Writing Encouragement

How to Love Your Book Again

6:00 AM

As I prepare for the Minneapolis Young Writers Workshop, I am growing to hate my book more and more.

I began hating it as soon as I started editing, actually.

Yet, while I'm hating the book I still love the story. I love the characters and the idea, but the structure has me screaming and the first chapter has me whimpering and whining and banging my head against my desk and yelling at myself, This is terrible what are you doing why are you trying to write you failure.

I know, I know. I'm a fantabulous rock star drama queen.

But what do you do? What do you do when you've got to get to work and you've got to make this book you've created better, but you don't want to write it? Because it's really not fun anymore and everything you write you end up hating?

Here are some things that have helped me love my book again.

1) Make a list.

There's a reason you're writing this story, after all. Many reasons. Find everything you love, all the best ideas and words and phrases that make your story cool and epic and worth writing, and put them on paper. Write it out. Make it look pretty and cool. You might be surprised how encouraging making a simple list can be.

OH HEY HERE LOOK. This is mine that I made a while back.

Sorry for the poor camera quality. *heavy sigh* I do what I can XP

Loooooookatiiiiit. It makes the story seem so cool. And it makes me want to do it justice. It helps me realize the potential it has and makes me want to bring it out as best as I possibly can. And while it certainly doesn't solve all my problems, it does give a significant boost to my sagging confidence and motivation. Plus, it's nice to look at and shove in people's faces.

2) Give some of your writing to someone you trust.

I tend to end up hating my stuff so much, I assume it's terrible and no one will like it. When that feeling reaches its peak, when I cannot do any more to the story on my own, I steel myself and send it off to my wonderful, amazing cousin. And she always, always, without fail, washes those doubts away.

She's not easy to please, and she's constructively critical and brutally honest (like I ask her to be). But that makes me all the more sure she's telling the truth (and makes it all the more satisfactory) when she says she likes something, or fangirls over it. When she tells me, Are you serious? This is so good! I know she's being honest. And it is such a relief.

Even though I still have this lump in my throat and this nagging voice saying, She's lying. This isn't really good, It's not hard to banish those thoughts when I read her words of encouragement.

Find someone whose opinion you trust and let them read your stuff. You don't even have to give them much. Just a few pages will do. I assure you, your work is not as bad as you think it is. You are your own harshest critic, after all.

I know my first three pages are not terrible, even though I feel like they are.

The main reason I know this is because my cousin has told me so. Because I let her read it and I let myself be vulnerable.

If you hate your book, please find someone to share even just a bit of it with. That will make all the difference.

3) Suck it up and get over yourself.

Yeah, I said it. Sometimes, that's all there is to it. You just have to take a deep breath and do it. Do the above things so that you have the knowledge that you've got this and that your story is worth telling and that it's not as bad as you think. And as you begin to think that way, hopefully your feelings will follow suit.

And if they don't, well ... you just have to do it anyway. You have to decide that writing means enough to you that, no matter what, you'll push on. You don't want to edit? You don't want to rewrite chapter one for the ninth time? Well, you know you need to. So you do it. Because you owe the story that.

You've made the decision to write this. No matter what you feel, if it matters enough to you, you have to finish it.

I hope you enjoyed this post! I plan to be back on the 25th with a recap of what I learned at my first ever writing workshop (plus a gazillion pictures of Katie and Aimee and Caroline and me all freaking out and fangirling together)! In the meantime, good luck to you all in your various writing endeavors!

Are you writing or editing? Are you like me, in that you hate your book when you have to look at it for too long? XP Also, are you participating in the Go Teen Writers 100/4/100? (I've done it the last two years but sadly, I cannot commit this year. But I'd love to hear if you are participating!)

Popular Posts