Struggling Against Writer's Depression

>> Tuesday, February 26, 2008

So I've been bad, very bad. I hadn't written anything in about a week, until just yesterday. Of course, I'm busy with household chores and trying to get ready for the baby, but that was only a small part of the overall picture of why I wasn't writing. The main reason I wasn't writing is depression, of a sort.

I got seven rejections last Monday. And those rejections came at a really bad time, since I was already down and depressed that morning from the lack of having a job and being stuck at home all day, doing chores and feeling like I'm not doing anything worthwhile or getting anywhere with my work situation or writing. I couldn't bear to sit down and write after all of that, so I focused on other stuff that day, and eventually the day turned into a week. I kind of felt like "Well, what's the point in writing? I keep getting rejections. See, it really isn't going anywhere, and those rejections just proved it."

But then I finally woke up and realized that if I'm not writing anything, then I really won't ever get published. So, I sat down and wrote about three hundred and some words on the book I began for NaNoWriMo last November. It wasn't a lot, but it was something.

Today I wrote about 631 words on that weird short story idea I got from my husband's friend. I don't know if I can finish it by the deadline (I checked today, and the deadline is March 1st! That should teach me to waste time not writing!), but if I don't, I'll probably just submit the short story to other places and see what happens. I feel more confident in my story writing ability anyway, and much more comfortable with that kind of writing. So maybe I'll take a short break from poetry for a bit. Stories are more my speed, anyway--even short stories, apparently. Though I may not be great at coming up with workable ideas for short stories, I'm still more at ease writing those, at the moment, than poetry. It's still too soon, the wounds of so many rejections all at once still too raw, to go back to poetry right now.

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Of Bizarre Stories and Re-Hashed Fairy Tales

>> Friday, February 15, 2008

I am posting rather early tonight, at least by my usual standards. Yet I haven't updated in a few days because everything has been rather hectic around here. I've accomplished little writing for most of the week, which is the bad news. The good news is that I'm doing rather well in my writing tonight. So, things are getting better for me. Granted, all of my writing so far has been in the form of notes for a new short story, but writing is writing, no? And notes are the preliminary stages of work that help you jumpstart and construct an actual writing project, so I'm rather happy with the way that things are going at the moment.

My short story idea is rather crazy. The idea is actually quite bizarre, and I got it from a snippet of overheard conversation when my husband was on the phone with one of his best friends. When I heard the strange phrase, I laughed and my husband relayed to me that his friend said not to laugh at him. Of course, I couldn't stop laughing--certainly not when I was specifically being told not to laugh. Then I blurted out that I would have to write a short story about it, just for fun.

So, I am. Although I may submit the story to some places after all. Namely, a place that is looking for silly fantasy stories. When I saw the call for that type of submission, I couldn't think of a good story that was sufficiently silly to write. Well, I think this topic just about covers it. And it can't hurt to try. Plus, it's doing wonders for my creativity.

Who knows? I may end up submitting it to other places as well, when all is said and done. I just hope that in writing this piece, it will help rev up my creativity and sense of humor for that humorous short story re-telling. I'm going to try to start working on a re-relling of the Frog Prince, and see what happens. I'll probably play around with re-telling some other fairy tales since I never could definitively pick one from my list to re-tell, and simply see which one I like the best after that. What's interesting is that I found part of a fairy tale that I started re-telling at some point in the past, and I had totally forgotten about it until I discovered it while digging through my writing files recently. It has some promise, but the reservation with it is that it's a re-telling of a fairy tale that will probably be very commonly submitted. I'll have to think some more about whether to finish rewriting that one for the contest. Until then, I have plenty of other things to keep me busy. Too much, in fact. I'm finding it harder and harder to write as much as I want to and still get stuff done around the house, not to mention preparing for our baby. Still, a little is better than nothing.

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Success Comes in Inches of Time

>> Monday, February 11, 2008

I don't have a whole lot to report for the last few days. While I didn't get much done in volume, I did get some editing and submitting done. I went back over some of my poems and edited some of them. Some of them were rewritten a bit and tweaked, and I think they came out the better for it. Some of these poems were pretty old, dating all the way back to high school. Needless to say, I wasn't happy with the writing quality from most of those old poems, but I found a few gems that I left more or less the same. And some had enough promise that I reworked them.

The up side of seeing how bad some of the poems were is that I've improved in my poetry since high school. So while the poetry I write now is weak in comparison with my other writing, it was encouraging to see that I've already improved my poetry over time, just by the act of writing itself. Now that I'm specifically motivated to improve upon this weaker area of my writing, just think how much more I may be able to improve it and grow as a writer! That's a very happy thought!

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Finding My Writing Groove Again...

>> Thursday, February 7, 2008

Well, I arrived back on Monday. The baby shower was nice, and I got to see my family for a few days. I wrote very little while I was there, however. I had a feeling that that would happen. It was hard to find the time alone to write, and I've never been able to write very well with too many people around. I can't concentrate with a bunch of side conversations going on around me. Plus, my nephew was there, and I spent a lot of my time playing, watching, or reading to him.

The little writing I did do, however, was some more of the book review I'm working on. I'm hoping to re-start my writing habits using that, beginning tomorrow. Today I did research, mostly. I'm looking up various forms of poetry and articles about writing poetry in the hopes that they will offer some advice or insights I can use to improve my poetry. I need to go through some of my poetry soon and see what I think is currently submission-quality, then look up some markets that I think might work for them.

Well, my story was rejected. I found out the night that I came back from my trip, which kind of sucked because I was already tired from driving all day. Maybe that's why I felt only slightly disappointed and almost indifferent. *sigh* It's too bad. I put a lot of work into it, and I thought that it came out rather well. I'll be curious to see what stories did make the cut when that particular publication comes out. I might try submitting my story elsewhere eventually, but for now I think I want to take a break from it for a while and work on something else. Then I can go back to it with fresh eyes and see if I think it has any weaknesses that I didn't catch before.

I'm hoping to begin working on the fairy tale re-tellings just as soon as I can get back into my writing groove. I'm having trouble getting back into my daily habits since the break from it during my trip. I lack the motivation on the one hand, but on the other hand I just forget to sit down and make myself do it. There's so much going on now, and so much I'm trying to accomplish before the baby comes. I simply don't have time for everything, and I'm feeling very anxious and impatient to get the baby's room ready. It should have been done months ago, but like everything else around here, it's been put off for various reasons. And some of the stuff still gets put off, but I'm doing what I can right now and hopefully I can get my husband to help out. But even that's hard because he's working overtime almost all the time now, so the little time he has to be home and help is usually gone, and on the days he doesn't work overtime, he's so tired that he sleeps all morning and I still don't get help. And yet, we need the money at the same time...

I really wish my story had won instead of being rejected. It wouldn't have been much money, but it would have been something. Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever get published. Or have a normal job again.

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