Discouragement…

I think sometimes discouragement hits us, and we don’t even know we’re discouraged until we just sit down and face it head on.

Let me explain.  Yesterday, I had sat down and was finally going to edit my vampire/werewolf novel after a few weeks of not working at all.  And, I didn’t know why I wasn’t working.  Sure, I’ve been busy.  Swamped actually.  But I’ve always found time to write or edit or do what I had to in order to keep this writing thing going.

So, I couldn’t explain to you why I haven’t been writing – until now.  I was discouraged with my work.  I think it’s because it’s new to me.  This genre I’m working on is new and some people hate it, some love it.  It’s either a hit or miss in this genre, and that scares me.  And, I realized some of my stuff was a bit cliched and cookie cutter (thanks to a beta reader) and now, I’m even more discouraged.  Sure, I can fix it, but I thought it was good.

Honestly, I read through it again a few months ago and thought, “Hey, this isn’t so bad!”  And now where am I left?  Holding the crumbling pieces of a novel that apparently has a horrible main character and is a “rip-off of Twilight.”  Honestly, I don’t think it’s a rip-off of Twilight.  At least not all of it.  I’ve done research into werewolves and wolves, and no, my research wasn’t watching the Twilight films or reading the books.

But, still, I’m upset.  Crying upset.  My novel sucks.  This idea I had and loved might suck.  I’m an awful author.

I wanted to try something new, but now, I’m not sure I want to continue with it.

How do you as an author overcome discouragement?  How do you find the momentum and good in your writing to keep going sometimes?

My boyfriend and family tell me constantly that I worry too much.  I do.  I won’t deny it, but sometimes, that worry has me so crippled that I can’t even find the worth in my own work.  It’s debilitating.  And sometimes, it makes me want to give up, but when I look at the good reviews on Amazon and Goodreads that I have or when I remember the good things that people have told me regarding my writing, it makes it easier.

I’m not saying that it’s easy because it’s not.  Right now, I’m having a hard time overcoming this discouragement, and I still want to cry some.  However, I must go on.  I must find the strength to keep writing because dang it, that’s what I do best!  God gave me this talent, and I plan on using it!

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19 comments on “Discouragement…

  1. Try not to get too discouraged maybe you should a few betas read it to see if it is good one person may not always offer feedback that someone else may have.

  2. Emerald, I know exactly that feeling. The first editor I had for my first novel ripped it, much like what it sounds like you got. I didn’t write for a while. But I missed writing & when I looked back over the MS, I liked the story. But I ended up rewriting that thing three more times before I was done.
    Recently, I sent my newest project to a new editor. Even after 3 beta readers, she still found much that needs work. Like most of the characters need a makeover. And the plot. And the beginning. And the end . . .
    Here it is. You are a writer. It is your passion. Discouragement is part of the deal.
    My suggestion is to ask yourself why you are writing this werewolf story. Is it a story you have a passion for? Or something you wrote more to market? If you have a passion for the story, then do not abandon it. Dig in and find a way to make this werewolf story uniquely you. If you do that, you’ll rid the story of cliches.
    By the way, you are a good writer. I’m reading Read Me Dead right now. You’ve got talent. Keep going.

  3. Chin up, Em! I feel this way sometimes too. It’s really hard sometimes to keep spending hours of countless hard work on something that you’re getting little reinforcement for, other than your own passion to create. My bouts of discouragement seem to come in waves. Eventually they roll off and I’m left remembering that I must keep going. There is no other choice. Because in my heart I’m a writer, and creating a story readers will LOVE is the one thing I truly desire. Now, you’ve faced your demons. Give it a day or two and see how you feel. Being happy is most important. Whether that’s writing or not, you’ll know deep down.

    PS- Haven’t read any of your work yet, although I have them loaded on my Kindle waiting.

  4. Hello Emerald,

    First of all I wanted to say you are a phenomenal writer. I, as an aspiring one have also struggled with discouragment . But, This article has helped me hear how as authors whether published or not, deal with this issue.
    I know you are going to do an awesome job Emerald as you always do! You do have a gift and God gave it to you for a reason as you said, that is the way I feel. I have three children and a husband and I find that I do not have all the time to work on my book like I would love. However, I have pushed myself to work on my talents any moment I have to spare and that has encouraged me. Just take it one day at a time, and I know you will prevail my friend!

    Syl Stein

  5. Emerald,

    If you are determined to write this book, then WRITE it! Don’t worry about what others say right now. Finish it. Read through it several times, and edit, edit, edit. Then give it to beta readers of different ages (appropriate for the book, of course) and genre-specific readers. If even then they’re telling you negative things, but you don’t agree, try it out anyway. You never know…chances are, if you love it, so will your readers. Good luck!

    Andrea

  6. Hey, Em! Me again, lol. I’ve read the other comments and I agree. But as much as it sucks, maybe you need to rethink some parts of the plot. I rewrote Freedom Road 3 times. I rewrote the entire thing after your beta read and changed almost the whole plot. Sometimes negative feedback is super hard to hear, but learning from your work–what you do well and what in your book, you need to improve–are the the only things that help us get stronger. It sucks, totally sucks. And I felt the same exact way as you above, about Freedom Road. You can do this. You can fix the book and make it wonderful, I’m sure you can. Just accept that you may need to make some changes and sit down with someone you think would be good to brainstorm with. Explain what you think are the problems in the book, and then have them help you brainstorm. Bounce ideas off of them, etc. In the past, this has helped me incredibly!

  7. Thanks, guys. It’s tough, and this feedback and help is what keeps me going. I know that my novel needs a re-write right now, but it’s hard not to get discouraged at times. I wrote this as a way to not only help myself see why I was feeling discouraged, but to hopefully let others know that they aren’t alone if they’re feeling that way as well. I’m going to face this thing head on though, and I’m going to make it the best daggum book any one has ever read. ;) lol

    But seriously, thank you guys so much for taking the time to comment and help me out here. It means a great deal to know that I have an amazing backing from you guys. <3

  8. I can’t speak of your beta readers, as I don’t know them. But I don’t use beta readers anymore. Straight to editor. The problem with most betas is they want you to write that wonderful book, that gorgeous book, that collaboration between you and them. Writing is not a team sport. I’d rather read something imperfect and odd, exactly what the writer wanted to write, than something written by a committee, with all the weird little bumps polished off. That’s just me, though.

    Do what you need to do next: line-edit, send to editor, proof-read, whatever. Don’t go back and make it into a book that it is not. That’s for your next book. Or the one after that. Are these betas other writers? Move forward, and remember that other writers are horrible, horrible people (ms. marshmallow says this tongue-in-cheek!!!).

  9. p.s. If you agreed with any of that criticism, you’d be revising that book right now and not feeling bad. Feeling bad is a sign for you to listen to your own heart and do what youwant. (Sorry I’m getting all therapyish on ya. Ms. Marshmallow was a brain scrambler in a previous life.)

    • That’s a good point though, Ms. Marshmallow. ;) I think I need to hire you as my therapist.

      But thank you. I do appreciate hearing your opinions. That always make me smile, and to be honest, I’m considering never using betas again. But who knows what will happen. lol

      And one of them was a writer. The other who loved it was just a reader. It’s in the hands now of a 12 year old girl who loves to read those types of books and I’m hoping since I’m writing for that age group she’ll have good things to say.

  10. I’m sure your novel doesn’t suck, Emerald. Relax about the Twilight comment. Before Twilight, there were The Vampire Diaries books, before them you had Anne Rice’s vamp stories, before her, we had Bram Stoker, John Polidori, Lord Byron and Mary Shelley.
    There are no original ideas anymore, just original ways of expressing and reinventing them.
    And it’s very brave of you step outside of your comfort zone with a new genre. Hope you finish it.

    • Thanks, Emma. That’s very true. It’s just, sometimes, it feels like Twilight has ruined everything. ;) I plan on finishing it. I just have to get my head straight and focus. Thanks, again!

  11. Haven’t seen or read Twilight so I can’t really comment on that aspect of the criticism you received. However, I find it useful to hear the good and the bad, and as much as I don’t like the bad, I take it and see if a change is needed. None of my stories will ever be “perfect” enough, but is nice to look back at the first novel and see how far I have progressed, thanks to the critics. Keep going! You are a fine writer – with many fans!

    • Aww. Thanks, D.J. I’m going to keep going with it. I just needed to find my strength. I do love feedback, but sometimes, I get in this weird funks. I hate it, but it’s me. I plan on changing that about myself and not getting discouraged so badly. But again, thank you! :)

  12. Just decide to prove them all wrong, Emerald. That’s what keeps me going; determination to be able to turn around one day and say to people “you didn’t think it was possible. Well, look what I’ve achieved”.

    I understand exactly how you feel though. Several times I reached the end of my book and realised it needed a complete rewrite. But seeing as Twilight keeps getting brought up, use that as the inspiration you need to keep going. I don’t mean as in draw influence from it, but just remember this; it’s a best selling novel series, made into hugely successful films, but a lot of people hate it. Not everyone will love everything, so if something massively successful still attracts a lot of hate, why would yours have to be perfect?

    Keep writing!

    • Thanks! I am. I just needed some time to vent and get my head straight. Here in a few weeks, I’m going to sit down and rewrite the story in the parts that need work. But you’re right about Twilight. That’s good to remember. Thanks again! :)

  13. Pingback: An update on Discouragement… | Emerald Barnes' Dreaming Awake Blog

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