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Wednesday's Word Count

For every failure, there's an alternative course of action. You just have to find it. When you come to a roadblock, take a detour. - Mary Kay Ash

I read on a blog recently, and I wish I could remember which (an agent's?), the sentiment that people don't succeed by whining and fretting, but by finding a solution and doing. That's the obvious course of action, naturally. You have to do to succeed. But I think I needed that reminder, because even though I can't remember what was said exactly or which blog I read it on, it's been stuck in my mind.

I've been going in circles with my story, spinning my wheels, and it's been really eating at me. I thought I had things figured out last week (and many times before), but only a couple hours after I posted my Wed update, it all crumbled again. So I took a step back, enjoyed following the conference, and let my thoughts swirl around in my head as they wanted to, rather than trying to focus them or force them on problem solving.

I also read a post on Tabitha's blog called Inspiring to Motivate, that really hit home. Not only did it give me hope, but it helped me feel less negative about certain thoughts I've had. I've considered, frequently, that I simply might not have the skill and experience to do my story justice at this time. I don't want to beleive that, of course, but seeing that others have had the same issue is heartening. If it comes to it, I'll feel better about setting the story aside for awhile.

Prior Goal: 5k

Accomplished: 1k

Goal for new week: 5k

Excuses / comments: So what now? Well, I think the answer finally came to me a couple days ago, but I haven't been very excited and I haven't jumped back in. Probably because I've been here before. Maybe because I'm jaded. But I'm still determined, still motivated to see this story in print, so I'm giving it one more go. If it falls apart yet again, I think it'll be in my best interest to move on until I'm really ready for it. If things do click into place, I'll be setting a goal of having the new draft done by Sept 30th.

Question on a Wed: Have you had any similar struggles? Any nuggets of wisdom you'd like to share? And, as always, please tell me about your goals!


storyqueen said...

I have lost faith in my ability to finish certain pieces the way I want to. I think it happens to every writer.

For example, 8 years ago, I started a middle grade, got eighty pages in and my computer hard drive collapsed. I wasn't happy with how it was developing and I just took it as a sign from beyond that I needed to work on other things.

That draft is still in the broken computer in the garage somewhere. I wasn't the writer I needed to be to write that story then. However, in April, I decided to give it another go. I felt ready. I should have the first draft done by the end of the month!

The only way to become the writer worthy of the ideas we have is to write, write, write.

But you already know this.


P.S. For me, what works is to always have a couple of works in progress at the same time....when I'm stuck on one, I work on one of the others.

Anna said...

Oh Casey, I know exactly what you're going through. I experienced something similar with my first book. I wrote it for a year and edited it for another year -a long, drawn out process that never seemed to end. But you know what? I was a better writer for it; those years were the years when I learned the basics of writing (tell vs show, dialogue mechanics, etc).

You'll get there, if not with this book, then the next. Remember, it's not about any one book, it's about you as a writer. Every struggle helps you grow. *hugs*

Casey Something said...

Great story, Shelley. How exciting to be finishing the story you envisioned and started eight years ago!

I tried to start another project, but this one kept on pulling me back. It might help to get my head out of this one for awhile though. We'll see!

Anna, thanks for your story as well! I love hearing about the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of other writers.

My problem has a lot to do with plot and structure. Both are complicated in my book. But, I'm sure I'm developing great skills with all this experimenting and practice, even if it's hard to see right now.

Thanks, both of you!

PJ Hoover said...

The only nugget I have is to push through the negative thoughts until the happy ones come back.
you totally have the ability! And of all people, we really have to believe this ourselves.

Unknown said...

Oh, I hate that part of writing.

Usually, for me, the best part is to do something drastic. Kill a character, blow something up...that gets me inspired again.

Casey Something said...

Too true, PJ. Thank you. I'm the only one in control of my writing and thoughts. I better make the most of it!

Beth, I laughed out loud at your comment. Maybe I'll blow something up for the heck of it, though it'll have to get edited out. I don't think it fits with my premise very well! : )