Jun 6, 2012

IWSG - Am I Good Enough?

When I was in college, I took a semester course studying the works of John Milton.  This was taught by the then Poet Laureate of Utah, who has received too many awards to mention here.  His emphasis of study to get his PhD was John Milton - the man is brilliant in more ways that I can imagine.

When I started this course, there were about 15 students in the class and within five minutes of the first day, we all knew it was going to be intense.  This was further explained when our first major writing assignment was given and we were told that in the DECADES that he had taught the course, he would not need to use both hands to show how many people got A's.  His standards were that high.  I ended the course with an A.

I have written a 70+ page Master's thesis on teaching writing to high school students that the committee I defended to just really offered words of praise.

I know I can write analytical and literary papers - I have the GPA to prove it.  But recently, as I'm working through a novel that is WAY to big for me, I'm questioning if I can write this story as good as it deserves.  I think it is a really amazing concept and the characters are developing, revealing a depth that I'm discovering beyond what I plotted.  But if it isn't done just right, it's going to flop.  It's not the kind of story that can be close - it has to be precise.

More than once I have thought about giving up - about writing one of the other stories that might be easier that are marinating in my head.  But that feels just like when my husband and I broke up SEVEN times in a month because we didn't want to get married yet - thought we were too young, but then we couldn't stay away from each other long at all.  I can't stay away from this story.

I believe this is what they call a love/hate relationship.

Does anyone have an easy time writing their book or are you like me and experiencing growing pains with your writing?

21 comments :

Murees Dupé said...

I don't think the book will allow you to leave it alone. I think you definitely have what it takes to write this book. You just have to believe it.

Stina Lindenblatt said...

I have definitely had growing pains, but I was determined to write this story not matter what. And I'm glad I stuck with it. :)

Like Murees said: You just to believe it. Once you do that, it's going to happen.

Kyra Lennon said...

If your story is this persistent, you will get it right. It sounds like it was meant to be written, and you will find a way to make it work! :D

Michelle Gregory said...

growing pains and love/hate, most certainly.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Take it slow and easy. This is a story you HAVE to tell. You won't be able to quit. Don't let it intimidate your or get it's bluff in on you. Write it layer by layer, dig deeper and deeper--not all at once but pieces at a time. If the big picture looks scary, then make that picture smaller -- once chapter at a time, one scene at a time. Remember what your prof said: he doesn't give an A to just anyone. Your the prof now ... as well as the student. :) Hang in there.

Jess * Jessie * Jessy said...

Crud! I hate typos and that comment is full of them. Sorry!

michelle said...

Oh yes, I can relate! I'm still in the teething stages... LOL!
http://writer-in-transit.co.za/

Cassie Mae said...

Don't leave it alone! If it keeps bugging you then keep hacking it to pieces and flipping it around and end with a nice polish and shine. Harder than it sounds, but you don't want to be 'halfhearted' on the next project if this one is still in your mind.

Donna said...

I had an easy time for the first two paragraphs I wrote. I am not a super creative person. I am very left-brained. I question my work all the time. But I keep trudging along working on it. One word at a time.

I'm sure your novel is going to be amazing!

Andrew Leon said...

Take a break from it and write one of the "easier" stories. It's not the same as giving up on your "real" story, and it helps you learn your style and your voice, so, when you go back to the "real" one, you'll be better prepared to write it.

Jenny Morris said...

If I had your experience I might not worry as much, but I don't. I think I suck all the time. LOL.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I think you're stuck writing that one! I resisted starting my third book, mostly because of the pressure to improve yet again. I finally did and now I'm enjoying writing it.
Don't let that manuscript win.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Yes, I've been there with the book I am writing right now.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Believe in yourself, you know what you're capable of writing. Good luck
I know you can do it.

Yvonne.

Mark Koopmans said...

Hey,

My infamous WIP is a memoir (of an opera singer) and it's a FANTASTIC story... but I am having the Dickens of a time writing it... because I want it to be precise...

So... I've cut my goals down to manageable levels.

For example, I run marathons but don't run twenty-six miles... that would be *crazy* :)
Instead, I run *one* mile twenty-six times :)

Likewise, with WIP, I am writing one chapter at a time and this is working out much better for my stress level:)

Good luck with your WIP... I'm sure you will figure it out... you is smart cookie :)

Kelley Lynn said...

If you need a beta, let me know! :) Not sure I can add much other than a pair of enthusiastic eyes, as I am NOT trained like you are, but you just seem so passionate, its very inspiring. :)

And if YOU think YOU'RE struggling, oh boy for the rest of us :) haha.

I just typed 'the end' to my fifth MS, got a bunch of feedback from CPs who all said it need more complication. And they were so right. MAN those revisions were HARD. Like hurt my head hard, cause the story is SO complicated.

Hopefully the betas who have it now thinks I've done enough... haha

Susan Gourley/Kelley said...

I have faith in your ability to stick with that novel. Someone so talented will find her way.

Tara Tyler said...

i am feeling simpatico with a lot of insecurities this month! i question my worthiness often... surely we will be good enough with effort & time & advice!

Leslie Pugh said...

Good luck with your WIP! Hopefully it will come together in the way you want it to.

But I can understand the love/hate relationship with writing. A couple of days ago I loved what I was writing even though it was straying from my general outline. I loved it more than the outline. But today I hate it and the outline. Ugh.

Hoping by the end of today I'll figure out which way to go.

Nancy Thompson said...

My advice is: don't sweat it. Just get the story down and done. Revise a few times then find 3 to 6 critique partners and let 'em at it, one at a time. This is how your story will get better and be richer and will end up where it should. Trust me on this one. And don't ever give up.

Ink in the Book said...

I know exactly where you are at here. Sometimes I get so mad at my characters. They make me laugh, cry and throw pure temper tantrums. And just when I am ready to give them the boot, they do something great and I have no choice but to forgive them and get back to writing!