Wednesday, January 12, 2011

full circle

And here we are again.

Well, we bought our house and moved. And I could come up with a whole list of excuses as to why I haven't been here or why I haven't written, but what's the point. The main reason is fear. I've admitted that before I just haven't done anything to overcome it. I think I finally have figured out where it stems from at least. Several years ago I was in another writing group where one of the ladies in the group (a published author) totally trashed my writing. She basically told me that I had no talent and that my stories were too character driven and that character driven stories are no good, don't sell and are basically a cop out for untalented writers. That's about when I stopped writing.

Now, just because I've stopped writing doesn't mean that the people in my head have stopped bugging me. To be honest, it's driving me a little batty. So I need to remedy this. Every minute of the day I'm eavesdropping on conversations in my head. I'm seeing scenes that need to be put on paper. Seriously. Every minute. Try doing that for a day. Then try doing it for an infinite period of time. White jacket anyone?

Recently, my friends over at the Savvy Authors website sent me an invitation to join the yahoo group. It has many of the same people but now it's in my face in my inbox every morning. Staring back at me. Saying "what the hell, woman??? Why aren't you writing?? All these other people can do it, so can you!"

I signed up for a class on how to get inside a criminals mind so that I can better understand my villain. The class is fascinating. I've read their blogs. I've read other blogs on that some of these same people have written about writers block and how to overcome it. I've tried a couple of their methods. And I'm working on it.

I have a new mantra. I repeat to myself in the mornings. "I am a writer."

I joined the Winter Writing Festival over at Ruby Slippered-Sisterhood website. I have set goals for the next two months or so and I'm sticking to them. Heck, I could even win a prize if I stick to them. What better motivation?

I hate being so unsure of myself. In any aspect of my life. If you knew me, you would know that me being unsure about anything is so not me. I'm a fairly confident, opinionated person. And I'm not afraid to be the one to stand up and act silly. My philosophy is all about enjoying life. Except this part, apparently.

I'm working on it.

Have you ever had writer's block? What did you do to overcome it? Do you really think that it was a "block" or was it fear or procrastination? Or something else entirely? Share...maybe it will help....

Image obtained here


  1. Hi Laura! I saw your post on the Savvy site and decided to pop in. Boy, I love it when people tell me I can't - makes me fight that much harder, and you are doing the same by sitting back down at the computer, even if you took a little break.

    Keep listening to the people in your head and you'll be able to block out the negative ones in your face.

    Good luck with your writing!

  2. Thanks for popping in Melinda! And thanks for the encouragement. I'm definitely determined to overcome it this year.

  3. You are a writer NOW - not a future writer. You're just pre-published. It takes guts to be a writer but you can do it, Laura. I had a similar experience to yours. A critiquer (I call them critters here in Kentucky) informed me that my writing sucked (her words) and I needed to stick to my day job. The work that sucks is releasing from The Wild Rose Press next month and I'm also working with them on contracting another. I also managed to final in the Kensington Brava RT Book Reviews Writing With the Stars contest. So, maybe I don't "suck" too badly. LOL! Anyway, sometimes folks have a hidden agenda and inflict pain for no known reason. Believe in yourself, lady. You are a writer. Make it so!

  4. Hi Laura,

    Great post. I'm sorry you had that negative experience with someone. It's hard to move on regardless of where the comment came from. But it needs to be done. I myself have procrastinated for most of last year. I did everything but write. I told myself it wasn't worth the effort anymore, I wasn't going anywhere, you know the story. But near the end of the year I realized I'm a fiction writer, pubbed or unpubbed. I have stories to write. I just needed to sit my ass down in from of the computer and do it. It's not easy but it's so worth it. I've stopped going to the blogs I created (yes, three last year) and now focus on my writing blog exclusively. I've joined SavvyAuthors & GIAM. I'm joining a local RWA chapter again. I feel complete now.

    Good luck!


  5. Funny you should mention that a person with negative comments had you doubting yourself. Over at the FF&P group we were just discussing this very same thing. I think we all have those doubts in our writing career. Especially after submitting your baby out into the world to agents and editors. But for me, as long as I'm writing and taking classes to improve myself - then all is well. I know I'm doing what I have to do, and it sounds like you are doing the right things too. Beware of people who critique you and never ever ever give up.

    Blogging about writers stress today

  6. Oh, negative comments can cause a lot of damage. Yes, we have to have a tough skin in this industry, but that doesn't mean people need to be harsh. I stopped writing for six months after an instructor informed me I'd never be published because I have a language disorder. Well, okay, I have some word recall issues, but it took a fellow crit partner contacting me and talking me back up before I could open my laptop again. Of course, the disability was a sore spot with me, but a month later I signed with an agent. SO, don't ever let someone else bring you to the point of not writing. :)

  7. I think negative comments can smack us at any time of our writing career because we're putting ourselves out there. Look at some of J.R. Wards reviews on amazon, for example. I think as writers we need to focus on the writing, on the story telling, and stop worrying about what others say. I know it's hard, but it's really the only way to get a clear head to write. Just my two cents. :)

  8. Thank you for the support everyone!

    Maeve - I changed my profile. LOL And I like the term critters. Congrats on your releases - that's awesome! Yes, I'd say you don't suck. ;) I tried looking the woman up a couple of days ago and couldn't find any reference to her or the writing group I was in. So either she's writing with a different name now or she has dropped out of sight. Maybe her perch wasn't as high as she thought it was after all.

    Debra - I think I finally realized that I just need to write for me. Yes, with the hope that I will one day be published, but not with the expectation. Finally coming to that realization helped a lot.

    Dawn - I think I had such a hard time because it was the first writing group I'd ever joined AND because she was a published author. It was the first exposure I'd ever had to other writers and I figured she must know what she was talking about. I will definitely be more aware of these people in the future. And I'm done giving up - it's not my style.

    Ciara - that is fantastic that you push yourself to write and have the confidence to do it with a language disorder. My husband has dyslexia and I know how hard it is for him sometimes. Congrats on signing with the agent! That's wonderful! I looked forward to seeing your name on a story! I agree, there is a difference between constructive criticism and being un-necessarily harsh. You don't have to tear someone down.

  9. Rebecca - I agree, we just have to keep looking ahead and focus on the writing and ignore the naysayers. :)

  10. Laura:
    I'm sorry that you had that experience. I've had that experience in other areas of my life where people will make a comment and it totally makes you doubt everything you thought you knew. I am unpublished and currently working on my first novel. It's taken me a long time to get to the point that I would allow myself to think about that I'm going to let myself do it! It seemed so big!! I'm loving the workshops at Savvy. I'm taking the criminal minds workshop as well. Keep your head up!

  11. Ooh, good heavens, what that writer told you is wrong! Dead wrong!

    Character driven stories sell and that's a fact!

    Now be a good little writer, listen to the voice in your head and sit down and write!

  12. Laura,
    Had to pop over to cheer you up but then I saw what the *&$^# woman told you! Get mad, don't get even :) but get mad and then go write!
    My first book came out in Dec. I'm no expert, don't expect to ever be one either: you stop learning, you might as well be dead.
    But as for the character driven thing? Well, my first review made a point of saying it was character driven and they gave it 4.5 stars, siren stones, whatever the heck symbols they use! The point is, if a reader likes it, that's what counts; they buy the books.
    Growl a bit then flex those fingers and start typing: those people in your head won't shut up until you do; on that I AM an expert! :)

  13. Joan - Savvy is the best. :) The Criminal Minds workshop is fascinating. I love it!

    Janice - LOL You crack me up. Thanks! I'll listen to the voice(s) in my head. Working on it!

    Rachel - I totally agree about the learning. Keeps us young. :) As for the character thing - I just remember thinking it didn't make sense to me because without the characters there wouldn't be a book! Obviously, I understand the need for a plot, but you need strong characters too. Thanks for the encouragement!