Monday, December 28, 2009

Should Writing be so Hard?

Maybe it's because I received a particularly brutal critique a few weeks back. Maybe it's because I'm writing category romance which has a lot of boundaries. Maybe it's because I'm bored.

But should writing be so hard?

I'm pondering my writing goals for the upcoming year and I'm feeling, well, I don't really know what I'm feeling.

I know what I'm not feeling. Enthusiastic.

Is it the typical frustration of an unpublished writer who is staring at the beginning of a new book and wondering if this new idea is any good?

Or maybe it's just this miserable cold I received as a Christmas present that's making me question my choices. I've been stuck inside for the past two days, coughing up a lung, and I think I need fresh air and exercise to clear my head.

Do you question your writing choices? Is the genre you write the one you love the most? Or did you choose it for some other reason? And what do you do when you question your choices? Take a break or plow on?


Julia Smith said...

I laughed when I saw the title of your post. Whenever I talk about my writing at my day job, my friends remark about how painful it all sounds. And then I laugh and say 'And this is what I want to do?!?'

As for doubting my genre...I already know my stories are impossible to sell, so I don't let reality stop me.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Ooh Julia, love this:

"...I don't let reality stop me."

I think it's my new mantra.

Cat Schield said...

Julia is right. If we let the reality of this business take over, we'd never put a single word on paper. It's all about the fantasy. The story our characters live. The hope that we'll someday sell.

Writing is hard work. If it's not, you're not digging deep enough. Category is especially hard because you're limited by space and that means each word you write has to be important.

Sometimes if a manuscript isn't working, it's because the story's not right and deep down you know it.

Last year I burned out writing category. I spent this year working on a YA. I think it was a good break.

Then, there's always that pesky fear of failure that blocks us. I know I've spent my fair share of days not writing because I kept thinking about all the things the book needed to do to fit into a particular category line.

It all comes back to work hard at your craft, do what you love, and believe that your time will come.

Anne MacFarlane said...

Thanks Cat. Yes, I need to just enjoy my characters and the fantasy world I create. Even if the next one doesn't sell, it will still be a tremendous learning experience.I can't get better if I don't write.