Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The mind of a writer...

Paula's quote of the week:
I can do no better today than to quote what I understand Robert De Niro said when introducing the best screenplay nominees at the Academy Awards on Sunday:
“The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing. Isolated, neurotic, caffeine-addled, crippled by procrastination and consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing and soul-crushing inadequacy. And that’s on a good day.”

If that's a good day, then I've been having a lot of bad days recently!
The only words I would add to what Mr De Niro said are: "And totally disheartened because there seems to be no point in continuing to write stories that hardly anyone reads."
One friend, who bought one of my paperbacks last week, admitted she hadn't read my last two books yet. Of course, I'm grateful for her loyalty in buying my books, but I don't think she realised what her admission actually said to me. She's had those other two books since November 2012, and February 2013, but hasn't been interested enough to actually read either of them. She might as well have said, "I'll buy your book, but I can't be bothered to read it."
I'm sure all writers can relate to what De Niro said, but I'm now at the point of wondering why I put myself through all that for nothing. At the moment (not having added anything to my current novel for over two weeks), I've been quite happy playing Facebook games and adding photos to my Pinterest boards - anything rather than open that Chapter 4 file again!
P.S. My Pinterest file, in case you want to take a look, is at


  1. I'll just repeat what I've said before. Write for yourself and don't give up.

  2. That might be true if I was writing a diary, Jen, but even when I was a teenager, I wrote my stories for my friends to read. Inside, I'm still that teenager, wanting (needing?) people to read my stories!

  3. Paula, I can relate to your frustration. I've been there many times. I took a really, really long break from writing this past year. Eventually the desire to write came back. I do love it when other people read and enjoy my work, obviously, but there is some satisfaction is just the process of writing as well.

    And I can relate to your friend buying the book but not reading it. With my first books, my friends bought copies right away and even purchased some for other friends and relatives. With this last book, not a one even asked me about it. It certainly is disheartening.

    I really hope you don't give it up...but taking a break isn't a bad thing either. But in the end, you need to do what's right for you.

  4. You're right about the satisfaction of writing for its own sake, Debra, but I really do hate this downer I get whenever a new book is published. There are some highs when a good review comes in but these are outweighed by the lows when I look at the sales figures.
    And it's kind of soul-destroying when friends who bought your earlier books don't buy your latest one. It's as if they're saying, "Well, I didn't really like your other book," isn't it? Assuming they actually read it, of course!

  5. Well, all I can say is that people are really, really busy. I love reading, and have hardly any time to do so. My buying, but not reading, is not a sign I don't care or don't like it. It's just a sign of my lack of time.

  6. I write because it makes me feel good when I craft a phrase that sings or when the characters take over. I like that I have learned to construct all sorts of communications in an orderly, effective manner. (My astrological chart interpretations and yearly forecasts are entertaining reading for more than just the chart information.) I write because I like hanging out with writers: we share a passion and dream. I don't get to write as much as I want because I work a lot, but I'm always thinking about my WIPs, keeping them close and alive until I can sit down in front of the computer

  7. Jen, this wasn't someone who bought my book last week! She bought them a year and more ago! I know people are busy, but a year???

  8. Ana, I can relate to what you're saying about the writing process. Maybe it's the promotion process that becomes demoralising when you try every avenue time after time but with so little effect.