I’m currently having one of those days where I think that everything I have written would be better written on the toilet paper. This thought process usually happens when I have too much on my plate. The stress of things, being sick, sick kids, a stagnant word count all amount to frustrating times.
Some days I don’t deal with the doubts. They run rampant with the head miles of how much I suck, my ideas suck and my storyline sucks. But somewhere in those moments, I hear a little ‘well, maybe it doesn’t suck that much. Just write the idea down and see if you can make something work from it’. When I’m having a ‘this is craptastic’ day. I have a vent on paper. I write out a resentment sheet. If it’s still bugging me, I’ll talk to about it to hopefully gain an insight that puts my head right.
I’ve had to learn very quickly that comparison is the thief of joy. Granted yes, I write contemporary romance. The biggest genre. I wrote a rock star book. A very popular theme. There’s a lot of books out there with awesome storylines and beautiful covers. It’s been easy for me to sit and compare. I have to remind myself of a few things. I wrote a story that I’ve not read before. I didn’t want my cover to fall into the sea of naked chests. (Nothing wrong with that if that’s your liking). I will often pick up a book and start reading. This is not to say ‘I can do better’, I never think that. That author had a dream to put their story out there for others to see, that’s what I think and I want to do the same thing. Be it a good reaction or not so good reaction to a story, that author is still living my dream.
There have been some days where my head miles are running rampant and I can’t stop the voices from saying how much I suck. There are some days where it will take me all day to write a sentence and then I’ll end up deleting it. When I have those days, I just walk away. I give myself a breather. By stepping away, this is a sure-fire way to get my characters to talk to me. Doing something else. Even the menial task of housework has been known to get me scrambling back to the desk to get the scene down.
When I know a scene or sentence or something isn’t sitting right for me. I’ll mark it down and workshop it. That means I sit down and brainstorm ideas of why it’s not working. When I’ve done that and if I still hate it, that’s when I start cutting ideas or moving them around. Just because it doesn’t fit there, doesn’t mean the whole thing is crap.
The main thing is – stick at it. Others might not believe in your dream, but that’s okay, they’re not living our lives. So how do you overcome those stagnant times?