That’s what it feels like to a writer in the middle of a slump. It’s a black lagoon of misery, self-loathing, bewilderment and paranoia. It’s a place where all the creativity is sucked out, making it difficult to even want to think about the story let alone work on it. I’ve been here for two weeks (perhaps a little over) and I’m glad to say I’m starting to pull myself out of it now. It wasn’t anything I did; I just got a “ping!” of a story idea and I wrote it down frantically. It wasn’t terribly good but it had potential to be great with a lot of work and I could see it, I could see the spark.
I’ve never flailed before. I’ve never struggled with a story before. But Weather Girl made me struggle, and I didn’t like the story, and it was right in the middle of Camp NaNo. The problem? I had an idea and a premise, but no plot.
I made excuses for myself: I probably need a break, I’ve just finished writing a book, I have book two to write next, I have loads of things that still need doing, I have to put out my newsletter (still do) and I need a story for that, I’m busy with my family life, I have two kittens that are distracting me from writing, and I’m playing Sims 4.
BTW: What a freaking waste of time that game is. What a terrible, horrible distraction that game is. I like to build houses in it and decorate them, I like to design the simulation of my book characters. There’s a #FemmeNovel roomies group based on the characters from that book. If it wasn’t Sims 4 it would be Civilisation V. If it wasn’t Civilisation V it would be another game. I could no longer enjoy these games because I identified them for what they were: Conscious Distractions. I was making the effort to avoid writing. Why? I think I was scared I would write nothing but crap.
I feel like Femme is a three star book, mostly because of the kind of story it is. I don’t feel like romance books are deserving of more stars. Snobby, much? Totally. Unreasonable? Probably. But I also feel like I could do a better job writing it now–that there was a lot of emotions that I implied and I never explored, and it’s only been a year since I wrote it. The thing is, AT THE TIME it was the best work I could do, and people seem to love it. It’s got a much higher rating on Amazon and Goodreads than I would personally give it. I know I’m being perhaps too hard on it, but if I don’t challenge myself, if I don’t try for better, then where does that leave me?
I worry that I’ll end up feeling the same about Wanderer of Worlds, the series. I hadn’t heard from the Beta Readers in weeks and weeks, but now the feedback is starting to come in and my fears have been squashed, thankfully. So far the feedback is that they really enjoy it and have given me reasons why. Hearing back from the betas couldn’t have come at a better time; just as I’m starting to come out of the Black Lagoon of writer negativity.