One of the writer conversations this month discussed the idea of using writer’s “advice.” It suggested that seeking too much advice can actually be detrimental to a writer’s psyche. Another article I read this week discussed the idea of writer burn out. In my opinion, this is the most dangerous aspect of writing. Not plot development, or character analysis or even rejection letters. It is burning out from the competition. The article suggests that writers burn out because they are too critical of other books (i.e. in discussion groups and book clubs). I will extend this opinion. I think writers burn out because they are too much involved in the conversation.
The world of publication is changing so dramatically. I met people who are super excited about this. Self-publishing through places like Amazon and Smashwords is on the rise. This means writers no longer have to try to sell themselves in a one page query letter. They no longer have “gatekeepers” barring their work from being seen in the world. However, the flip side of this is that there is no filter. Those negative toward the changes say it is harder than ever to get noticed above all the “not good” work flooding the scene.
The idea not to seek advice follows this concept. Everyone has their own opinion. Some say to outline. Others say not. Some say to self-publish, others say this will ruin a career. Some say to build a social media presence, others say it’s the face-to-face interactions that matter. Some say to write in the morning, others the evening is best. For every piece of advice, there are countless rebuttals, and everything contradicts the other.
This week, I found myself questioning what I want. It’s easy to get frustrated. Query letters remain unanswered. Is that a rejection, or should I be patient? Should I self-publish…but is that truly the easier route? Some weeks I fall into frustration. I become like that kid on the playground who wants to take her ball and go home. I don’t want to play anymore. I don’t want to fight and compete anymore. I’m tired of the negativities. I’m tired of the contradiction.
I actually like the advice from the articles. I think it’s important to step away and remember why it is I began doing this in the first place. What I like the best about the article about finding heart is that everything goes back to writing. Stop critiquing. Stop trying to write in a certain way to please the masses. Stop thinking in general. Just write. It seems so simple, and yet is sometimes the hardest thing to do.
It’s good to be connected, but too much connection can leave frustrations and negative views on the world. So, I pledge that next week I want to step back and focus on writing again.
For this reason, I have decided to back off of the blog a little. I want to try to do Monday, Wednesday and Friday in an attempt to blog better. If I find I miss the interaction, I may increase back to five days a week. I thank you all for following me and your continued support in my endeavors!