Thursday, May 28, 2015

Getting Unstuck: Timely Advice

This morning I was going through my emails and clicked on a new blog post from the QueryTracker blog. I was drawn to it originally because of my fear of the dreaded "query letter", but it has been a constant source of writing and publishing advice for me during the last year.

The tag line for the blog is Helping Authors Find Literary Agents, but the advice on QueryTracker addresses all aspects of writing.  The blog post that caught my eye today is:

Getting Unstuck

My eyes nearly popped out of my head, considering what I blogged about yesterday. The post is from Jane Lebak (visit her here) She shares her advice on how to get through a period of not being able to put those words on paper. It truly is some of the best advice I've read on the subject. Read it here:

I'm always hard on myself, and I've been told over and over that I should be able to write no matter what is going on around me if I'm a true writer. After reading Jane's blog post, I'm wondering if that thought isn't compounding my fears, making me wonder if writing is my true calling. 


Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Writing, Reading and Sabotage

During the last year I've been stalled.  I continue to read as much as I always have but I haven't been reviewing books. My own fiction sits in a documents folder, waiting for me to take up where I left off. I lost two nonfiction writing gigs which discouraged me on the freelancing end of things. 

Here is the thing: not one person, reader or editor, has said anything negative about my writing. The freelance jobs I lost were because of problems on their end. They hoped to start up again once things changed. It had nothing to do with my articles. 

Certainly it's been a stressful two years with my middle son moving out, becoming a grandmother, my daughter starting high school, my oldest talking of moving across the country for grad school, illness and even death in the family. While all of these things caused change in my life, they shouldn't have kept me from writing. So, why am I stalled?

I've discovered a few things about myself in the last few months. I'm an introvert with social anxiety. Many writers have this same personality, so it's not a reason to stop writing. If anything, it should make me feel more a part of the writing community. Again, why am I stalled?

I am my own worst enemy.

-I edit myself constantly as I'm writing.

-I doubt my ability. 

-I am afraid of failing.

Whether it's my personality, my past experiences or something else, I need to stop sabotaging myself.  I'm starting today by writing this blog post. 

I'm turning 55 next month, and it's time to stop getting in my own way. Yes, I know it's easier said then done. I've overcome a lot in my life including emotional abuse that went on for many years until I was in my late 20's.  

At times I think I'm so grateful for my current life with my husband and our children, that I feel guilty for seeking success. I was given a second chance and found love, a healthy relationship, a loving family and a place where I feel emotionally and physically safe. What more can I ask for?