Friday, May 20, 2011

One of those weeks.

You know. The kind of weeks that make you rethink every single thing about your writing? In other words, you feel like this guy who's stuck in a rut?

Yep. You guessed it. I'm in one. A writing one. A reading one. All of the above.

I get into ruts every now and then. This particular rut has been a doozy with my writing. I have three different books calling my name and I cannot for the life of me, choose which one to write. Seriously. It's making me crazy.

I've been revising my fairy tale book so much that I'm basically lost right now. I don't know which idea to take, which story needs to be written right now, and I can't make up my mind. I'm feeling lost. Don't get me wrong, I love writing, and I'm not going to freak out and quit, but sometimes it feels too hard. Impossible to go anywhere in this business. Even though I'm going to work my tail off to get published someday, it still seems so far out of reach. You know what I mean?

What do you do when you have several things to write, but can't decide on which one? What if they are all begging to be told, and none of your characters are shouting louder than the others? How do I get out of this annoying place?

My muse has run off with someone else.



D. U. Okonkwo said...

It's difficult, isn't it, when different ideas come at you all at once? I try to stay focused on my current WIP but take notes on other ideas for other works. I'll email ideas to myself then get back to what I'm currently writing.

I've learned that it's so important to stick to one project at a time. After all, when you get that book contract, the publisher has bought your current proposal, and that's what they're expecting, so we have to deliver.

cmobrien said...

When this happens to me, I go to the quiet place inside, shut out the noise, and listen. The character who will change you the most is the one you want to be with and write about.
Best of luck.

Melanie Jacobson said...

For me the only thing I can do is just write. If I plug at the same project for at least 1000 words a day 3-4 days in a row, something clicks and then it flows naturally again. I know it works differently for everyone, but that's how it goes for me. :)

Chantele Sedgwick said...

@cmobrien Holy cow. You are like one of my favorite authors! Thank you so much for your sweet comment. And just so you know, I'm so excited to read Prized! :)

Jordan McCollum said...

*hugs* It's hard! Try all kinds of things and see what helps.

And if it helps, I feel that way while revising ALL the time.

I wish I were being pulled in multiple directions by WIPs and potential WIPs. I'm mostly a one-idea-at-a-time girl—and when I get burned out (which I'm flirting with now), I don't have a whole lot else to fall back on. (Except reading, of course.)

Good luck!

Renee Collins said...

Chantele, I know what you're going through. I went through this very rut on two separate occasions. I had several ideas and I just couldn't stick with one. I'd love an idea, and then have crushing doubts about it. Then love another idea. Then have doubts. Shower, rinse, repeat.

Just know that you'll come out. And one day, you'll find yourself happily working away on a WiP, and think, "Huh, I guess I picked one." :)

Julia Darcey said...

Oh, this is such a tricky problem. too many good ideas can almost be toxic. Aside from crying and playing video games, the thing I usually do is listen to music until I find a song that captures something about one of my WIPs. The perfect song inspires me to work at expressing that exact emotion in the project. All the concerns about getting published and what I "should" be writing sort of give way to the emotional thrust of the story itself.

Later, listening to that song always gets me excited about that WIP, and helps me ignore other evil distracting ideas. Now I have a set of songs I listen to when I need to switch gears from a new WIP to revisions on an older story.

Ruth said...

Ruts are the worst, aren't they. My WIP and I are in one right now. Maybe you could take a break this weekend, rent a really inspiring movie and then start with a fresh mind Monday. You could even write a flash fiction piece for each idea and see which one sings the most. Good luck!

Myrna Foster said...

If I start working on the stories, one of the voices comes out on top. Good luck!

Brenda Sills said...

Hey, I just wanted to tell you I'm enjoying reading your blog. (I just made sure to avert my eyes when the photo of the brain cupcake came up!)
Guess what?! My blog has now begun! Come on over to See you there!

Chantele Sedgwick said...

@D. U. Okonkwo Thanks so much for your comment. It is very important to stick with just one project. I think I've figured it out, so here's to hoping!
@Melanie Jacobson Thanks Melanie! I think I'm starting to get out of my slump. I wrote something totally new last night and it felt good just to write. We'll see how it goes!
@Jordan McCollum Thanks for your sweet comment, Jordan. I have a new idea that I started on last night. We'll see where it goes. :)
@Renee Collins Thanks, Renee! I know everyone goes through it. It's so hard when it's me though! lol I think I've finally figured something out, so I'll see if it sticks! Crossing my fingers!
@Julia Darcey Thank you so much for your comment, Julia. I've been listening to music, and have worked on a couple different ideas. I think I finally figured out which one to work on last night. We'll see! ;)
@Ruth Thank, Ruth! Good luck with your WIP as well!
@Myrna Foster Thanks, Myrna! I'll let you know how it goes!:)
@Brenda Sills Yay! Brenda! You're blogging! Woot! I know. That brain cupcake really is disgusting, isn't it? LOL

LynNerd said...

That picture of the guy in the rut is pretty cool, but I'm sure the guy in the rut doesn't think so! I'm in a rut right now, too, but not over what idea to go with. I like working on more than one project.

There's always eenie meenie minie moe, if nothing else!

I enjoyed reading about how different writers approach it, and we each have to do what works for us.

Another thing you can try if you deal with this in the future is to ask yourself just before you fall asleep to come up with the answer by the time you wake up. You might dream about the one you should work on, or it might come to you first thing when you awake. Don't jump up out of bed. Lay there for a few minutes and see what comes to you when you're in that in between state. Sounds weird, but sometimes this really works. It's like letting your subconscious process it all while you're sleeping.

Jolene Perry said...

Flip around on all of them and write a few random sentences in each.
Go for a run.

No idea. Good luck!