Writer Woes | Episode 3
*tapping the microphone*
Hello, my name is Rae Lamar and I am a slow writer.
Those words feel weird to me. Truth is, I don’t know if I’m really a “slow” writer…I just know that it takes me longer — way longer than most writers I know — to complete a manuscript. It’s actually been eight days since I typed the last word in my current work-in-progress. I don’t always feel like that’s a problem, but lately it’s been bugging me. I just want to be able to produce without my eventual deep dive into an existential crisis where I’m questioning every other page I write before ultimately questioning whether I should be writing at all.
So many times I’ve wished that my brother and other fast writer friends would somehow anoint me with their gift of creative production. I often watch in awe as I see them putting out two or three or four books in a year…and suddenly I feel shamed because the last book I self-published was in November 2012.
That’s when the crushing guilt of not writing “enough” propels me to create new habits, change my behavior, whip out my latest manuscript, place the cursor at the point I left off (sometimes days, weeks or even months ago…smh) and…oh yes…start writing again!
Well, sort of.
It typically ends up being more like a quick purge before I choke.
What I’ve come to realize is that I have a mind that always leads me back to doubt. More than that, I have a defiantly-analytical mind that rationally, logically, systematically and efficiently seeks ways to make improvements…so creativity doesn’t stand a chance between my ears. By the time I get anything substantial down on paper, my need for organization and for things to “make sense” has already taken over and it isn’t long before I’m rethinking everything I wrote and editing it down to a point where there’s basically nothing left. There’s tremendous value in that — a built-in bullshit detector as Ernest Hemingway once called it. It has served me well in my professional life, but for the creative core of me…not so much.
Fortunately after having some crucial conversations with myself this summer, I’ve also come to realize that my problem is not that I can’t write…the problem is that I won’t get out of my own way and allow myself to write.
I love this quote by Author Janice Pernell:
“DIFFICULT and IMPOSSIBLE are not the same thing. Just because something is challenging for you to do, doesn’t mean it isn’t meant for you to do.”
Baring it All: The Ins and Outs of Publishing
I think I’m going to say this to myself every day for a month. 🙂
Seriously though, I do believe that I am meant to do this. No one writes four books by accident.
So as I continue to struggle through #5, I’m going to chill and stop wishing so much for my talented and successful writer friends’ mojo to rub off on me because you know what? I’m talented and successful too…in my own way. Yes, the process may be more difficult for me (cue the added pressure of others whizzing by, leaving me behind…LOL) but there’s one thing I know for sure — soon enough, I’ll be joining them all at the finish line.
I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again…and that’s all that matters.
*strutting away to go knock out this WIP*
#SlowAndSteady #OwningMyFlow #ForTheLoveOfWriting #DontCallitAComeback
4 thoughts on “Writer Woes | Episode 3”
August 11, 2014 at 9:55 am
Rae, the blog is great! I think all of us who consider ourselves to be slow writers carry an internal stigma that we have to overcome daily. Your openness and honesty will help a lot of people not give up. And I’m honored that you quoted me. :-). Janice Pernell, co-author of Baring It All; The Ins And Outs Of Publishing.
August 11, 2014 at 10:04 am
Thank you so much, Janice! 🙂 Your words in Baring It All really resonated with me and inspired this post…I appreciate you!
August 14, 2014 at 7:02 am
I really love the quote by Janice Pernell. It’s the way I live my life. On to bigger and better things in my own way and time!! Do it your way! Love your books!
August 14, 2014 at 9:07 am
YES…bigger and better! Thank you!