Writing craft development in session; blog posts intermittent.

Having a little writer’s angst lately.

Writing is supposed to be fun. Hard work, but fun. It’s not supposed to stress me out, or make me want to beat myself up. Yeah. I admit to a bit of negative self-talk lately. The Inner Critic, that little bitch, is alive and well.

Letterpress: Two Hearts, Veer Images

I love writing. Almost a year ago, when I made the commitment to writing, I was at this stage:  “You don’t know what you don’t know.” Total, blissful ignorance.

For a while now, I’ve been in the uncomfortable but critical stage of “You know what you don’t know.” I know just enough to know how ignorant I am and how much more I have to learn.

Once in a while I get glimpses of where I want to be: “You know what you know.” Mastery. Knowledge.

The sheer amount of knowledge I need gain is what makes the whole writing endeavor exciting, but sometimes overwhelming.

Overwhelming when I’m in the midst of edits to my first novel. I don’t know what I’m doing. My characters need a lot of work. I need to create and sustain conflict. I need to tease just enough, but not too much, to keep ‘em reading. My protagonist needs to experience a huge transformation. I need a more satisfying ending. I have so much work to do.

The more I learn, the more I know I can’t just focus on the craft of writing. If I ever want anyone to read my words, I have to learn the business. However, in my efforts to understand the business, I have been neglecting the craft.

I’m a newbie. I have so much to learn about the craft.  So what business do I have trying to immerse myself in the business of writing? I’m gone too far and have completely terrified myself: Reading blogs every evening, commenting, seeing just how much I need to learn and do.

As for building an online platform? I’m not ready for that yet. I don’t even have my product built.  I find myself neglecting the craft, and my WIP, to build a platform to nowhere. If my work sucks, a platform is pointless.

Starbucks decor: Love the colors!

This past Saturday, I had a much-needed boost to my inner writer. How? I had the perfect writing session.  It was afternoon, and I was home alone. My husband was out. The house was a mess. Despite the air conditioning being on, the house was stifling hot. I needed to escape. I went to our local Starbucks. The air was wonderfully cool. I asked the barista if the artwork on the walls was new. She said they had just finished redecorating two weeks ago. New paint, new furniture, new artwork. Nice. I found a table in the back corner and set up shop. Five hours later, I had made a decent dent in my WIP.  It felt like five minutes had gone by.

So I’m intentionally taking a break from the business and networking side of things and am going to truly focus on the craft.

Writing craft development in session; blog posts intermittent.

Have you felt overwhelmed by the sheer vastness of both the craft and business of writing?

How do you juggle the two?

What are your strategies when you feel overwhelmed?

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