The voice is assaulting me today. You know the one. It tries to convince you that you aren’t good enough, that you’ll never write a story as good as the last one that published, that your endings suck and you’ll never figure out how to end a story properly except by accident or good critiquers offering suggestions. This is a nasty voice, and I’m usually pretty good at telling them to suck it and go back to the rock from which they.. you know. Except for the first time in a while, I really do feel stuck.
I’m dissatisfied with my short stories right now. I can’t seem to end any of them right. Most of them have a major issue I just haven’t been able to resolve. And I’ve got a critique deficit to fill, so I can’t just start posting my stories for feedback.
I do have a few things in the works that should help. I’ll get through this, I always find a way. But I wanted to share this with you so that if you’re struck by all the massive stats other writers have been posting, or intimidated by others’ grand plans for writing in 2015, you’ll know you’re not alone. Right now, I want to throw my 2015 plan away. I know, five days into the year, brilliant. But that is what the voice does. Right when you’re trying to get your feet under you, it’s wriggling in the mud and trying to tunnel through to trip you up.
I am going to revise my goals, but in a manner I think will help. I’m going to critique massively. One, it’ll take away that deficit and two, spending this energy on actual critiques is a good use of it. I don’t knock other people’s writing, I analyze it, so if the voice wants to tire itself out on what everyone is writing, it can and no one will know of it. Next, I’m going to read for fun. Remind myself why I’m writing, what I want to aspire to. And third, I signed up for an online workshop February/March which should help deal with some of those issues.
Looking back at other times that voice has reared its ugly head, I realize I had something to fight against. It’s an odd motivation, but it results in change.
So if that voice is harassing you? Use it.
P.S. Oddly enough the workshop I’ll be taking is about Character and… You got it: Voice. I like weird connections like this. Onward and upward!
Sounds like a great plan to me, and critiquing is a wonderful way to work through the issues that are bugging you but refuse to come clear in your own writing. If nothing else, when you do break through, you’ll have a ton of crit points to spend :).
Thanks, Mar. 🙂