I find myself in one of those places right now. You know where I mean. Swinging between fired up with enthusiasm for writing – ideas pouring out of every brain cell (until you sit down at the computer), supreme confidence that the next email will NOT be a rejection (except that I know it will be), The Phone Call will come (apart from the certain knowledge that it’s a pre-recorded advert for ‘No win, no fee’ sharks) and I WILL be published because I’m good, darn it (yeah, right).

I have things to work on – I actually have works in progress, plans and goals that are slightly more defined than “write something”. And I’m not totally depressed by the many rejections I’ve had so far. I had a blip last week where there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth, but I do know that every one gets rejected, it’s par for the course, and if I want to be a Real Writer I’d better just get used to it, and JK Rowling had 50 million rejections and agents cursing themselves left right and centre, and one day my time will come, and… Yeah, anyway. But I’m finding myself paralysed.

Partly paralysed by exhaustion – brought on by the very inconsiderate sleeping habits of my baby and toddler. But also by the feeling that every word I write is leading towards kill or cure. I will either begin to see some progress, or I will lose all faith in myself. I’m hoping that I’m edging towards cure – as I said, I do have some plans and a couple of rays of light. But I’m stopping myself from really sitting down for a good spell at the computer by worries that I’m just not good enough and maybe it’s all pointless after all.

I need two things. I really, really need a good kick up the behind. I know the best thing I can do is start writing again and sending stuff out because The Call/Email/Letter will never come if I don’t but I need a push to get my brain out of that paralysis and moving again. I also need a big boost in self-confidence. My family are very encouraging, my writerly friends are amazing but I think (without being dramatic?) I need more. I need positive feedback – even if it’s in a rejection – and some real, deep constructive criticism. So I’m praying for both and I’m giving myself the kick up the bum (which is very difficult, ever tried? You need to be a real contortionist). I probably also need to stop writing self-pitying blog posts – this could have been 500 words of my novel…

Thanks for listening, folks. Tune in again.

PS keep an eye out for some exciting interviews coming to My Little Notepad soon…

4 thoughts on “Contortionism”

  1. I guess you have to believe that you will get published, because you will. I’m waiting for the all important, all singing and all dancing email/phone call/letter etc to say that I’m the next JK Rowling, but I’m not building my hopes up. Too high!

    CJ xx
    p.s good luck.

  2. Keep going, keep going! None of us can block out all our doubts all the time, but don’t let them slow you. You’re already a Real Writer–don’t stop!

  3. Keep your head up, your time will come. It is so hard to write when you have children (I only have one child who goes to preschool 5 mornings a week and I find it hard!) so the fact that you have written and sent stuff out to get those rejections in the first place is a huge achievement so massive pat on the back for that! Don’t get down hearted with the rejections (easy for me to say, I know, as I am yet to send out my first piece) as you say, you know many a good writer has to deal with trillions of rejections before getting their break so all you can do is keep going, keep fighting and one day you will get that break. Don’t be down that you get rejections, in the writing industry, I believe that a huge amount is down to luck so it doesn’t matter how good you are, if it’s not your time – it’s not your time. It will come, and when it does (not if, WHEN) you will be able to blog about it to all us amateurs who are yet to publish. 🙂 xx

  4. I know where you’re coming from. I feel like that often. As if I’m bursting with ideas but can’t express them. I need to get them out but just can’t seem to get them out in the way I want, as if somehow they lose their magic on the way out. Keep the faith, you’ll get there. Hopefully, I will too.

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