I Hate Writing (Today)

This post is part of the Insecure Writer’s Support Group blog hop. The first Wednesday of every month is Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. The awesome co-hosts for the February 1 posting of the IWSG will be Misha Gericke, LK Hill, Juneta Key, Christy and Joylene Butler!

My insecurity this month is the fact that right now I feel like The Little Engine That Can’t. Or more like, The Little Engine That Doesn’t Want To And Every Day I Don’t Do It The Mounting Ennui Increases And Threatens To Smother Me.

It’s one of those baffling things about being a writer: I have ideas, I have plans for stories, I even have the time to write them, and when I get to the keyboard to actually do the work, bleeeehhhhhh. Why do you do this to me, brain? Do you think this is funny?

It’s not that I’m blocked, not really, the ideas are there. I just don’t feel like writing. I know this happens from time to time, and it’s happened to me in the past, and unfortunately I know there’s only one solution. The way to get back to writing is to write. Do it. Then do it some more. And pretty soon the rust falls off and you’re back to being a well-oiled word-churning machine. But ugh, getting there. It’s hard, and it sucks. I stare at the page and I’d rather be doing anything else in the world, like cleaning the toilet or shoveling snow off all the sidewalks in my entire apartment complex.

Why do we sometimes hate writing? I don’t want to break up, I just…need some space.

February 1 Question: How has being a writer changed your experience as a reader?

It’s made it worse, truth be told. Now when I read, I catch every typo, every instance of weird grammar, every inconsistency, every place where the plot is tied together with thin strings that are threatening to snap. Most of the time I just see the framework instead of the magic. I wonder if architects look at every building and only see how it was put together and what’s wrong with it?

On the other hand, there’s some truly awful examples of writing out there that have been hugely successful, so it gives me hope for my own work. It reminds me nothing has to be perfect to be great.

What are your insecurities today?

29 thoughts on “I Hate Writing (Today)

  1. Reading is not the same anymore. 😦
    It makes me a little sad because I’m a reader first…writing came much later!

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    1. Same here. I guess it’s the price we pay, unfortunately.

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  2. I hate when that happens. Hope you work your way out of it soon.
    Happy IWSG Belated Day!
    Juneta @ Writer’s Gambit

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  3. Luckily I’m on the up swing–not so insecure today. On the flip side of reading and critiquing at the same time, I do love a story that doesn’t distract me with errors. They are out there and are glorious. 🙂

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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    1. I’m glad to hear it! And yes, those are my favorite too!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I usually end up hating writing when I’m doing too much ghostwriting or the ‘work’ type writing when I have a story of my own that I desperately want to get out.
    When I read I feel the same way. I try so hard not to be so critical but its hard. But every now and then when I read something really good, its amazing.

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    1. I can see how that would make you want to write your own stuff. The muse is fickle, isn’t it?

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  5. When this happens to me, I generally get caught up on all the stuff I put aside when I’m writing. Your muse will come back, Megan. Maybe one day we’ll understand why this happens.

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    1. Maybe they go on vacation somewhere, to some muse paradise…why do we put up with these slackers, huh? 😉

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  6. I understand your pain. I’ve been there before where I’ll go long stretches without writing anything. Other times it’s not as bad and it’ll just be a day or two. One thing that’s helping me so far is a group I joined called the 365 club. The whole point is to just build a habit of writing. Not large word counts, just a little everyday. The goal, at least 100 words a day. I find a way to squeeze in at least that 100 even on days I don’t want to write simply because I don’t want to put down a zero on the tracking sheet. Gotta find motivation where I can. 🙂 Start small and build from there. Good luck.

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    1. That’s a great idea! Having others to keep you accountable is always motivating. I’ll have to look into something like that.

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  7. Writing is difficult and there isn’t one right way to do it. That gets me stuck. I have a manuscript I love that editors like, but not enough for them to take it on at their publisher. Trying to fix it … well,I’d rather try to fix my toilet. I wish I had an easy answer on how to fix as story that isn’t quite there. Those days are hard.

    Here’s my February IWSG post: Stephanie Scott How I Read Now

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    1. Sometimes we have to let things go, and it’s so much harder when we’ve put tremendous time and effort into it. I know that feeling and it really, really sucks. Best of luck to you!

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  8. This too shall pass. I’m wishing you epic success getting back into it, and cheese for the times when you struggle.

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  9. Hi Megan. I have recently been in the same “bleh” state. What helped me were goals, enrolling in online writing workshops and also working my writing partner on flash fiction using prompts from Pinterest. It was really great! I could finish something fast and share it with her without feeling like it had to be a huge manuscript in progress. And also too, I do see errors as I read. Especially when they are my own weaknesses. But that’s ok. I find great books too.

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    1. Those are good ideas! Writing is like a muscle, I guess, the more you use it the stronger it gets. It just hurts if you haven’t used it in a while to get it flexing again.

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes it is…and when you feel like starting it up again, it will come back with a surprising speed too 🙂

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  10. Jan Morrison above gives some excellent advice. I’m between drafts now, and am spending my time reading, resting and blogging.

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    1. I guess sometimes you just have to take a break. The writing will come back when it’s ready!

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  11. I do understand. I find myself doing the same thing when I read. Instead of getting caught up in the story, I’m obsessing over plot or theme or “wow this is bad how did it get published?” That sort of thing. I want a switch that will let me turn off the writer and turn on the reader.

    And I do hate writing sometimes. Like you, I have buckets of ideas, not as much time, but when I do have the time I find other things to do instead of writing. And sometimes you do need some space. One of the beat things I did for my writing last year was take a three month hiatus from it. And when I returned (actually, it returned to me) I got a great novel idea, ideas to fix an old novel draft, and a short story that’s soon to be published. Taking a break might be the best thing for you.

    Best of luck,
    Jen

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    1. I’ve done that in the past too, ‘gave up’ on writing for a while and let it come back to me. It always does, like a dog! I guess we’ll never be free of it, huh? That’s a good thing though. Deep in my heart I love writing, I’m just a little mad at it right now.

      Thanks for stopping by!

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  12. There you go – let those bad books give you hope.
    Maybe if you have the ideas, you just need to go do something fun that connects with one of them? If there’s a setting you can get to, go visit. If ti involves a sport, go to a game. That sort of thing.

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    1. That’s a good idea. Something to get me back in the groove. Thanks, Alex!

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  13. Hi Morgan – never been here before but I sure like what you wrote. For me, the experience you are talking about where you simply don’t feel like writing is akin to what they call transition in the labour process. During that time you feel like pushing, you are highly irritated, but you aren’t to push. I think it is extremely important during this period to NOT write. You heard me. Don’t write – or don’t write on the ms you are currently working on. Write your blog, your morning pages, a letter to your great-aunt, but leave your ms sit for a bit. It’s alright. In fact it IS writing. Or an important part of the process. Weird but I believe true. Seems strange to tell you who has many books published – when I have only poems and plays that have made it out of my desk drawer. But still – I think I’m right. Maybe you are gestating a new way to write. Maybe this will be the novel that takes you into a new stratosphere. Who knows. Don’t push that baby right now. Let it get ready.

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    1. That’s great advice! I never thought about it that way, but I’ll give it a try. Thank you very much!

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  14. I love this >> “Most of the time I just see the framework instead of the magic.” In some ways, reading has become a lot less enjoyable since I started writing. I see more of what’s hidden behind the curtain and sometimes forget to get wrapped up in the story.

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    1. Exactly! After a while, I can get wrapped up in the story, but little errors still jump out at me. Sigh!

      Like

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