Writer's Survival Guide 15: Trust In Your Work
I've talked to many fiction writers who have the same affliction I have--we don't always love our work-in-progress. Maybe we adore everything about the first draft. We know it's our best book ever. But then we start revising and something happens. We've read the book three too many times, or we're working through a personal problem. Maybe we're just in a slump. Whatever the reason, the book we gushed over no longer excites us.
Instead of listening to the little voice in our head that's shouting, work on this fabulous new idea, we need to take some time to evaluate.
A few questions to ask:
Related to the book:
1. What did I love about the book when I last loved it?
2. Have I changed something since then, like added a subplot, cut a chapter, or adjusted the main character?
3. Is my lack-luster feeling related to the pacing? Is it reading too slow?
4. Could my main character be too bland? Does he/she need to stand out more?
Related to my life:
5. Am I dejected about more than just my writing?
6. What challenges am I facing? Are they affecting my judgment?
7. Have I recently experienced a setback that could be making me doubt my abilities?
8. Am I getting enough sleep?
Sometimes we get down on our writing when there's nothing wrong with it. It's simply a scapegoat for other issues we're facing. We're tired, sick of life, having trouble paying bills, or feeling blah.
Other times we no longer love our writing because it needs tweaks. Maybe we need to cut or add introspection to affect the pacing or deepen the character. The book isn't bad, but it could be better.
When you're not feeling the love for your book, don't give up on it. Trust in your work!
Have you ever considered tossing a project aside because you no longer loved it?
Have a fantastic Monday!