Tuesday, February 19, 2013


Would you believe my greatest temptation when writing is to give it up entirely? It doesn’t make sense, since I love writing. I love playing with words. I love creating stories. I love getting to know my characters. And I love, love, love getting the news that I’m going to be published—it doesn’t ever get old!

But when I’m sitting in front of my computer and struggling to find those words, oh man, do I want to give this all up. And when I get the bazillion rejections before I get the one acceptance, yeah, I want to give up writing altogether.

I don’t. And I haven’t. And I think that’s one of the benefits writing provides me. It forces me to have a very thick skin. That’s not to say that the rejections don’t hurt. They still do. But there’s a part of me that can look past it and convince the rest of me to keep going. It might take a day or two, sometimes even a week or two, but eventually, the part of my brain where my characters talk to each other (sounds so much better than saying I hear voices, doesn’t it?), nudges me and sit at my computer again for something other than Facebook.

The same is true when I’m uninspired. I look at what I’m writing and have no desire to continue. It’s horrible, it’s boring, it’s going nowhere. But eventually, my fingers move across the keyboard and something appears on the page. I have frequently had days like this during the 30K writing challenge in which I’m participating. But the challenge has forced me to write even if I don’t want to, even if I can’t. Sure, a lot of it is dreck and will be deleted later, but the discipline is kicking in.

I guess, in a way, writing is like eating your vegetables. They don’t always taste very good, they’re nowhere near as appealing as chocolate, for example, but they’re healthy. And as an adult, you realize you have to be healthy. So you eat them. And continue to eat them until you no longer mind them. And sometimes, they even taste good (except for Brussels sprouts and lima beans, I hate those!). J


  1. Jen, I was the same when I was taking part in NaNoWriMo in 2011. I think the only thing that kept me going was the thought of revising and editing it all once the month was over. It took me about six months more to do that, but 'Dream of Paris' was published this month!
    I frequently wonder I still do it, prticularly when the royalty statements arrive, and I see how few of my books have actually been bought! But I suppose we keep doing it because we can't NOT do it! That's the only explanation I can give anyhow!

  2. Sorry about typos - second para should be 'wonder WHY I still do it'!

  3. Paula, I'm actually thinking of continuing the challenge after the month is out (informally of course) because I kind of like the discipline it's been teaching me.

  4. I'm still doing the 100K words in 100 days Challenge, and am actually over target at the moment, but we're allowed to use blog writing as well as fiction. Several of us have said we want to continue after the 100 days is over, but there may be a break, and it will continue in June or July.
    One person has created a spreadsheet for us to record our daily totals which is great, as you can see the words adding up. I've done 52,532 since Jan 1st (and we're only on the 49th day today!). So even when the challenge ends, I may create my own spreadsheet.
    Of course, once I've done the first draft of my novel I'll be revising and editing, so my word count will go down, but one side effect is that I've done far more on my blog since January!

  5. I find I have an easier time writing blogs (once I have a topic) than I do my stories right now, although that could change later on. Although blog writing doesn't count for this challenge.

  6. I've been preparing some of my blogs for the April A-Z blogging challenge which I've done for the last two years.
    I've also done some of the Writers' Post and GBE2 blog topics, as well as my weekly Wikipedia challenge to myself!
    My total each day usually includes 1 blog post (about 300-400 words) as well as my novel.

  7. I feel discouraged often, but the high I get when the words turn out right is unlike anything I've felt before. I will get published.

  8. Ana, there was a time when I didn't think I'd ever be published again - but, five years after staring writing fiction again, I have five novels out there.
    Your writing is good, your ideas are good, so keep going and have confidence in yourself!

  9. Jennifer,
    Ah, yes, those days when you just want to throw your computer in the nearest lake and forget you ever thought about writing...I've definitely been there.

    (I love the veggie comparison. I've been trying to eat healthier these days, but just succumbed to a couple of peanut butter cookies instead of fruit right before I sat down to check the blog!)

  10. That's great, Paula!

    Ana, I agree with Paula.

    Debra, there is always room for cookies.