer, better than you think, and you'll work harder to achieve perfection.

All self pity aside, I have encouragement all around me. Others are going through it or have and overcome. I will too.

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  1. You can't give won't let you. But, I do understand where you are coming from. I sometimes wish I hadn't told everyone about my writing goals as early as I did...the questions, "how is your book coming?" and "when will it be published?" KILL ME!!!!!!!

    btw, thanks for visiting my blog. Always fun to meet new writing/blogging friends :D

  2. Elizabeth,
    It took me years before I would even admit I was writing a book to my husband! It is a scary undertaking. I found that once I let the news be known that I felt obligated to finish. But as everyone asked how it was going, I would say, it is going well, I have the plot all figured out! No it is not easy. But it grips your soul and won't let you go until you are done, but it teases because you deem it never done.
    Don't despair, we have been there and have found the end of the tunnel you are nearing. It is there.

  3. Arlene, if you see this, it's great to hear from you. thanks for stopping by.

  4. I know exactly what you are going through. I blabbed to everyone within earshot about what I wanted to do with my writing. Writing is a goal that is met with a lot of skepticism and we always have that look someone had on their face when we told them we were going to write etched in our minds. That "Are you serious?" expression from other people. As writers we are basically pushing ourselves but every time we reach a lull of self doubt it means that we are that much closer to reaching our goal. Keep up the great work!!

  5. Fascinating. I've been writing a novel for years and alternate between self doubt and optimism. Presume this is normal. (Have done 60,000 plus words of an autobiographical work.) Will follow your pregress with interst.

  6. Keep writing!

    Even through the bad days, just keep going!

  7. I don't discuss my writing with too many people. I've been more open about it lately but I still don't discuss the details. Mainly because non-writers have no idea what you are going through. They don't understand how difficult it is to write a book and how painful it can be.

    Even the most successful authors are full of doubt and are positive they won't get the next book done. Doubt is a trait we all share. But we write anyway because that's what we do.

  8. We get self doubt, but then the ink and paper calls us back to show us we are just meant to write. I did share my dream at first, but now I blog about it. :) Keep going, it will be ok.

  9. Yep - doubt exists for all of us. I too have been through what you're experiencing. Especially now I'm trying to balance work/school AND writing. But as you say, it's a monkey on your back - NO escaping it! And that, in the end, is a good thing :)

  10. Hi Elizabeth
    Have you thought about having a short break from your book and turning instead to say, a short story?

    Even a week or two away will have you returning with a fresh eye.

    You'll see your characters and your style in a new way and perhaps you will be surprised at your new clarity and enthusiasm.

    Take off the pressure mate.
    Good luck
    June in Oz

  11. Ugh, it's so good to know that there are other people out there who feel the same thing. Monkey, indeed. Sometimes, I feel like writing is a disease that won't go away since it consumes so much of my life. I mean, I bet I could get psychologically treated for this thing. "Hi, my name is Icy Roses, and I have OCD for Microsoft Word."