You know when you lose that “OH MY GOSH I AM GENIUS” high and crash hard into the “I HATE EVERYTHING! WHY AM I A WRITER” stage? That’s where I was all week. Know this: This is completely normal. If I skip the I HATE EVERYTHING stage, there’s something wrong.
So how to do you combat it?
Only you know where the problems are. However, I took a step back and looked at my manuscript not as a labor of love, but as a business plan.
What was wrong? I was working on a YA Crossover and I didn’t have the class schedule right. I didn’t have the mannerisms for teens right, and I was trying to make high school more like college.
I made notes on how I thought my story should go and closed my manuscript, then hit the internet. I needed information on co-ed boarding schools. My personal experience was at an all-girl day school, so this was definitely not in the “write what you know” category. The research helped write scenes for me. The pictures in the brochure gave me ideas of how to have student interact on campus. Research helped me through a block.
Another type of research was genre research. I reached out to some of my favorite book readers and asked them for their favorite books from the top five publishers in the genre I was writing. I spent my lunch periods all week reading or listening to a new book, highlighting things I loved and going back to review them later. This really got the juices flowing.
I went on Spotify and searched their recommend for me section and fell in love with a new artist. New music always gives me a new flow of ideas!
I decided last Friday night was a good day to take a break. I’m fighting a sinus infection and my head hurt, but I had energy. I did constructive projects – replacing light bulbs, fixing lamps, mending drapes, hanging pictures, and then I settled into updating my address book. I put on my favorite audiobook of all time and let my mind wander.
I realized my biggest issue was the pressure I was putting on myself to make this book the best book I’ve ever written ever! However, that’s what editing is for. I can’t edit a chapter that isn’t there. So I better suck it up and write!
Today, I’m feeling better. I’m going to read my story from the beginning straight through to my trouble spot. I’m going to reconnect with my characters and make notes of anything I missed. Then I’m going to shut off my mind by putting a familiar song on repeat (on headphones!) and go into that place where I don’t edit my writing as I type. I craft the chapter, then go back and nitpick it.
You’ve got this! You’ll get through the I HATE EVERYTHING stage with a little kindness. Here are a few famous authors in the same boat.
On This Day in 2004 – Google Inc. announced that it would be introducing a free e-mail service called Gmail.
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