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Bubastes
03-30-2010, 04:23 AM
How do you sustain your self-confidence in your writing even when it feels like your best writing for the day is utter crap?

I know I have to stick it out for the long haul if I want to reach my (big, huge!) writing dreams, but boy, it can get challenging when I lose faith in my abilities as I slog through. I keep thinking that my ambitions are unrealistic, but honestly I don't have any choice except to keep writing anyway. I'm now writing every day, so I'm experiencing the "I suck" feeling more often than I used to. So, how do you keep your confidence up when you know that quitting is not an option?

aadams73
03-30-2010, 04:30 AM
I set goals other than the quality of words produced. Sometimes the goal is to finish a scene, sometimes it's a specific word count, and other days it's a time limit. So even if the words aren't as good as I require them to be--yet--I've at least attained my other goals.

Chris P
03-30-2010, 04:43 AM
I was in a huge funk for about a month, but Saturday, I pushed myself to take the next step. I was going in circles with revisions, constantly comparing myself (to my disadvantage) to other writers, and scared of my own shadow about posting samples. I was getting nowhere and was ready to kiss writing good bye. Instead, I dusted off some long-neglected but completed short stories, gave them the once-over and sent two of them off. I have felt more like a real writer than I have in several weeks, and now I'm researching, writing and submitting like a fiend. I'll for sure get rejections on one or both of the stories, but so what? There are other magazines out there and more stories in the pipeline. The situation hasn't changed, but my attitude has.

Push yourself. Go the next step.

scarletpeaches
03-30-2010, 04:44 AM
I tell myself, "This has happened before. You got through it before."

Besides, aadams73 and tt42 would take turns in killing me if I gave up.

aadams73
03-30-2010, 04:49 AM
Besides, aadams73 and tt42 would take turns in killing me if I gave up.

Yeah, we would. Who else is going to make me cry with their endings?

thethinker42
03-30-2010, 04:53 AM
Yeah, we would. Who else is going to make me cry with their endings?

This. The bitch has made me cry too.

thethinker42
03-30-2010, 04:55 AM
To be fair, I've made SP cry, too. If anything keeps me going, it's knowing I'm capable of squeezing a tear out of that woman's cold, black heart.

scarletpeaches
03-30-2010, 04:57 AM
I had something wrong with my contact lenses; that's all.

thethinker42
03-30-2010, 05:02 AM
I had something wrong with my contact lenses; that's all.

Funny how that always happens during the really emotional scenes...

Wayne K
03-30-2010, 05:03 AM
I say "screw it, I can fix it during edits"

You don't write a book, you rewrite a book.

eqb
03-30-2010, 05:45 AM
How do you sustain your self-confidence in your writing even when it feels like your best writing for the day is utter crap?

Here's one response I wrote to myself. (http://beth-bernobich.livejournal.com/284814.html)

Also, know that you did it once, you can do it again.

Also, Maureen McHugh's fabulous graph of the writer's emotional state while writing a novel. Imo, it applies to lots of other states, too:

http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1411/706925889_5dd56c526c.jpg

(btw, Maureen sold her first novel to Tor through the slush pile. It won several major awards. She is awesome and her writing is awesome.)

blacbird
03-30-2010, 06:48 AM
How do you sustain your self-confidence in your writing

Not possible.

caw

KathleenD
03-30-2010, 06:50 AM
Read this: http://nielsenhayden.com/makinglight/archives/004641.html

Scroll to number 3 if you're in a hurry.

You're almost certainly in the 11-14 range or you wouldn't be here. You're in the top 5% of writers just by waking up in the morning and putting on your underpants.

If that doesn't inspire you, I got nothin' ;)

scarletpeaches
03-30-2010, 06:59 AM
Not possible.

cawblacbird: pissing in your cornflakes since 2005.
You're almost certainly in the 11-14 range or you wouldn't be here. You're in the top 5% of writers just by waking up in the morning and putting on your underpants.What are underpants?

Kateness
03-30-2010, 07:17 AM
I have one project I'm working on for serious (i.e. with publication goals) purposes. This is the one I end up getting in a funk about the quality of the writing. I've only just broken out of it. My excel spreadsheet says that it's been 12 days since I've written any of it.

But I have another project, too. This one's more for fun. Not to say that it can't/wouldn't be publishable, but it would need massive overhauling. But it's enjoyable for me to write, I love the characters, and I don't feel bad about going off on massive tangents if that's where the mood takes me.

YMMV, because the danger is obviously that you go and write 50,000+ words of fluff (yep, just did the math) instead of working on the main project. But it keeps me writing, and as long as I write everyday, I'm happy.

Plus, I've written 3000 new words on the Serious Project today, so it's all good.

shaldna
03-30-2010, 12:31 PM
I say "screw it, I can fix it during edits"

You don't write a book, you rewrite a book.


This.

To be honest, you just have to work through it. No one can build your confidence for you.

Zoombie
03-30-2010, 12:59 PM
The trick is to imagine every word is a punch to the face of Brian Luhea.

Yeaaah...try picking on me with a several hundred thousand punches in your face! Try throwing my book over the fence NOW! TRY IT BRIAN! JUST TRY IT!


<_<

>_>

Not bitter or anything.

Bubastes
03-30-2010, 02:34 PM
Thanks for your suggestions, everyone! Gotta keep plowing along.

Ruv Draba
03-30-2010, 02:39 PM
If quitting isn't an option then you don't need self-confidence, just resilience.

Jamesaritchie
03-30-2010, 04:54 PM
Sell something. Sell anything, be it a short story, an article, or a recipe. If there's any otehr way to actually keep your confidence alive, I have no idea what it is.

But I've always preferred the Zen approach. There is no winning, there is no losing, and the results do not matter. There is only the doing.

This applies to fighting, to writing, to life in general. It takes away all neeed for confidence.

Bubastes
03-30-2010, 04:58 PM
I actually like the Zen approach myself. I'm finding that if I focus on the doing, everything else falls into place. But Zen practice, like any other practice, can get challenging at times!

scarletpeaches
03-30-2010, 05:36 PM
Zen doesn't pay the rent.

Imagine if I went into the city centre and told them at the tax office, "There is no council tax, there is only the image of council tax and the paying thereof does not matter..."

Shadow_Ferret
03-30-2010, 05:46 PM
How do you sustain your self-confidence in your writing even when it feels like your best writing for the day is utter crap?



Especially when you get nothing but rejection after rejection after rejection, with no hope in sight?

I have no idea other than having a good cry.

Christyp
03-30-2010, 05:49 PM
Zen doesn't pay the rent.

Imagine if I went into the city centre and told them at the tax office, "There is no council tax, there is only the image of council tax and the paying thereof does not matter..."


I'm going to try this on the bill collector's.

KathleenD
03-30-2010, 06:08 PM
blacbird: pissing in your cornflakes since 2005.What are underpants?

A distant cousin to throw rugs, used to keep the floor warm.

DeskBoundTeaDrinker
03-31-2010, 12:15 AM
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1411/706925889_5dd56c526c.jpg





So THAT'S why I keep feeling the Sucks/Boring slump and Dark Night of the Soul is upon me.....

Stormhawk
03-31-2010, 12:21 AM
Snacks, and the knowledge that a) my fans love my work and b) said fans would jump on a plane and murder me if I stopped writing. >_>

I feel a lack of self-confidence a lot of the time, but it doesn't stop me from pumping out content - sometimes you just have to accept your demons. -_-

CaroGirl
03-31-2010, 01:34 AM
Alcohol.

scarletpeaches
03-31-2010, 01:36 AM
http://i579.photobucket.com/albums/ss233/doriangrayspictures/Realbigdick.jpg

mscelina
03-31-2010, 01:46 AM
The best way to get past that is not to waste your energy worrying about whether what you're writing is crap or not. The important thing is to get the story on paper. You de-crapify it later, when you're revising. That way you set yourself up beautifully for those moments when you go, "Holy crap, what was I smoking that night????"...like when I discovered the ewe on the bedside table. at first, I was like, "Wait a second? Why do I have a female sheep on this table?" and then I got to say, "Oh. Typo. Forgot the 'r' at the end."

Moments like that make writing crap very fulfilling.

willietheshakes
03-31-2010, 02:01 AM
How do you sustain your self-confidence in your writing even when it feels like your best writing for the day is utter crap?


Co-eds.
And drugs.

scarletpeaches
03-31-2010, 02:01 AM
Co-eds.
And drugs.Ah, hookers and blow.

Two of life's great pleasures.

willietheshakes
03-31-2010, 02:03 AM
Ah, hookers and blow.

Two of life's great pleasures. therapies.

Fixed that for ya.

Bubastes
03-31-2010, 02:06 AM
All I can say is I'm thankful I use an Alphasmart device. Today I felt like I was writing crap again, so I wrote faster and let the crap scroll right up the screen so I couldn't see it anymore. :D

Of course, that left me with more crap ON the screen, but ah well. Anything to keep the story going, as mscelina said.