Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Insecure Writer: the good days and the bad days

The first Wednesday of the month
 is time for Insecure Writers Support Group,
hosted by Alex Cavanaugh and his
excellent team. 
Good day: when I start to write and it's not flowing but I keep pushing the words out, confident I'll hit my stride, and then I do.

Bad day: when I start to write and I erase my first sentence and sigh and then waste an hour on Pinterest and then run out of time to write and hate all the things in my day that keep from getting back to writing and hate that I wasted that hour.

Good day: when a form rejection shows up, I'm able to say, "well, bummer. But we weren't the right fit, and the right fit is still down the road."

Bad day: just the thought of a form rejection possibly showing up in my inbox makes me want to run screaming to my room, crawl under the covers and eat chocolate and watch sad movies all day.

Good day: when even a gray day is lovely because, hey, I have a mug of hot tea in my hands and I have a good book to read before bed.
Bad day: when even a beautiful day cannot overcome the blues.

Good day: I read a writing tip on a blog and it's just the PERFECT thing I needed to fix something that's hasn't felt right and I think social media is one of the best things that ever happened to me as a writer (connected me with other writers; with the publishing world; with amazing books; with encouragement and inspiration just when I needed it.)

Bad day:  I'm jealous of absolutely everyone on blogs, Twitter, Facebook and even strangers crossing the street and I'm pretty sure social media is the spawn of Satan and will be the ruin of the world.


Good day: I re-read the first three chapters of my manuscript and feel certain that THIS IS THE ONE. This is good. This might even be GREAT. Huzzah!

Bad day: I re-read the first three chapters of my manuscript and feel like tossing the pages - or my laptop - across the room. Drivel. Cliche. Nonsense, twaddle, claptrap, balderdash, gibberish, rubbish, mumbo jumbo, garbage.

Completely aside from good days/bad days, I just started reading Writing 21st Century Fiction by Donald Maass and simply must share a quote, because you can't share fine chocolate or wine via the internet, but good quotes translate very nicely:
Get out of the past. Get over trends. To write high-impact 21st century fiction, you must start by becoming highly personal. Find your voice, yes, but more than that, challenge yourself to be unafraid, independent, open, aware, and true to your own heart. You must become your most authentic self. 
Just occurred to me, it might be that just the good days alone without the bad days wouldn't shape us into authentic storytellers and writers. You need the sun and the rain, for the rainbow.

Got any good day/bad day advice to share?

23 comments:

  1. I agree, it's unlikely that we'd get better if we only ever had the good days. Still, sometimes I wish there were more good days. And yes, you sum up what the bad days are like perfectly.

    Sigh. Even in my anxieties I'm a cliche. Good luck, and even if we don't learn from them, I hope you have more good days!

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    1. Oh good way to put it!! Insecurities are so cliche, and yet we all prone to them!

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  2. I relate to all of this! It's true that both good and bad days are inevitable - sometimes I wish I got all my rejections/bad news on "good" days because then I'd be in the right mindset to cope with it! I try to avoid social media on the bad days, though I wish it didn't happen so often!

    That quote is great, though - and you're right, we can't always have sunshine and rainbows! ;)

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    1. Do you have an Insecure Writer's post? If you do tell me where, I can't find it through your Google+ - would love to read and comment back!

      I SHOULD avoid social media on bad days, but it's like this evil force that draws me in against my will!

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  3. Well, I think that ever since you decided you were a writer, the ups and downs were going to come whether you wanted them to or not. It's a good thing we need both the sun and the rain.

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    1. At least we are writers, right? Because if we weren't writing, we'd STILL get the good and the bad days, and not as much to show for it...

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  4. *chuckles into keyboard* Oh, yes, I've had the same reactions. We can't grow without sun AND rain.

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    1. This is the beauty of ISWG - the shared experiences :)

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  5. I keep repeating to myself 'You can do it!' and it really helps :0)

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    1. Like the little Engine That Could: "I think I can I think I can I think I can." Or I use Dori from Nemo a lot "just keep swimming!"

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  6. When I have bad days, I start to wonder if I'm the main character in a novel and the author is torturing me because of all the things I do to my characters.

    At least you learn to appreciate both the ups and downs!

    Loni

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  7. I go and take some magnesium and B6, because 90% of my bad days are just my %&#@ hormones. LOL.

    Seriously though, I find that taking care of myself--having a social media break, rereading a favorite book, calling an old friend, taking a looooong walk, going to the gym, visiting failblog or other silly sites--can help lift the gloom. But you're right that we can often do our best, most visceral writing in dark times if we accept the darkness as bringing its own truth.

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    1. I take B complex too but I haven't tried magnesium (going to check that out!)

      On bad days I retreat to re-reading favorite parts of favorite books and watching Pride and Prejudice all 6 hours of it :)

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  8. Ah Margo... on those bad days, just find me on social media and you'll feel better in no time. :D I'm pretty much just floundering along at the bottom of the pond... and on good days I'm ok with that.

    If it helps, I think you're pretty amazing and creative and brilliant.

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    1. Can I meet you in real life someday??? You and I need to be friends and drink tea and talk about books and writing real time.

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  9. Yes,we all have those bad days. In writing and life. Walking my dog and getting some exercise have been helping me get through some of the bad times lately.

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    1. Walking doesn't really help me when I'm in a really bad funk, but it does help for the so-so days. The REALLY bad days, I survive because I know "this too shall pass". But dogs always help. ALWAYS

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  10. Ah, becoming your authentic self. That's good advice. I'm constantly conflicted over whether I can write certain things (characters of another race or culture, about a certain topic I'll have to research to death). I want to write what I want to know, and what interests me. I have doubts but I'm trying to write the book that only I can write, and it's hard when you see comments about how writers get something wrong, when sometimes that wrong is really subjective (and sometimes it's not, which is also scary).

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    1. Yes! Yes! Someday I'll write a post just on the insecurities of research and wanting to write about things I don't know personally!

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  11. The bad days are tough because they seem so permanent as I'm having them. Whereas with good days, I'm always aware that the happiness and positive feelings are fleeting. Why is that? But to get through the bad times, I dive into something productive where the results of my efforts are apparent within a short span of time (unlike trying to write a book!). Sometimes a pep talk is in order.

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  12. I enjoyed your post. I think emotions play a massive part in building inspiring and effective teams and I recently blogged on the secret sauce of team work. Rather than repeat it here I thought I'd post the link and I'd be very interested in your thoughts.

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