Hatrack River
Home   |   About Orson Scott Card   |   News & Reviews   |   OSC Library   |   Forums   |   Contact   |   Links
Research Area   |   Writing Lessons   |   Writers Workshops   |   OSC at SVU   |   Calendar   |   Store
E-mail this page
Hatrack River Writers Workshop Post New Topic  Post A Reply
my profile login | register | search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Open Discussions About Writing » Is this normal?

   
Author Topic: Is this normal?
Jessica
Member
Member # 3099

 - posted      Profile for Jessica   Email Jessica         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Ok, so I am working on a novel and half the time, I am excited and think that it is actually sounding good and the other half of the time I wonder if people would actually want to read it. It is like a roller-coaster....
Does this happen to anyone else? One minute you think that you can write and the next minute you don't?
Sigh, I'm just stuck in this weird mood...and wondering if it's normal and if anybody knows how to get out of it.

Posts: 47 | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Jeraliey
Member
Member # 2147

 - posted      Profile for Jeraliey   Email Jeraliey         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'm right there with you, friend.

Solution (for me, at least): resign yourself to sucking and write right through it. You can go back and fix it later, but the important thing is not to let your mood dictate your writing habits.


Posts: 1041 | Registered: Aug 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
pmcalduff
Member
Member # 2963

 - posted      Profile for pmcalduff   Email pmcalduff         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Oh yeah. Half the time I think my writing is just wonderful and the other half of the time I think its complete garbage.
Posts: 20 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Johnmac1953
Member
Member # 3118

 - posted      Profile for Johnmac1953   Email Johnmac1953         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You are not alone Jessica, not at all, everybody goes through spells like you describe. Keep your fingers on the keyboard and keep writing
Best Wishes
John Mc...

Posts: 140 | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CoriSCapnSkip
Member
Member # 3228

 - posted      Profile for CoriSCapnSkip           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I know, that's been my excuse for not writing way too often and I have to learn to write anyway. Hemingway said, "The first draft of anything is sh!t" and you have to resign yourself that although parts of it will be good, not all of it will be perfect on the first try.
Posts: 283 | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Leigh
Member
Member # 2901

 - posted      Profile for Leigh   Email Leigh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Put up with the pain of having to check it yourself. I haven't reached that far but I will soon. The best thing is to stick through it. Moods in writing go up and down, just like life. There are days where I don't want to write, if I do I write VERY little. Others, I write probably in excess of 8k words It depends on your mood.
Posts: 384 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CoriSCapnSkip
Member
Member # 3228

 - posted      Profile for CoriSCapnSkip           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
It seems normal not only in writing but in reading. I'll like an author so much I want to read everything by him, and sometimes I'll be thinking "he's the most brilliant author in the world," and sometimes, "hey, buddy, learn to write," and it can be in the same work.
Posts: 283 | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Spaceman
New Member
Member # 9240

 - posted      Profile for Spaceman           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
You are feeling like a writer. Your job is to think your work is the best thing ever written and the worst thing ever written simultaneously.
Posts: 2 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Ted Galacci
Member
Member # 3254

 - posted      Profile for Ted Galacci           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hemmingway may have said "the first draft is always sh!t." but a writer has to be like the little girl who says "With all that sh!t, there has to be a pony in there somewhere!"

[This message has been edited by Ted Galacci (edited February 20, 2006).]


Posts: 50 | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
CoriSCapnSkip
Member
Member # 3228

 - posted      Profile for CoriSCapnSkip           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Cognitive dissonance, for lack of a better term. Do many aspiring writers have this problem? You read a published work and think, "I can do better." The more popular the work, the more annoying any flaws you notice. (And why are some less-well-written works among the more popular and most-read?) Then you work on something you're writing and wonder if it's any good at all, although you KNOW you can write better than some of these published clowns!
Posts: 283 | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
thayerds
Member
Member # 3260

 - posted      Profile for thayerds   Email thayerds         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
the only writers who don't ride this roller coaster are the one thousand chimpasees locked the New Yorker's back room.

Did I just write that out loud?


Posts: 84 | Registered: Feb 2006  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
MaryRobinette
Member
Member # 1680

 - posted      Profile for MaryRobinette   Email MaryRobinette         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I may be alone here, but so far when I have the sensation that what I'm putting down on the page is dull and sucky, it's usually because it's dull and sucky. While the advice to not self-edit during the creation process is good, I think that it is applicable mainly at line-level. If the feeling persists over a couple of paragraphs then it's probably a structural issue that's nagging, and structure issues need to be addressed as they happen or the story will be built on an unstable foundation.
Posts: 2022 | Registered: Jul 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Leigh
Member
Member # 2901

 - posted      Profile for Leigh   Email Leigh         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
the only writers who don't ride this roller coaster are the one thousand chimpasees locked the New Yorker's back room.
Did I just write that out loud?

Only if you wish someone to find out


Posts: 384 | Registered: Oct 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Spaceman
New Member
Member # 9240

 - posted      Profile for Spaceman           Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Mary has a point, but at least in my case, I can tell when a story is just going in the wrong direction. It doesn't feel right. The energy isn't there. When I'm going in the wrong direction, there is a lot of resistance between head and hands and I will write 250 words in the time it normally takes to write 1500.

That isn't the same as writing something dull and sucky. I don't think I ever write anything dull and sucky. Dull, sure. Sucky, maybe. Dull and sucky? That's a pretty tall order because I'll probably abort before it gets that far.

Often everything is fixed by going back to the point where I started feeling the resistance and starting over from there. sometimes the subconscious needs to chew on it for a few days, but it's never been the wrong choice.


Posts: 2 | Registered: Aug 2010  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
Silver3
Member
Member # 2174

 - posted      Profile for Silver3   Email Silver3         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I'd like to tell when a story is going in the wrong direction, as opposed to "going in the right direction but painful scene to write" (because I don't have the knowledge, because this is a scene that's necessary but not pleasant to write...) In both cases, I have difficulty writing as much as usual.

Mind you, in both cases, the answer is to stop writing and think about what I'm doing.

In a previous short story, I was supposed to write a scene in which the hero goes to visit a flock of cranes. I couldn't. I knew it was necessary to the plot, but in 30 minutes I'd produced maybe one paragraph.

I stopped. I researched cranes, the places where they lived, their behaviour. The resulting story is much stronger (not to mention accurate ).

So, yes, the resistance to me is a sign I'm doing something wrong. The only question is what.

Besides, all I write is dull and sucky I have a bad case of low self-esteem. One day, I might even cure it.


Posts: 1075 | Registered: Sep 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
goatboy
Member
Member # 2062

 - posted      Profile for goatboy   Email goatboy         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Ok, so I am working on a novel and half the time, I am excited and think that it is actually sounding good and the other half of the time I wonder if people would actually want to read it. It is like a roller-coaster....
Does this happen to anyone else? One minute you think that you can write and the next minute you don't?

Yes. Self doubt is a normal part of being human.

quote:
Sigh, I'm just stuck in this weird mood...and wondering if it's normal and if anybody knows how to get out of it.

Moods change with time, and chocolate. Eat more chocolate and wait.


Posts: 497 | Registered: Jun 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
wetwilly
Member
Member # 1818

 - posted      Profile for wetwilly   Email wetwilly         Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
One of my professors told me that as a writer, you have to be aware that your work is not anywhere near as good as you believe, and it's also nowhere as bad as you believe.
Posts: 1223 | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a Moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is not enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.
UBB Code™ Images not permitted.
Instant Graemlins
   


Post New Topic  Post A Reply Close Topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete Topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Contact Us | Hatrack River Home Page

Copyright © 2008 Hatrack River Enterprises Inc. All rights reserved.
Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited.


Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2