Roller Coaster Writing

It’s always wonderful to get the chance to work on writing some of my fiction, since I don’t always get the opportunity to write every day. Last night, I pounded out another 1200-word section of a story idea and watched as about two hours just melted away. I had fun, and the time just flew by. It was such a high, getting a new idea written out, seeing the mental image I’ve been carrying with me for most of the week play out in actual written words.

Of course, on the flip side of the high is the almost inevitable low that accompanies it. I’ve “written”:http://open-dialogue.com/blog/?p=195 about the sympathetic/parasympathetic relationship before, and its influence is felt in my writing, as well. I don’t always feel low and discouraged right after writing, but it does happen with enough frequency to make me notice. In this case, I finished up my little bit of writing, printed it off for my wife to read, and headed to the kitchen to find something to eat.

In the few short steps it took me to reach the kitchen, I felt exhausted and discouraged, filled with self-doubt. Who was I kidding? What made me think I could ever hope to write as well as any of the great authors? What made me think I’d ever be any more than a hack writer, pretending to write great works of fiction, when in reality it was just garbage that no one in their right minds would read? Where did I ever get the idea that I would be able to actually _sell_ a story, let alone _finish_ one? And on and on and on it went.

It’s true what they say about writers having fragile egos that need stroking. When we write, we write from our hearts. We essentially put ourselves on display for the whole world to see, bare our inner secrets, make ourselves vulnerable is very frightening ways. It’s hard to do, sometimes, and I know that for myself, it makes me doubt my ability to write anything of any quality. The sympathetic system kicks in when I’m writing, giving me that creative high that keeps the mental juices flowing, that keeps me writing with feverish intensity, that makes me think this just may be the best work of literature yet. Then the parasympathetic kicks in and annihilates that high, and I am filled with self-doubt and discouragement.

Of course, after a night of sleep, I feel at least marginally better, and while my writing may not be the best ever, I’m sure it’s not the worst, either. I know that if I keep plugging away, eventually I will finish one of my stories and, Lord willing, actually be able to sell it. Only time will tell the whole tale…

5 thoughts on “Roller Coaster Writing”

  1. I know that feeling quite well. Fortunately, I’ve learned to enjoy the highs and realize that the lows are what happens to those who get to experience the heights.
    Keep trying – you WILL get there with that writing!

  2. I see by your reply that your name is Jim. I was wondering who are you? I see no profile. I am intrigued by your blog because it speaks to my soul. (I pray your wife is better!)

    I had the same highs and lows. You might like the message board forum called Faith*in*Fiction also the blog that is of the same name. At the forums you can get quite a bit of encouragement from established writers as well as struggly newbies like me :) http://p220.ezboard.com/bfaithinfiction

  3. Hi, Gina,

    I’m glad you have found enjoyment and encouragment from my writing here. I hope that it continues to be so.

    Up above is a tab called ‘About’ where all my profile information is ‘hidden’. Feel free to take a moment to check it out.

    I may check out the message board at some point. I already have a discussion forum of my own, and I help moderate another, in addition to my writing here and my fiction, so I don’t have a lot of spare time to give to other places. But if I get a chance, I will definitely give it a look. :)

    Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Oh! [sheepish face with grin]

    I know about the time thing… I, too, moderate a forum at Studylight.org and with my blog have little time for the F*i*F forums. Anyhoot… I’m glad you joined Christian Bloggers!

Have anything to add to the conversation?