I, like many others on this earth suffer from crippling doubts and fear on so many subjects that it would make your head spin, but especially my writing. It’s a common attribute with creative folks. Shoot, it’s common no matter what type of person you are. For years, this has been something I’ve struggled with, and I have to say I thought I’d gotten a better grip on it over the years. I certainly had tried hard, but I don’t believe that I’ve succeeded yet.
I’ve released two novels that flopped, understandably so. I cut corners like I said in previous posts. While these were failures in the most epic of ways, they were not in others. They didn’t appeal to a large demographic though the one that I got the most ridicule from on fronts I hadn’t expected also had the largest readership and following. I let the naysayers, and negative nellies get in my head. It shut me down. The lesson from it still stands that it was proof to myself that I could not only finish a novel, but I could get readers. Even if people believe I bandwagon jumped I wrote from my heart, and I think that rang out of the words, even if they were not the most appealing of storytelling ways.
My second novel had a barely their readership. It flopped hard. First off, not everything you write is going to sell well. I understood this. While it was an experiment of its own the book had its place just like the first one. The first lesson was finishing. This lesson taught me that I could write in a new genre for me, even if it might not have been very well. It also taught me that I could win NaNoWriMo (50000 words in 30 days), which at the time was a huge accomplishment for me. However, that one probably shouldn’t have been so much of a huge accomplishment for me as I finished the first novel in 2 weeks and it sat over 65k.
Looking back on that is tainted memories. All old memories often are. You’re looking back at them as the person you are now, staring back at a person you were then. Don’t judge yourself too harshly. That time and place had a purpose. We are constantly evolving and changing. We grow up and change as the years move on. The new things that we’ve learned shouldn’t be the values in which we judge the old things we knew then.
As for the flops, I haven’t released a novel since then. I’ve written plenty, but I always find a way to destroy it before I ever release it. This has made me sit back to analyze the situation more times than I can count. I think I’ve tried every method in the book to work. Outline, don’t outline. Write like this, don’t write like this. Try to organize your book like this, don’t do that. The list goes on and on. When the truth of the matter is this….when you write, when you are truly engaged in the story you are telling, you believe in it wholeheartedly. I write faster when I love what I’m writing. I think that is true for anyone. I could write 65k in two weeks because I loved the story I was telling. I loved the characters I was writing about. They were interesting, engaging, and while my writing skill needed serious help, I was engaged and in love with my work. Like I said, it rang out in my writing. Since then I haven’t let myself become so invested in my work. I’ve been holding back, and I think in turn it reads in my work. It why I struggle to finish a draft, and why I don’t release the things that I’ve written.
It’ll read like I’m blowing smoke up people’s skirts, and wasting their times because I feel like it wasted my time to write it. I didn’t care about any part of it other than finishing a story. That is nowhere to write from. You can write because a trend calls for it, or because you feel like you’re obligated to do so, but the readers will be able to see that in your work. If you’re not passionate about what you’re writing and doing they’ll see it.
So I think it’s back to basics for me, and writing what I love. Even if only one person reads it and loves it, I’ll have accomplished something wonderful.
Remember, L.O.L. (Live it, Own it, Love it) or it isn’t worth doing.