Jun 14, 2010, 9:00 PM
Post #629 of 709
I have the exact same problem as you do! Except that this is my second time applying. Although, I will say that I still have the same doubts and "why bother" attitude as I did last year :) Here's my philosophy, and I will not be offended at all by anyone who disagrees, because it might not work for everyone:
Re: [paulettejanep] A Writing Regime
[In reply to]
I guess the bottom line is, don't beat yourself up about doubt or missing a day of writing/reading. Even the greatest writers were plagued with doubt and they just kept going. Hell, I've been rejected from every journal/magazine/MFA program I've sent work to, and while I'm happy that I'm at the point where I'm getting waitlists/personal rejections, it's still frustrating. But, it's what I want to do, so I'm going to do it and try to get better come hell or high water. Even if you do get rejected outwright this year (it happens to the best of us), which is probably feuling your doubt, there's always next year, and it only gets easier from there.
- Shoot for an hour each day, and keep it diligently. However, do not kill yourself over if you are too busy or on vacation, or whatever. Take a day off when you need to, when you feel like, etc... nothing wrong with taking breaks. But don't just not write because you don't want to. One of my writery friends has two kids now and teaches full time and has put a very promising poetry career on the back burner. It's really, really sad. I can't judge her, because I don't have any kids, which makes a huge difference, but I think a lot of why she's not writing is because she has made it her last priority. Don't do that unless you're willing to accept the consequences of doing so.
- I would also suggest aiming for at least an hour of reading a day as well, with the same attitude about the writing regiment. I haven't read a page in about three days, so I'm a big fat hypocrite who needs to get off her lazy ass and pick up my book, so don't be like me!! Keep it up!
- Whenever you have total writer's block or uber self-doubt, scour the internet for some writing prompts and prompt away. I think the act of writing, most of the time at least, is more important than working on some big project. If you're not liking what you are currently working on, go back to an old story and try some revision for an hour. Whatever keeps your writing juices a-going.
- Spend some time with SOPs and excel spreadsheets. If you're a dork like me, you think that stuff is fun. I finished up an SOP last night and felt productive, even though I have six months to finish it. Google away at programs and stuff, it will keep you motivated to go back to those stories, I promise.