Why I Haven’t Been Writing

writing photo: Writing writing-2.jpgI’ve been protecting myself. And in a place of self-protection, I can’t create, I can’t be vulnerable, I can’t be empathic to my characters. It’s not that the story isn’t there or that I’m stuck. I’m not. The truth is I don’t feel like writing another book. My heart hurts.

I’m a pretty intelligent sort and I know with all creative endeavors there are critics. So it would be beyond stupid of me to expect none. What I didn’t expect was mean. I have never written a mean review in my life because I know that if a story or a piece of art isn’t for me, it just isn’t. I don’t have to bash and shame and degrade other writers or artists. I don’t even have to understand their point.

Right now I’m exhausted and I’m pissing and moaning. Please forgive me. I’m just tired of pushing so hard. I wish I had the self-esteem of my husband (an enviable trait) because then I’d just brush off any negative review and focus on the abundance of positive ones. I’d persevere. And I will. I’ll get back to it. I’ll come out of hiding and let my guard down again, soon.

I’m in limbo waiting to see what happens with Bittersweet Deceit coming out August 5th. Then I will decide if I want to continue chasing the dream full-time.

I just finished watching Brené Brown: Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count:

She makes an interesting point, well several, but the one I’m pointing out is about courage. She says it’s an important value to hold. Am I courageous? Sometimes I am. I think what I need more is tenacity.

Brené shared on her video my favorite quote of all time:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

― Theodore Roosevelt

Maybe I need to read the quote every single day! One hundred days in a row!

Make sure to check out the video above. It was a good reminder to me that only the courageous persevere.

Warm hugs,

Blakely

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11 thoughts on “Why I Haven’t Been Writing

  1. Unfortunately, this is part of the business and why every writer should a) use a pen name (this protects us physically AND puts an emotional barrier between us and our work – the meanies aren’t attacking us, they’re attacking our pen name) and b) keep her/his physical address semi-private.

    I receive death threats (or in one hilarious case, deaf threats – I was told I should “die a thousand deafs”. I have no idea what she had against the hearing impaired but… shrugs). There are some crazy people in the world and unfortunately when we’re public figures, we attract them.

    There are many more great people in the world and that is why I continue sending my stories to be published. You have to decide if having stories published is worth dealing with the meanies. They, unfortunately, will never go away.

    • I totally agree with you Cynthia. Knowing that it is coming and dealing with it are two different things and yes, I use a pen name. My most recent and worst review ever attacked me as the writer. She said I used my psychology degree to manipulate and abuse my readers and many other unkind things. I know I need to work on getting a thicker skin and that’s in process. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Warm hugs,
      Blakely

      • “I know I need to work on getting a thicker skin and that’s in process.”

        First, decide if you WANT to be a person with a thicker skin, Blakely.
        Because you’ll be a different person than you are today.
        This change will ripple through all aspects of your life, changing your relationships.

        I wish we, as writers, would talk more about the cons of publishing our writing so people can make informed choices. We’re so worried about squashing dreams that we don’t give unpublished writers all of the facts.

  2. When we are at our most vulnerable, that is when it is hardest to write. It is also when writing is more important than ever. Writing kept me sane when I thought I would lose my mind. In the deepest depression, writing is what got me out of it. The work I did then wasn’t publishable. It was therapy.

    Being a writer is an action, a process, not a product. No one can take that away from you.

  3. First it is a shame that someone took a review of your book and made it so personal. I only know you through our pen pal chatting and reading your books but I truly believe you are a great person.

    We run into this in the working world as well, I have a manager that has treated me like crap and personally attacked me in meetings. Sometimes I have stood up and barked back, other times I listen and just absorb the comments.

    I have to admit when I absorb it hurts more but in the long run it makes me stronger, I get wonderful comments from co workers and friends at how professional I am and handling the situation. I know this isn’t the same as writing but long story short. Whether you write or not some where along the way someone will make comments to you and make them personal, it is just how you digest it and learn from it.

    Last comment is stay strong, protect and recover then take a deep breath and remember back why you started doing this and I will bet that we will see more writing and great stories..:)

    Scott

  4. Write, woman! Screw the haterz lol. I’m a really dang slow reader and I picked up stuck in between last night around 1230am, when I should have been in the bed, and read until I passed out. I’m on page 146! YOU ARE AN INCREDIBLE AUTHOR. If you can’t handle the reviews, then don’t read them, or better yet, have your husband skim through and read you just the good ones!!! I’ve already added you to my invisible “Must read everything this author ever writes” list, which is very hard to get on. You’re to young and talented to stop know. You look over early 20’s and you already have 5 about to be 6 books out. Do you know how incredible that is! Most authors aren’t starting until they are 30. You are WAY ahead of the game! I want to keep reading your books until you die. Okay, so maybe I’m hooked already and am heading into the SUPER FAN arena, but seriously. Your writing is amazing. Point me out to that bad reviewer so I can gang up on them. Just kidding, but seriously, forget them. I’ve had a bad review here and there. I’ve been told “my 9-year-old sister could write a better book than you” and “before I found out the author was 23, I thought she was a whiny 14-year-old” (That was because my character was a whiny 16 year old, so in a way it was a complement.) Try to weed out the good in every review and discard the hater-aid. You’re to good for that! Keep writing. Forget the reader, they comes secondary to you writing your character’s stories which must be told. My characters don’t shut up until I write them. I’m sure yours are the same way. Just write to write. Don’t think about publishing until it’s done.

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