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#1 of 9 Old 06-12-2009, 08:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This is me sticking my toe in the water, I guess. Or maybe it's me looking for a little encouragement or a shove out the door.

I love to write. I have written a blog for several years and gotten quite a few really nice comments on it. I've also had a couple of short pieces read on the local radio and at local readings.

Reading has always been a passion for me and there is a big part of me that wants to contribute to the body of literature out there. I think I could do a decent job writing something.

Here is the problem. I am my own worst critic. Every time I try to write something beyond my blog or a short essay, I kill it immediately. "A scholarly work is too dry, a fiction novel is too maudlin, a christian historical novel is too saccharine, a child's novel is too unimportant...."

Every time I think of an idea or come up with a character I criticize it until it is in absolute tatters and then I give up. Then too I'm scared of failing. What if I get something written and it never gets published? What about all of the rejection slips? What if I do get published and it's a flop? What if I do well and I still get lots of criticism?

I have this crazy urge to WRITE and need something amazing to write about. So far nothing has stood up to my own acid testing.

(I have to add, my Hubby is amazingly supportive. He has even offered to be Mr. Mom for a few days so I can take a writing retreat and jump start things. I wonder sometimes if he believes in me more than I believe in myself!)

Erin caffix.gif , Happy wife of Honey Bearguitar.gif , mom of Curly Miss (11/04), Little Mister (10/06), Princess Abi (3/08), and The Bean (9/09) jumpers.gifadoptionheart-1.gif  <>< oh, and I blog.

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#2 of 9 Old 06-12-2009, 09:06 PM
 
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It sounds like you need to knock you in the head and give yourself permission to write badly for awhile. It's too bad it's only June, because you might find benefit in something like NaNoWriMo, which is a great way to tackle a project and let your fears sit by the wayside for awhile.

If you aren't showing your work to others now, it might also be useful to find a friendly-minded, serious writer whom you trust and ask for them to read your work and comment on it. It takes courage but it can be a very eye-opening experience and help you focus your improvements.

Also, for these:
What if I get something written and it never gets published?
This is a given! Everybody writes things that don't get published, even published authors.

What about all of the rejection slips?
It's a fact: if you submit your writing, you will get rejection slips. It is the rare writer who does not. I started sending out short stories in 2003 and made my first real sale this spring. It helps to hang around with other writers so you can commiserate and see that you're not the only one. It helps to keep in mind that rejection does not mean your writing is BAD, it means it is not the right fit for that market at that time. I found it helpful when I started to understand that there are levels of rejection, too... like when you move from "form rejection" to "form rejection with note scribbled on it" to "personally rejected by editor", those are all milestones to celebrate.

What if I do get published and it's a flop? What if I do well and I still get lots of criticism?
Yeah, that'll probably happen, too. How many famous books have YOU read that you didn't click with? Look at famous writers like JK Rowling -- she's a bazillionaire but there are still groups out there who are convinced her writing is the work of the devil. Or Stephanie Meyer -- also a bazillionaire by now, but there is tons of criticism for her work.

Erin, mom to DD (1/06) and DS (10/09)
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#3 of 9 Old 06-12-2009, 09:10 PM - Thread Starter
 
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If you aren't showing your work to others now, it might also be useful to find a friendly-minded, serious writer whom you trust and ask for them to read your work and comment on it. It takes courage but it can be a very eye-opening experience and help you focus your improvements.
An English Professor at WSU who I met last year in a writing workshop has been reading some of my writing and LOVES it. Her encouragement is part of the reason I am even thinking about this.

Erin caffix.gif , Happy wife of Honey Bearguitar.gif , mom of Curly Miss (11/04), Little Mister (10/06), Princess Abi (3/08), and The Bean (9/09) jumpers.gifadoptionheart-1.gif  <>< oh, and I blog.

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#4 of 9 Old 06-13-2009, 02:22 AM
 
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Get yourself a copy of Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way and start working through the exercises methodically, preferably with a few creative friends. Doesn't matter whether you're a writer, actor, painter, gardener, the course in creativity will guide you through analysing your doubts and fears and, if you persist with it, you'll come out stronger at the end and ready to take on THE project.

And if anyone else wants to form an online cluster to do the course, I'd be keen to work my way through it all over again.
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#5 of 9 Old 06-13-2009, 10:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Get yourself a copy of Julia Cameron's The Artist's Way and start working through the exercises methodically, preferably with a few creative friends. Doesn't matter whether you're a writer, actor, painter, gardener, the course in creativity will guide you through analysing your doubts and fears and, if you persist with it, you'll come out stronger at the end and ready to take on THE project.

And if anyone else wants to form an online cluster to do the course, I'd be keen to work my way through it all over again.
I'd be interested in that.

Erin caffix.gif , Happy wife of Honey Bearguitar.gif , mom of Curly Miss (11/04), Little Mister (10/06), Princess Abi (3/08), and The Bean (9/09) jumpers.gifadoptionheart-1.gif  <>< oh, and I blog.

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#6 of 9 Old 06-17-2009, 06:59 PM
 
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I am a full time freelance writer, and my advice to you would be simply...WRITE!
Regardless of how bad you may think it is...writing is extremely therapeutic. Check out my blog if you have time, I have posts on inspiration for writers that may help you. Good luck.
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#7 of 9 Old 06-18-2009, 05:08 PM
 
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Take your husband up on that retreat offer!
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#8 of 9 Old 06-25-2009, 05:52 AM
 
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I'd be interested in that.
Well, I wonder how many of us are! It would be great to work through TAW with a bunch of likeminded writers.

Start by obtaining a copy of the book and maybe I'll start a group on blogger so that people can join and we can progress through the book together. The last time I did this was hugely productive for me and I ended up enrolling for a Masters in Creative Writing. I'm ready to do it again!
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#9 of 9 Old 06-25-2009, 11:28 PM
 
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Artist's Way!! It changed my life when I was living far from authentically. It took 14 years for me to finally call myself a Writer, but Julia Cameron was the one who stirred my initial urge.

I have had all the same doubts as you, but when I actually began to write for real my love of it helped me overcome my fear of failure... in my mind, as long I am writing - pursuing my passion - I AM A SUCCESS! And you will be too. (I've only been published twice, by the same tiny local magazine, but i'm fine with that... for now )

This may be shameless promotion, but not really... I have written a lot about the struggles of being an aspiring writer on my blog (especially around August, September time of last year). Maybe hearing someone else's doubts and worries will help.

JUST WRITE :

p.s. I don't have time to go through TAW again but I would certainly love to see a blog go up about it - might need the inspiration down the road.

joanna
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