Losing Confidence



During the month of November, I didn’t get very far with my WIP. I’ve been slowly making my way through Story Genius and I’ve accomplished two things:

  1. I’m more confused about my story now.
  2. I’m losing confidence in my writing ability.

I think I’d save myself a lot of heartache if I’d just stop giving into the temptation of reading how-to books on writing. The more I read, the more I over think the process, and the end result is I write less and pile on a mountain of self-doubt in the process.

Writing is hard and I’m making it even harder in my never-ending quest for the perfect “formula” for writing a novel. I need to build my confidence back up, so I’m stepping away from the novel and Story Genius for a couple of weeks.

We each have our own way of doing things. In the years that I’ve been writing, I have figured out that if I don’t write every single day, it’s really hard for me to get back into it. I am a person who needs to write every day. It’s important that I get back into that habit. I’m setting the novel aside so I can work on some short stories instead. The idea of being able to start something that I know will not take me very long to complete will give me the confidence boost I need, take the overwhelm out of the writing process, and help me get back to writing every day.

Time To Get Serious

I’m an obsessive list maker. It’s something that I just cannot help doing. My brain functions better when I have a list of tasks to complete.

  • A list keeps me focused (most of the time).
  • Lists help me to remember things I need to do or things I need to buy. I’m over 40 and my memory, along with my eyesight, just isn’t the same as it was twenty years ago.
  • Lists keep me on track with my goals.
  • I make lists on a daily basis.

Today, I made a list of current writing projects that I have in the works. I’ve known for a long time that I want to earn a living, or at least supplement my income with my writing. My current occupation should (if it’s not already) be on a list of the top shittiest jobs in America, and the pay scale keeps going in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, what I thought was going to be a career that would sustain me until retirement has turned out to be a dead-end job.

It’s time for a change. It’s time to get serious about writing.

Here is my list of current projects:

  • Short story: Romance  – around 800 words. Currently working on the first draft. Goal: Submit for publication
  • Short story: Romance – around 800 words. I haven’t started this one yet but know what it’s about. Goal: Submit for publication.
  • Short story: Horror – around 4000 words. Haven’t started but have the basic idea down. Goal: This will be entered in the Writer’s Digest Horror competition (deadline October 15th)
  • Novel: Romance (85,000 to 100,000 words). Reworking a novel I started a couple of months ago. It’s just in the beginning stages, so I haven’t gotten far with it yet. Goal: To complete and submit for publication.

This is a doable list that’s not overwhelming. For each completed story I cross off the list, I will add a new project. The idea is to be constantly writing, getting better at it, completing projects and start submitting them for publication. I know my stuff may never get published, but I have to try, don’t I?

So, what about you? Do you keep lists? Or do you find you’re more productive doing things on the fly?