Failure as a Writer

Hey guys, I wanted to apologizing for being absent for so long. For about the last month, I have been getting pretty discouraged about my writing. I had just experienced on a long string of rejections that all seemed to come in at the same time. My rough draft for my latest project seemed to be stalling, and I was afraid of finishing up my revision for another project, because I was scared of it sucking too much. Overall, I have been feeling pretty insecure about my writing, and it made it hard to want to write anything, even for my blog.

Now that my schoolwork has lessened considerably (I finished a bunch of my classes) I am starting to get back into writing every day again. Even with this, I still have a bunch of stuff going on that limits my ability to write. (Moving to Georgia from Illinois, taking care of my 1-year old son, working on summer classes, etc.) I have noticed that I am really starting to get back into writing through writing my rough draft for my latest WIP. I think I just needed to take a breather, and while I still wish I had pushed through the rough month continuing to write, I don’t want to waste any more time.

I know that this post isn’t really helpful for anyone else, but I will get back to posting regularly so that we can get back to sharing ideas like we used to. I have noticed that my new hobby (Magic the Gathering) has consumed a lot of my time, and I really wish I had spent it writing. Does anyone else have conflicting interests that interfere with writing and how do you deal with them? I really appreciate all the help that you guys have given me, and I can’t wait to start talking to you all again. Overall, I am disappointed with my self not because I got rejected so much, but because I stopped writing. I truly believe that the only way to fail at being a writer is to stop writing.

22 thoughts on “Failure as a Writer

    1. Very true. I know many people talk about this stage of being a writer, but it is the first time that I have personally experienced it. I think I am just about over it, now that I have started writing again.

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  1. I completely agree with you that the only way to fail as a writer is to stop writing. But you are back and so you have not failed. It’s normal to have periods of lower productivity. We are not machines and we can’t perform the same way every day or, for that matter, every month.

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    1. Very true, I have noticed that I can churn out about one novel length and several short stories per year. Do you think I should focus my efforts on one project at a time to keep the momentum going?

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      1. I think writing is a very individual activity and it’s difficult to give recommendations to other writers about their writing routine. I had similar misgivings as you if I am doing things the “right” way until I read an article by Elizabeth Percer that took a huge load off my shoulders. It basically said that writing or any other creative activity cannot be treated as a regular job – you can’t be totally structured in your work; you will have whims you follow, you will procrastinate, you will binge watch something for a whole of a Saturday and it’s ok–creating is different from say washing the dishes; you can’t always just turn the tab on. It’s ok as long as you keep coming back to writing. Just figure out what feels natural to you and don’t beat yourself up for not having every day structured and productive. If you’re interested in Percer’s article just google “Elizabeth Percer Nine Non-Rules on Writing” and it will come up.

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  2. As long as you start up again, you haven’t failed. Keep going. Sometimes you just have to take a step back, just don’t forget to step forward.

    I follow some really active writers pages on Facebook. They always have some interesting discussions going. Sometime I lurk, sometimes I participate.

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    1. I have noticed that I get motivated from reading other writing blogs and listening to writing podcasts. In regards to facebook groups, what do you think is the primary benefit of them? I participate in a few, and I definitely like some more than others.

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  3. No, it’s okay. I have long periods of time myself where I don’t write. But as long as you continue doing it, that’s what really matters.

    As for hobbies I have that possibly distract me from writing, I have a few. Reading and playing video games, however are my top two. But the way I work around that is by juggling all of them. I’ll spend an hour or two playing a game, for example, then whenever I feel like reading, I’ll read a chapter or two, and then whenever I feel the inspiration to write, I’ll do it. Now, I don’t spend every day writing, but I try to whenever I can, whenever I feel a story or find something I want to write about. I’d rather do that than force it anyway.

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    1. Thank you so much for your insight. I almost feel like I have a hard time multitasking. My mind just becomes consumed with whatever topic I am interested in. In good news, since I have been writing again I have been focused on writing and not as much with Magic. If you don’t mind me asking, what are you currently reading? I am about half-way through Robert Jordan’s “A Crown of Swords.”

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      1. Yeah, I can completely understand that. My mind wanders quite frequently too. I’m currently reading “Armada” by Ernest Cline. I just picked it back up though because when I’d started reading it, I was sick with strep throat. So now that I’m not sick anymore, I’m going to get back into it some more whenever I have the chance.

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      1. Well, I acknowledge the feeling then push it to one side – negative emotions are not going to help me progress or improve so I am practical about it. It’s not easy, but I have forced myself to do it, otherwise I don’t think I would ever come back to the keyboard! I wish you all the very, very best of luck. You really are a very good writer.

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  4. Keep at it. I’m having a bit of a pity party myself. The little stresses of life can truly interrupt the writing confidence, but you haven’t failed. A brief break can be just what you need to rejuvenate and move forward.

    I sometimes have a terrible time balancing interests, but I also thinks it’s important to pursue outside activities, otherwise writing can becoming all-consuming and isolating. That word balance is the key.

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      1. It’s the same story so many people face, I think. Husband laid off, comparable jobs in our area are nil, these struggling in school, constantly on the move with activities. Summer has begun, but instead of more freetime, it’s about the same. Stress is always what interferes, though. Time can be had or found, but stress is invisible and lurks beyond the physical. Once recognized for its insidious nature it can be combatted, but it’s not always easy. You know?

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