Why My Novels Sucked — And What I Did About It

I had a problem. Readers sometimes enjoyed my short stories, giving high praise for stories I wrote in a day. Unfortunately, the novels I lovingly crafted for a year or more failed to impress anyone.

No matter how I experimented, I couldn’t write a compelling novel, and was getting frustrated over the continuous lack of progress.

If any of this sounds familiar, I want to give you hope. There isn’t a magic trick or a simple fix, but I think the secret is to discover your particular weakness.

The Breakthrough

First, let me say that this wasn’t an overnight discovery. This took me a good year to even begin to understand.

When I get nervous, I create cool scenes. Like how when a conversation turns awkward or quiet, I just start babbling, hoping to hit on something interesting. It almost never works, and neither did the scenes. While critiques revealed that people enjoyed the scenes, they didn’t contribute to the momentum of the story, and didn’t enhance the plot. So I was still not crafting compelling stories. I was writing better than ever, but my stories still sucked.

Things started to make sense when a friend told me what was missing. Structure. A plan. And it made me throw up in my mouth a little, because I hate plotting more than anything in the world.

Plotting a novel feels physically painful. It makes me sweat just thinking about it. I get nervous and panicky. Does that sound familiar? Do you have a particular facet about writing that makes you dread?

If so, that is what you need to work on in order to make your stories compelling.

Varied Weaknesses

What our stories lack will be as varied as who we are as individual writers.

For example, my best friend and I are both writers, but our problems are vastly different. As stated above, I’ve been having a damn awful time with story structure and plotting.

My best friend, on the other hand, has trouble with the interpersonal relationships and emotions of his characters. As a result, his stories sometimes lack internal conflict and emotional resonance. But we’re almost always struggling with the same kind of writerly crises, while our actual problems are on opposite ends of the writing spectrum.

For my stories to be more compelling I need a cohesive plot and stronger motivation for my character, even though she has plenty of emotional baggage and near constant internal conflict. For my friend to increase the effectiveness of his stories, he needs to consider the deeper feelings that people have, even while they’re on an adventure. If only I could ship his characters some emotional baggage and he could send me some plot. Wouldn’t that be awesome?

My Solution

It didn’t matter how much more emotional baggage and internal conflict I heaped upon my character—it wasn’t what was missing. She was already drowning in internal conflict. I was lacking other things desperately—starting with an immediate personal goal for the character to accomplish. It wasn’t that she didn’t have a goal… rather, the problem was that I didn’t take full advantage of its immediacy.

That’s when I recognized that I was cherry-picking the advice I was reading in blogs and how-to books. I thought that I was improving my stories by just adding in more of what I liked. I produced more of what came easily for me, and I ignored the things I struggle with—things like public stakes, antagonists, and linear plot. I could subplot myself into the middle of nowhere, but I couldn’t write a scene-sequel set of events to save my life.

That’s when I realized a fundamental truth of writing: we cannot write better stories by simply using more of our strengths. We must address our weaknesses head-on.

After this realization, I put my novel on hold, and became a full-time student of story structure and plotting.

If you are struggling, consider doing something similar. If there’s something you’ve been avoiding, find help. Read some how-to books or blogs, take a class, attend a workshop. Just don’t ignore the problem.

Turn Flaws Into Strengths

If you have a skill that’s lacking, there’s no time like the present. Find your flaws and turn them into strengths, one at a time. You can begin with the skill you struggle with the most (for me, it’s story structure), or a skill that’s adequate but still needs improvement.

Do an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses. Read advice from writers whom you admire. Here are two books that helped me to address my biggest weakness:

The secret to writing a compelling story is simple: make your readers care about what’s happening. That’s it. A story needs a protagonist that readers care about, a conflict that matters, and a concept that gets readers excited.

To reach your potential as a writer, discern which of these elements is lacking, and focus on fixing it.

It almost sounds easy, doesn’t it?

Your Turn

What’s your primary weakness as a writer? What are you doing to address it?

What blogs or books have helped you to overcome your writing woes?

Follow A. Howitt’s journey as a fantasy writer on her Facebook page.

A. Howitt is a fantasy author and a member of the Mythic Scribes article team. When she isn't writing, she enjoys history, fencing and designing period costumes. Follow A. Howitt’s journey as a fantasy writer on her Facebook page.

18 Responses to Why My Novels Sucked — And What I Did About It

  1. Good post! One of the reasons I can’t quite make the transition from novellas to novels is I grow bored with my own stories. Once I no longer buy into my own work, I don’t expect others will.

     
  2. I actually struggle a lot with the middle of the story. I can easily come up with a beginning and an end, but getting both points to meet has to be my weakness. I know my first few books showed this. I would get to the middle and things would almost feel rushed. I am not sure how to work around this. Can you provide any tips on how to pace myself through the middle of the story to make the beginning and end mesh well?

     
    • Absolutely, I’ll give you some tips.

      First off, I was a pantser for a long time. I began writing in 2001, and I never planned a novel. wrote 12 novels with almost no outline or design for what was going to happen. I came up with interesting characters, and then let them go on some sort of adventure (I’m simplifying, some of them were tragedies, and most explored the human condition in its many facets) with problems to solve.

      In short, it was a mess.

      I worked on short stories for competitions, and heard some great comments. People loved a few of my short stories. But no one responded really positively to my novels. I think the lack of planning was the real killer.

      I’m on a real balance beam right now. I’m not writing, but reading. I’m reading C.S. Lakin’s 12 Pillars of novel construction. I’m also a big fan of Donald Maass’ Breakout Novel books. I’m learning to plan things, but also to be brave and write with honesty. It’s really tough.

      I have come to learn that the “middle muddle” is a direct result of lack of planning.

      The beginning of a novel is an introduction. It’s easy. It’s the first “get to know you” moment for readers, and while they’re becoming familiar with a character through the first few scenes, everything is fresh and as long as you write engaging things, you keep a reader’s attention.

      However…

      The middle becomes tricky because it’s that awkward moment where you’re familiar with a person, but then some bad stuff happens, and you have to start to delve into who they really are. I guess I’m talking in relationship terms, here, but that’s how I see stories. They’re a relationship, a contract, an agreement. Whatever you promise in the beginning, you have to pay dividends on in the middle, and the reader must have a reason to make the investment. They must have a reason to keep turning pages. So, how do we make that happen? Tension, goals, movement, and conflict. I think the three act structure is a real winner, so here it is:

      1. Opening–introduce the MC ASAP, and give them something to want/ do/ need right away. An opening scene is like a short story, all on it’s own. Make that scene feel complete, and leave it with a question that the reader needs to know the answer to. The MC develops a problem in the first scene or two, and that problem relates directly to their internal conflict, something that makes them relatable to the reader (a flaw, belief, want/ need, for example). This internal conflict is the vehicle for the character’s change–their character arc.

      2. Inciting incident–we’ve gotten to know the character for a few scenes, and they have a clear goal. But then something happens, and the MC must have a dilemma. Pursue a new path, or run from it. But the character has an internal conflict, remember. While something larger is at stake (the world, a family member, whatever) the MC must battle their internal conflict and deal with the external conflict, all while being aware or concerned about a personal stake for the MC.

      3. Threshold into act two–it’s the doorway that the MC is standing at when act one ends. It’s the “yes” or “no” regarding whether they are going to overcome the event that incited the dilemma. They cross this threshold with a clear goal that’s pertinent to the plot of the story. Whether they’re willingly crossing or being dragged through, they must make a decision that hinges on their internal conflict, the personal stakes, and/ or the external stakes.

      4. Act two, the beginning of the middle–When act two opens, the character has crossed the threshold. They have begun their change. Whatever internal conflict was nagging them in the opening, it’s growing now. It’s no longer nagging, but cropping up at inopportune times. In the story I’m working on, the MC believes the world is broken, and so are people. In the beginning of act two he begins to get really annoyed with his coworker, who is bent on fixing things and changing things, and completely upsetting his viewpoint. The MC in the story must get uncomfortable. Obstacles crop up. Those obstacles should reflect the theme of the story.

      5. Immersion–as act two heads toward the middle of the story, things must get more intense. Whatever internal conflict the character had, it must cause them a problem, here. The character’s need gets stronger. Things get worse. We need to get to know the character intimately in this section. See how they react to adversity. This doesn’t have to be tragedy or anything else completely crushing (since I’m hesitant to talk about how “worse” is enough,) but it needs to be something that challenges the MC’s beliefs, confidence, their relationships with their allies, whatever. A challenge that will begin the MC’s understanding of their self and their need to change (begin to address the internal conflict). This is also the point where the theme of the story should be heightened so it’s clear to the reader and connected with the story being told. Every scene in this section counts. Get “in late and out early” as many great writers say. After you cross that first threshold, the scenes have to switch from “getting to know you” to “understanding you in a new way” I suppose. No erroneous scenes that entertain but don’t progress the plot.

      6. Twist–at the middle of the story, there should be a twist. It can be major, pulling the MC in a completely different direction, or it can be subtle. Something new needs to be introduced, some new information, a new character, a new idea, a new goal. Find something NEW to introduce to the story, and this twist will begin the MC’s journey to resolving their internal conflict. Sometimes this is a “death” scene. It can be a death of a job, a way of thinking, or a literal death of a person. Something big has to change, though.

      7. Danger–After the MC has had their boat rocked (if you’re writing a more personal or internal story) or their clock cleaned (if you’re writing an adventure sort of story), they need to pick themself up off the floor and make another choice. Bad guys are closing in. Danger is on the horizon. Things are getting scary. Tension is rising. The MC realizes now that their internal conflict is becoming a way for them to experience something different. And that can be scary, too, perhaps, but it’s helping the reader relate and sympathize. Sometimes, it’s nice to start some of these scenes with a bit of reflection, or maybe dialogue with a secondary character that opens the MC’s mind to a new layer of their journey or their internal arc.

      8. Dark night of the soul–this is the worst moment for the MC. It can be preceded by any number of scenes, but whatever happened in the danger section, this is it, the big moment where the MC is standing on the final threshold. A step must be taken at the end of this scene(s). A moment of complete desperation that will be followed by an answer, a plan. Something the character will do (whether that’s a personal sacrifice, or a fight, or finally leaving their spouse) that will confirm that they have overcome their internal conflict. This plan doesn’t need to work, it doesn’t even need to be a good idea, whatever action the MC takes, but this is the moment where the stakes are largest, the internal conflict is resolved/ resolving (and the personal stakes are tied to that resolution, probably), and the reader can’t stop turning the pages because there are answers just out of reach. Will it end in tragedy? Will the plan work? Will the character reach their goal? Or fail? To rivet the reader, you must make failure a possibility. If the reader KNOWS the character will succeed and reach their goal…there’s no point in reading. You MUST keep the reader on their toes.

      9. Resolution–finally, the MC has all the information/ strength/ allies/ whatever it is, to succeed. With this newfound thing, they go into their final battle. Whether this battle is internal, or a literal fight between them and the antagonist, or the character is running for the finish line in the big race, this is the moment where the MC either succeeds or fails. The theme of the story, or perhaps the motifs you used, come into this conclusion. The most important thing to do here, is to make this ending carefully crafted so that it is surprising, yet inevitable. Tricky, I know. It must feel to the reader like it couldn’t have gone any other way, but it must also excite them by being other than what they expected.

      10. The aftermath–the internal conflict is complete. The MC is changed and can’t go back to who they once were. It can be bittersweet, tragic, joyful, or simply a lesson learned. Whatever it is, this final look at the character (and any secondary characters whose journey also bring them to a mount of change) must be different from the original view we got of them in the opening.This is the farewell to the story.

      Okay, so that’s the structure that’ll make it work for most stories (unless you’re writing specific genre fiction which follows another template). I was really resistant to structure for years, but I’ve embraced the three act storytelling, and I’m completely liberated because of it.

      If your stories are suffering in the middle, why? Too much fluff? Lack of tension? Stakes either nonexistent or not being raised? Does the MC’s goal seem to have disappeared? Is there still plenty of internal conflict? Are the scenes exciting and moving the plot forward while deepening the reader’s knowledge and sympathy for the MC? Are scenes happening in real time, or are they filled with exposition or backstory? Are people “talking over tea?” Are there new questions raised and then some answered while others must stretch on? Are we missing part of the structure, such as the midpoint twist, or the bad guys / danger closing in?

      C.S. Lakin has a blog, LiveWriteThrive and I highly recommend it. She does a 12 Pillars series of posts that she published every week for a whole year. It’s full of amazingly helpful information and tips, and she even gives you free printable worksheets.

      Donald Maass is a unique voice in the art of writing craft. I highly recommend his books and would definitely recommend you buy the Breakout Novel Workbook (find it on Amazon). Even if you skip reading the book, the workbook will help guide you past the many pitfalls writers often fall headlong into.

      Best wishes, and I hope I helped you get some ideas for working on the middle of your stories. It’s definitely not an easy thing, writing. I think this is the hardest and most painful thing I’ve ever done.

      😉 I have four kids, so in my life, I’ve spent about 30 hours in labor. But I consistently spend 30 hours a week on writing, reading, brainstorming, researching, etc. and I can honestly say that since I embraced a three act structure, and the things both C.S. Lakin and Donald Maass are saying over and over, my life has gotten easier, my writing is more productive and fun, and I feel completely free of the chains I had bound myself in.

       
  3. I think the most common weakness I see most writers have is procrastination. If you’re dealing with something you’re not too comfortable with, such as a satisfying conclusion to your complex story, there is a natural tendency to leave it later after you complete “priority tasks”. Eventually my story strays into the wilderness as I subconsciously avoid creating a good conclusion. Tasks we are uncomfortable with need priority too or they’d never be completed.

     
  4. Great article – I can totally relate! I get all kinds of positive feedback on my flash fiction and short stories, and all modesty aside, I think they’re good. They’re tight. Every word is there for a reason. But my novel? Eh, not so tight. Some of the chapters are great, some are just okay, and I’ve got plenty of Plot with a capital P. Stuff happens: stakes are raised, conflicts occur, mysteries are posed and then eventually solved. But the problem is that the chapters don’t add up to a character arc that makes sense. I keep reading that I should let my character “talk to me,” that she’ll “tell me who she is.” Well, I think she might be psychologically imbalanced, because she acts differently in every scene. Grr.

    Working on it…

     
    • I feel your pain. So much! I’m struggling right now, not with a character being obfuscated from my perception of them, but with a plot. I have a character who disappears in the beginning of a story, and for the rest of the story, his allies are searching for him, trying to unravel the mystery of why he went missing.

      I have the emotional and spiritual journeys of the characters sorted out. My story has a central theme that is unique and important. I have characters with inherent internal and external conflicts, and conflicts between them, too, to raise tension. What I don’t have is a reason for this character’s disappearance. I need a reason he left, leaving his young crew to pilot a magical airship across the world to find their missing captain. I have everything necessary to make a moving and emotional story, one a reader will find satisfying and memorable…but I need something PERFECT, that compliments the concept and theme of the crew’s personal journeys…and I can’t for the life of me think of a good solid idea for what this captain is secretly doing.

      Sometimes critical story details are elusive. They stand in the way of a story working really well. I mean, I could just slap any old thing in there: he went to rescue a dear friend, he was trying to avert a catastrophe, or maybe that he was trying to save a group of people from a terrible fate….but what do those things add up to, if they’re just generic? Nothing. Decisions regarding plot must form the story about the characters and their emotional journeys into a cohesive tale, regardless of how plausible a generic event might be.

      I’m always learning, improving as a storyteller, but this thing is kicking my ass. I’ve been stuck on it for weeks, and I promised myself I wouldn’t write a word of the story until I had a clear and detailed map of where everything is going, beginning to end.

      In the past, I would have said, “Meh. It doesn’t matter what he’s doing or where he went, I can sort that out with exploratory writing further on in the story. And, really, if the characters don’t know in the beginning what happened to their captain, why must I know?

      But everything I’m working on lately is in direct contrast to what I have relied on in the past. I have to retrain myself to stop relying on exploratory writing and become the plotter I always feared to become. 🙁 And it ain’t fun.

       
      • It sounds like you have so much of it worked out, but yes, I can see being stuck on that one — very important — detail. Especially once you have so many parts of the puzzle, now this piece has to fit just perfectly with all the rest of them. Plus, it occurs to me that even if the crew members don’t know in the beginning what happened to their captain, they must have some ideas, based on who he is, and that informs their motivation for looking for him — which you do have to know from the very beginning. I mean, is he a scoundrel who stole some special object from them, or money, or secret information? Is he someone with a troubled past who they’ve always worried would seek revenge against so-and-so, and they fear he’s gotten news and run off to do something he’ll regret? Or is he a good guy who would never leave without telling them, meaning that something’s almost certainly wrong, and he might be in terrible danger and need rescue?

        The closest I came to a dilemma like that was having a plot point that I know needed to be there, but my secondary character just refused to do it. Or rather, I’d written him so sympathetically to begin with that I just couldn’t twist him into the bad guy in the end. So I ended up cutting that whole character out of the book and promising him I’d write *his* story one day, and instead replacing him with a new character who was pretty bad from the get-go.

        Good luck with your efforts to find your inner plotter!

         
  5. I confuse my tenses and I tend to color my descriptions too much or go into too much detail with certain things. The last one is a real problem as you need to balance tone and image with speed and tempo. Having an editor to show me these things have really highlighted them and allowed me to focus more. I also read other novels, both in my genre and outside, to get the feel for how they tackle issues of tone and pace. I’ve found that when I write the first draft I don’t focus too much on tempo and more on tone. Mostly for fear of losing that feeling. The second draft is more aimed at fixing the technical stuff and substantive issues.
    Woelf Dietrich recently posted…National Woelf Dietrich Week in LuvmbookisteinMy Profile

     
  6. Does my own novel suck because I’m telling instead of showing? In all the books and magazine articles I read in which editors and agents give advice I am exhorted to show not tell. But the novels I read tend to tell instead of show. Some have pages or even chapters of telling. There needs to be a balance. I think that showing can interrupt the flow of the narrative. And the reader’s brain has to make the effort of converting the words on the page into mental pictures. Is showing really so important? Are novels rejected out of hand because an editor has spotted a ‘telling’ tag? What do others think?

     
    • The style matters, and there are ways to tell effectively. But when it comes to emotions, relationships, and the motives of a character, the “guts” of the story, it’s usually much more effective to show it.

       
    • I din’t cover showing and telling in this article, but it’s not a black and white issue. You cannot SHOW a whole story. You must tell some of the time, a lot of the time, even.

      What people mean by show and tell is a rather complicated matter. And the only thing for it is experience. I had a novel where I needed a young soldier to learn there were undead creatures to the north, so he would have a reason to investigate it. In the first draft, I literally had the character become thirsty, head for a pub, and there he overheard these travelers talk about undead, and then he asked them about it. It was a weak scene, and it was a “tell” because the information was given, handed to the character, and the whole scene sucked.

      I started to think about what could be stronger. My next idea was to have him see the travelers hungry and buy them food in the pub, which began conversation he was part of, making it a more active scene. But I didn’t write it out, because in my mind, it was still a “tell”.It was still the character happening into a situation where he was supposed to sit there and listen to people talk and he would ask them questions–not very strong. Not immediate. Not tense. Not interesting for a reader.

      In the rewritten scene, the character uses his divine pendant to gain entry to a temple, where he begs for food and a bed for the night (showing more about the character, his background as a priest and his need to keep travel costs down…already better). Just s the priests and the character sit down to dinner, a group of travelers burst in the front door of the temple, begging for help, because now they have a woman in their arms who’s suffering from necrosis and looks half dead. When they tell the character that she was infected by some undead creatures, the character can ask them where it happened, and BAM, he learns what I needed him to learn. But the scene is more intense, the reader can SEE the problem and the stakes, and the character has that much more reason to ACT immediately.

      Often when we talk about showing and telling…we’re not literally talking about showing everything that happens, because that slows the story’s pace and makes it suck, too. But we have to make sure that every scene is strong, has an immediacy, a goal, stakes, and builds momentum.

      Going back to why my novels suck, and the scope of this particular article, we can’t have this character learn about the undead things and have this intense reaction…only to show him flirting with a washerwoman in the next scene. We have to stay with the goal. And it’s okay to follow up that scene with some tells, some things like: two days on the road, and Cedrick had found his first clue of the undead creature’s passing…

      Tells aren’t bad, but newer writers use them in all the wrong places, and often those tells come without character perspective or narrator voice, which makes them feel boring and weak.

      It isn’t an all or nothing sort of proposition, though plenty of articles make it sound that way. The best advice I have for someone concerned that they are “telling” too much, is to take a look at how information is given to a reader. If we’re learning things about a character that are unimportant to the immediate circumstances and situation, it’s probably better to cut those things until such a time as they’re necessary or have proper context. The best way to learn how to do that, is to have fellow writers you trust have a look at your stories and get their feedback.

      Having a strong writer voice will help cut most of those weak-ish things and make the surviving ones strong enough that they aren’t jarring or boring. Scenes don’t need to be action-packed to entertain, sometimes it’s just about the details. If details are given in places where they have immediate context, the details aren’t overwhelming, and they help to make a scene feel believable and rich. But as soon as things become unbalanced and pacing is affected…it’s time to stop showing and start telling, and it’s time to go back to the outline of the scene and its goals, so you can make sure you’re staying on track, rather than meandering. Telling is great for keeping things short and sweet, But certain scenes or moments ought to be shown. And unfortunately, only the writer of a story can make that determination. It’s about that writer’s goals, not about any written rule.

      Hope that helps a little!

       
      • Thanks, Anita. It certainly does help. And thank you for your time and effort you have kindly put into this.

         
  7. Very insightful article, Anita. You might as well have been writing about me. I keep trying to exploit my strengths, but have been ignoring my weaknesses. It’s time for me to give them some attention.

     
    • I realized a few weeks ago that I couldn’t write my way out of my problems. I had worked on some tricky skills that I wasn’t awesome at like dialogue, scene cohesion, focused character goals, describing things in an impactful way…just EVERYTHING. I was hearing good things about how that was going (better than I deserved, I’m sure). I just couldn’t understand why when I’m doing my best writing ever…I still can’t get a story really rolling.

      It was my critique group that brought all this to my attention. We’re all good writers who are seriously tackling those really fundamental skills…the ones that lead to home runs. But we’re re-learning them as much more advanced writers than when we originally learned those skills in our earlier years. What we’re realizing is that when you have an imbalance in your game, when one of those crucial skills is weak (even when everything else is really strong), it still means you’re not hitting home runs.

      I had to face my weakness for plotting. And it sucks. And I’ll let you all know when the pain ends. 😉 I play Assassin’s Creed and watch movies when I need a break from studying story structure. Except I’m ruined now! Just yesterday, I was contemplating how Ezio’s effort in Revelations isn’t nearly as engaging as his adventure in Brotherhood, and I now laugh at inappropriate times in movies…when I play my own secret game of “spot the plot” in which I try to identify the parts of a story. I look for midpoint twists, inciting incidents, bad guys closing in, and all hope is lost moments. I also read blurbs on Amazon Prime for about half an hour each day, just letting log lines sink into my brain, hoping they will one day form their on their own, but for the meantime, judging their impact on me and weighing their overall strength.

      I realized there’s no point in going back to writing a novel (or editing any of the drafts) until I learn how to really tell a riveting story. That’s why my short stories are so much easier. I start with a simple concept, a singular goal, and let the words fall where they want to, and I call it done. MY voice, NO thought, simple, simple, simple. But with novels, there’s all this STUFF to do. I’m like a kid at Disney World for the first time. I don’t know what to do first…so I end up running around, having all kinds of FUN….but not actually writing a cohesive story. And while the quality of the writing is better than ever…it isn’t a complete story, but a chaotic jaunt through whatever amused me that day.

      And the best part of me taking this time to study? That K.M. Weiland describes a very similar thing happening to her, and just recently, when I was on C.S. Lakin’s blog….I found the EXACT same analogy I use to describe my directional chaos. Like other people have had this problem too…

      😉 Best wishes! Go tackle those weaknesses!

       
  8. Oh man, what an awesome article!

    The more I learn the less I find I know 🙁 It is a vicious cycle of reading blogs, which direct me to books, which direct me to other books, which direct me to research writing topics I didn’t even know existed. There is such so much to learn and it seems like an impossible task to try to “do it all”.

    However, the more I focus on learning the more I find it starts to click (like for you).

    My biggest weakness is still getting my prose to that “professional” level. I’m still working on identifying voice and how to use compelling voice to choose the right details to show in a scene. I open books by professional authors and it seems so easy! But when I try to do it (show a scene through a POV) it is still clunky and stilted and just generally amateurish. So this is still my weakness and something I’m constantly working on.

    Thanks for this great article Anita 🙂

     
    • There’s so many moving parts to a good story! It’s like as soon as you get good and confident at one thing, you see all the things you still suck at! Maybe that’s the game? Always getting better? But by the time you’ve done a full circuit and improved all around…you start seeing that the oldest skills (or the ones you shoved to the background) are so far below the things you just improved…well, it’s discouraging.

      Yeah, cherry-picking was my problem. I didn’t want to revisit the things I thought I could do without, the things I knew I didn’t like to do and didn’t do well. But the problem was, it didn’t matter how much weight I tried to put on the other skills…the ones I had more fun with.

      Wait…writing isn’t supposed to be fun all the time?

      I think that’s why I keep checking out Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird” on audiobook from the library. Her humor and raw honesty about how un-fun writing can be gives my broken spirit a little funny kick up the backside when I start to feel too hopeless.

       

Leave a reply

CommentLuv badge