I didn’t think there was going to be a blog topic this month. I figured perhaps the blog circle just ran for the first couple of months of the year, as that’s what happened last year, but no it was just late! Which is no worries, it’s not like it matters, as it is still decidedly April. Anyway, this month is a bit of a tough one.
What has been your biggest writing success? How did you get there?
I would argue that I haven’t really had any big writing successes because nothing has ever lasted. However, that is quite a negative viewpoint as I suppose a success is still a success even if it didn’t transform into a lifelong accomplishment.
So there are a couple of contenders and both of them go back quite a way. In fact they both happened in the same year – 2016.
In 2016 I wrote 500k which was a big deal. I felt productive and being productive felt good. Now more than half of that was Rumbelle fanfic which wasn’t ideal but I justified it at the time as developing ideas as a lot of it was AU and could be turned original later. That is only partly true now because that was five years ago and people change over time. I’m not the person I was back then and the stories I wrote aren’t as close to my heart anymore. That’s not to say I’ll never do anything with them but they’ll probably be changed far more substantially than I first expected.
Also in 2016 I published two novels. I actually published my first novel December 2015 but I kinda don’t count that one so much as I failed to write the sequel and deemed the whole venture a total mistake. However, these books in 2016 were in the same series. I felt like I had a production schedule and it was all going well (and then it fell flat as November happened and life hasn’t been the same since hence how the success is relative).
Still the fact that I finished those novels, revised them, had them edited, formatted them and deemed them good enough to share with the world – that is a BIG DEAL. Sure subsequently I’ve noticed things about the books I’d like to change (and as I had to unpublish the series due to my failure I can change them if I want) but I did put them out there. I went through the entire process. I did that. No matter what happened next, and how badly it all turned out in the end, I did write and publish those books.
As for how I got there well that’s the million dollar question isn’t it? Because if I knew that I’d hopefully be better able to replicate the previous success and it wouldn’t have been five years of epic failure since then. I guess I managed to push through my fear of never being good enough somehow. To be honest I don’t really recall how I got that confidence, I would quite like it back.
What has been your biggest writing disappointment? How did you bounce back from it?
My biggest disappointment would be falling off the horse in November 2016 and then failing to get going again. I had a big real life disaster happen and I didn’t deal with it at all well, the fallout from that was long-lasting. Anyway I never finished writing Book 3 of my series and so I eventually unpublished the first two books out of shame.
The more time went by, the worse it got and I just stopped. I barely wrote at all 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020. I would open the documents, I would try. I resolved to rework the series and relaunch and that never happened. The more I failed, the worse I felt, until I ended up in a very dark place and I’m trying to ‘try again’ but I am very afraid. I said above that I clearly had some confidence in the past or I wouldn’t have published those books. Well whatever confidence I had is gone and it’s a real struggle to even get write the first draft as I constantly wonder “what’s the point? who are you kidding, you suck, you’ll never be good enough” etc.
So in terms of ‘bouncing back from it’ I’d say that I haven’t really – or at least if I have, it’s an ongoing process. I am writing more this year. I have written several stories since last November when I sort of kickstarted things again by writing Sanctuary fanfic. I’ve even finished the first draft of an original story! I’m working on another original novel at the moment. So I’m heading in the right direction because I’m getting words down. The theory is “I can fix a bad page, I can’t fix a blank page” so writing is a good step one.
Whether I’ll ever have the confidence to be able to revise, and call it done, and publish again I don’t know. I hope so because it’s my dream but I just don’t know. Right now I don’t feel in my heart like it’s possible, I don’t feel like my writing is anywhere near good enough for that and I feel embarrassed that I ever thought it was.
I guess I’ll just keep trying to persist and hope that the future will take care of itself. Only time will tell.