Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Go stomp up a hissy fit and then Get Back to Work!

Do you ever become bored with your manuscript? I'm here to tell you that sometimes you will feel bored with it. Sometimes you will feel as if you want to ditch it and go work on something else, or to sit upon your couch and drink vodka tonics and eat chocolate and forget that you ever called yourself a writer in the first danged place . . . yeah!

If you are writing your novel/story and lose interest, or are not motivated to keep writing, then take a break. Work on something else, then go back to it with fresh perspective. If you are still bored and unmotivated, maybe it's time to consider why. If you become bored by reading your work, and are not excited about working on it, your readers may feel that boredom as well. We should be the first champions, the first lovers of, the first excited readers of our work. We should be excited and motivated and happy as little happy clams--except for those times when we are going "ARGHHHH!"

I’m working on the continuing story of Virginia Kate, Secret Graces. This time, I have a deadline. There is not a lot of time to put away my manuscript and work on something else, or else I miss that deadline. With what would become Tender Graces, I had “all the time in the world,” for I had no one waiting on me to deliver—I only had my own motivations, and my love of Virginia Kate and the other characters, the setting, the landscape, the language and words. Still, I had my days. Too many of "those days" spent doubting and angsting--what a waste, or maybe instead of "waste" I was feeling my way around, learning, processing. Yeah, that's it!

But, no matter how I feel or do not feel with Secret Graces, I had a point to start, and I have a definite point to get the manuscript to Bellebooks. Period. For every day I step away from the work and whine or gripe or piddle de doo means extra time I need to find to catch up. Writing for deadline is a different feel than writing for the sake of writing (as you Nanowrimo-ers may be feeling!).

After setting down all the words comes the “edits and re-writes.” This is where many writers get the "YAWWNNNs." This means reading your ms over and over and over and over. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve read the entire manuscript of SG. Do I wish it to be Done and in the hands of my publishers? Yes. For I want to move on. I have more to write. I have the Sweetie novel I want to start re-writes/edits on. I have short stories I’d like to take a look at again. But, with each reading of SG, of Virginia Kate’s story, I find a way to fall in love with her again. And even when I don't, doesn't matter -- the work must be done and I must do the work.

It’s okay to be bored with your work at times. It’s okay to feel frustrated. It’s okay to put it away in frustration. It’s okay to hate being a writer sometimes. It’s okay to stomp your feet and raise a fist to the sky and ask, “WHY DO I DO THIS? WHY WHY WHY DO I TORTURE MYSELF IN THIS WAY? I SUCK; MY WORK SUCKS; BEING A WRITER SUCKS! NO ONE LOVES ME!” Yes, it’s perfectly normal and fine to rant, as long as you get back to work. Scream and stomp and angst and feel depressed and feel defeated and feel horrid and yucky and icky and poodly doo doo and sob and rant. . . And Then Get Back To Work.

Now, go stomp up a hissy fit and then take a deep breath and fall in love with your characters and their stories all over again.

google image from:


I have tried all but one of the Community Coffee gift set coffees --the Bread Pudding. Since Thanksgiving is next Thursday, I thought that flavor of coffee would be perfect to serve to our Theater guests coming for Thanksgiving--the theater friends we call The Regulars--and to get their reactions. I will write about these coffees - and as I said, I will have a contest so you can win coffee and a travel mug.

This is the gift set I have...thank you Community Coffee! *smiling*


Sandra Leigh said...

Lately (and largely in NaNoLand, I keep hearing that if you get bored with your manuscript, the best cure is to introduce a pack of zombies into the story. I haven't tried that yet, because I don't know what I'd do with them, but I'm keeping that possibility open.

I am truly looking forward to your contest, Kat (having tried Community Coffee) but even more,I look forward to reading Secret Graces. You must keep writing, because we're all waiting! ;>)

Linda Leschak said...

Kathryn! How on earth did you know what I've been going through these past few weeks? I haven't written a thing in my ms and I'm so frustrated. I've whined and complained to my husband in person, to my writing partner in e-mail and to myself ad nauseam. It's sad and pathetic.
But you seemed to have picked up on it even from the distance between us! Thank you for your post. It really, really helps. And comes at such a perfect time.

Deb Shucka said...

This is a great post. I think we all get frustrated and bored. Although I think bored can mean afraid, or don't-know-what-to-do-next, or this-is-too-damned-hard. I hope you're working hard, because I'm really anxious to read Secret Graces. :-)

Sheila Deeth said...

I need a dog. She used to make sure I could never get bored, and took me out for walks. Now I go for walks and watch other people's dogs and miss her. My characters always want to talk to me more out of doors.

Stacy Post said...

Kat, I understand your point clearly. I've been there many times with my latest manuscript. But maybe, if you think of how excited your readers will be to read more about Virginia Kate, that might motivate you to slog through the edits? Hissy fits are fun though...a good tantrum might alleviate some of the stress!

Patience-please said...

I think having a deadline would help me greatly. GREATLY. But it probably magnifies the 'tired of writing/rewriting' problem times a zillion, because you must keep at it.
I'm still happy that such a deserving author - you - has a deadline for that second book to meet!

Good for you. In every way.

Patience (who says, ahem, and where is that grandbaby today?)

~JarieLyn~ said...

Great post, Kat. I'm not a writer but I sure do love the advice you give. Next time I'm feeling out of sorts or not good enough and find myself complaining, I think I will go stomp me up a good hissy fit.

I'm interested in reading your first novel now. It sounds very enticing.

Jessica said...

Thank you Kathryn! I get bored and am glad I'm not the only one. :-)

Walker said...

Man am I in trouble.
I'm not even a writer and I get bored.
I don't even drink coffee.
Well, unless I got a bottle of baileys.
How many bottles of Irish whiskey you figure they have to make a cow drink before they can start filling the bottles?
I guess they get the curds the next day when it's hung over

Terri Tiffany said...

Thanks for this. I worried when I would get sick of what I was writing--took some time from it this past week and then it struck me what was wrong and I feel renewed about it!
Good luck with going over and over your current work--I know it will be awesome!

kanishk said...

I look forward to reading Secret Graces. You must keep writing,

Work From Home India

Judith Flickinger said...

I feel so friggin vindicated! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. Just knowing I'm not the only one makes my blood pressure go back to within normal range.