"Writing is a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia." ~E.L. Doctorow

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Instant Gratification

Today I decided to write about instant gratification because lets face it the world we live in now is all about getting what we want immediately. For instance, remember when we were kids and Mom would take pictures, we'd have to wait a week or more to get them developed (and that was fast!). Now my kids are like "Can we see it?" and there it is on the the screen for them to view right away.

Its the same for almost everything. Music - instant downloads from Itunes. You have a question - immediately look up the answer on our phones of all things. You want a book that came out today? Sure you don't even have to go to the bookstore anymore. Just download it to your IPad. We're all about instant gratification in this age.

Well for those of us without agents and editors (those with them you still know what I'm talking about because you didn't start out with them) or writing groups for that matter, writing is extremely hard because we don't get that instant feedback. We don't have people telling us right away that this chapter is fantastic! or tweak this and it will be a thousand times better. I'm not sure if I can talk for every author out there but I know I feel it - Self Doubt. And insecurity is killer in the writing industry.

The intangibility of our trade makes it hard to feel like a success - at least before publication (afterward is a completely different story) - without someone there telling us that their opinions on our work. How do we know its any good?

So how do you deal with self doubt? How do you reassure yourself that what you are writing is really worth reading?
I posted this before but I figured it could bear repeating.

The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.
~Sylvia Plath


Nicole said...

I have a BIG problem with this. If you find the fix fill me in quick!!! :D

Brynne said...

Here's a BOOOST for you, sweet soul! You are a great writer and don't you DARE slow down!! We need you!! Hugs!

C.M. Villani said...

Thanks Brynne. You are too kind and you made me smile. :D

And this is one of my fixes, Nicole. The online writer community takes care of its own.

To have people who know what you are going though and empathize with your pains along the way is a great way to realize that what you are feeling is normal. Everyone has bad days where they just want to highlight their whole document and hit delete. But that's when you tweak the weak parts and revell in the strong parts and keep going.

(Florida) Girl said...

Stopping over from She Writes. I get it. I am in revisions right now, and after 18 months of writing my first manuscript, I realize I still have another mountain to climb. And even then there are no guarantees.

I have to focus on the JOY of writing, because that is why I am here. The journey. Not just the destination.

Catherine Stine said...

Hi CM,
I'm a CM too, BTW... ha.
Let's see, when I'm feeling insecure about my writing I usually do a meditation/creative visualization, and sort of reframe. I remember certain pieces that really worked, certain milestones I reached, things like that. My writing group helps too, because they do really like my writing. I've been lucky enough to have published a few things, and to have survived "breaking up" with an agent, only to find a much better one.
Hang in there!
You're writing for a reason.
I'm following you now here (saw this link over at She Writes, & I'll friend you over there as well)
If you want to follow me, or check out my blog, I'm at:
Cheers! Catherine

Samantha Sotto-Yambao said...

Hi, C.M.
Doubt exists whether you have an agent/editor/book deal. As long as you write, you will doubt yourself. it's a necessary evil. Without doubt, we wouldn't be as critical of our work as we should be. How to handle doubt? Give it a hug and invite it for coffee :)


C.M. Villani said...

Florida Girl - you are so very right. Its all about the love of writing. Publishing should be considered the cherry on top.

Catherine - it sounds like you have a wonderful support system surrounding you, which I definately think is essential for a writer. :) Thanks for the follow and I'll keep an eye out for you over on Shewrites.

Sam - That is a really good point actually. Second guessing your work helps you flush out far better material more times than not. As for coffee...I can do coffee. :D

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