There…I have confessed. My writing has lost its steam. I was rolling along pretty well with writing a page-per-day or 1,000 words each day working on my next novel. Now it seems I look for every reason NOT to write.
“I MUST click on that link about what happened on the Andy Griffith Show that no one knew.”
“There must be a cat video I haven’t seen yet on YOUTUBE.”
“I need a nap.”
“I need to shop for a new (add tech gadget here) to help me with my writing.”
Here’s a good one…..”I will even read about writing. I just don’t want to write.”
What’s wrong with me?
Apparently every writer goes through this. Well, I don’t like it. In fact, I would rather write a blog post than work on the novel that’s just sitting there laughing at me on my to-do list.
This is terrible.
The easy answer is to just sit down and write. So why can’t I do it?
I think one huge thing is the lack of success in getting an agent or getting published. It is difficult to stay motivated when you put a lot of work to submit what the agent/publisher wants only to be rejected. If you think it’s just simply the work of submitting your manuscript, let me tell you that it’s more involved than that. For the last submission, the agent wanted the following:
- Two-page synopsis on the book
- Query letter
- Book marketing plan (isn’t that their job?)
- Chapter summary
- First five pages of the manuscript
- My writing resume
Each agent wants something different so it isn’t that you can simply prepare all of this ahead of time and send them out to every agent. Oh no. Not so fast my friends.
So you spend time working on these requirements, send them in and immediately – thanks to the power of technology – receive a rejection email which was probably an auto-reply.
And you wonder why I have lost some steam?
It gets old. When I first started this writing hobby (I call it a hobby because it isn’t my full-time job nor have I been published by a real publisher) you could submit your manuscript with a query letter to the publisher. Now the publishers won’t even talk to you unless you have representation of an agent.
So, instead of being rejected by publishers, the rejections come from agents now.
The most common reason for rejection is: “This is not what I’m looking for right now”.
I will tell you that writing is a very subjective and a very competitive venture. One agent got bent out of shape on how I used the word “parsonage” in one of my manuscripts. I was happy that she even gave me feedback.
So, yes, the lack of success of finding an agent/publisher has worn me down.
Another thing is that I work a full-time job. It is difficult to carve out writing time when you work a real paying job. I have tried several ways but none seem to gain any momentum at all. I don’t want to get up earlier than I have to and I run out of gas at the end of the day.
So why even do it? Why bother writing?
Oh, believe me, I have asked myself that question many times. Why do I put myself through this? Just work my job and let that be it right? The problem is that I can’t do it. I feel the desire to write. I can’t seem to turn it off. It’s not that I think I’m so good. That’s not it. It’s not that I want to be successful – although I wouldn’t turn away the extra money from it. For some reason, I just HAVE to write. Maybe it’s my “calling” or my purpose in life. I just can’t stop doing it.
So what’s the answer? Well, I’m not liking the answer. It’s going to take discipline. I KNOW that’s the answer but I don’t like discipline.
It seems I can find every reason NOT to write. I need to re-discover reasons TO write and then DO it.