Motivation – make your own

September 9, 2011 at 10:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 8 Comments

I received an email today from a Newcastle/Hunter region publisher. A poem that I submitted seven months ago for their next anthology has been accepted for inclusion. I had pretty well forgotten all about it so, when I received the email, it was a lovely surprise.

Something positive like this, where your writing is seen as worthy of publication, is a great boost. Too often, I look at myself and see only a fraud, a wannabe author. I doubt my ability; I look at the distractions that take me away from writing far too often; I think of my next novel, stalled about chapter five, and wonder if it will ever be completed.

When I am in this frame of mind, I don’t look at the poems and short stories that have been published in several anthologies. I don’t listen to the voices of those who have read my first published novel and love it. And I don’t think of my other stories and poems that will one day also be in print.

I love writing, but I also fear it. I love reading, and when I read a beautiful phrase, sentence, paragraph, description, I admire it. But I also think, ‘I can’t do that’. When I write, the story usually comes slowly. I can identify with Gene Fowler, who said, ‘Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.’ Sometimes, it seems there is more blood on the page than words.

I want to be in that beautiful state of writing that rarely comes. The one where you are lost in the words, the characters, the setting and the plot, and where the story seems to write itself. I have been there, but all too seldom. The more I try to write these days, the less I seem to achieve. How can I get past that brick wall that is blocking my way?

What is it with writers; perhaps even with artists in general? So many of them/us are plagued with doubts and fears, and suffer breakdowns to a degree that seems higher than the population in general. Is it one of the dangers of becoming an artist? Or is it that these feelings of inferiority, fear and lack of self-esteem are precisely what makes them an artist, a writer, in the first place?

Maybe I will just have to do what is often recommended for those who are at a standstill – get your bum on the seat and write. Not only write, but do it regularly; make the time and don’t wait for the perfect moment to arrive. That takes a measure of self-discipline that I don’t know if I possess. The only way to know is to start.

That’s why I have written this little piece – just to show myself that I can!


© Linda Visman 09.09.2011


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  1. The fear may have something to do with the ideal of striving to excel… to improve upon one’s skills and talent. I always think of that saying “you’re only as good as your last …” – I hate that, because it really is intimidating.

  2. Reblogged this on Wangiwriter's Blog and commented:

    I wrote this five years ago and I think the same now. One thing I can say is that the novel I was writing then is in its final edit and I hope to have it out by the end of the year.

  3. […] Source: Motivation – make your own […]

  4. Congrats, Linda, on getting that stalled novel to the finish line (soon). Funny how that happens. I think some writers start out full of anxiety and others start out believing their first book is spectacular. Ha ha. Then we all kind of work to the middle and find out that it’s just a lot of hard work. The illusion in both camps is that writing should be or is effortless. It’s not easy to sit on our bums, touch the souls of our characters, suffer, and write. It’s an act of passion and courage 🙂

  5. That’s why I started blogging, just to keep myself writing something. Anything.

  6. Sounds as though your book and mine are running along similar tracks, Linda – after a series of fairly quick novels, this one is now in process of alteration for about the fifth time! But we are near now, very near. As for writing? I couldn’t live without it. It’s a drug, as powerful as heroin, and, I think sometimes, just as damaging.

    • I agree, Frederick, though I’d put it a little differently. Writing becomes a part of you that you cannot deny. Hardly a day goes by where I don’t write something.
      I hope you soon have your novel well in hand and ready to go out into the world. I am debating whether to self-publish again or to see if a publisher is interested. However, the closer I get to 70, the more I realise that time is limited. I have several other stories that need polishing, and I don’t want to have the hassle of dealing with an outsider.
      I will probably do it myself. I am not a publicist, so whatever sells, sells. If I can’t get a wide readership I am not worried. I know there are people who love my work, and I mainly do it for me and for them. 🙂

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