Saturday, February 02, 2013


It's funny how it happens sometimes. I have great, long spells of writing when everything flows, when I am inspired: dialogue whips with the razor sharpness of a duel through my imagination (well, I imagine it's razor sharp), scenes and counter scenes are played out with scintillating brilliance in my mind's eye (this is all theory of course), and then... wham, bam, insecurity sets in. I read what I've written, pick it apart, look at it again, and then again, and end up finding it trite. Even pointless. Gloom descends.

Now I've always known I'm what I call a lightweight when it comes to writing. Shallow and undemanding, that's me. Somebody once referred to my writing as 'storifying'. That put me in my literary box well and truly. It's true, though. In all seriousness, I don't do dark, or even psychological. Reading it is fine, and I enjoy a good solid, meaty, get-my-teeth into it psychological drama, but I can't do it myself. My voice is just not cut out for it. The urge to laugh just cannot be quelled, so it just creeps in, even when I'm trying to be at the very least thoughtful.

So if I know this, why the insecurity? I have no idea. At times like this even this blog seems a bit stale. Maybe I just get bored with myself and want a different me to speak.

I'm having a spell like that at the moment. I just want to go to my book document, select all and press the delete button on my laptop. It would be a bit drastic, that I do realise, and it's probably just as well I have backups of it in so many places it would take too much trouble to find them all. Tempting, though.

I hope the feeling passes soon and I can enjoy my writing self again.

Do any of the other writers out there feel the same way?


  1. It happens, Val - especially when there's a lot of Life, or the nights are long and dark, or keeping warm and fed and clean feels like a chore. Don't press the delete button - but put it aside. Read, read, read - as that gives you joy. Write letters, email,s shopping lists, blogs - anything that reminds you that words can be fun when you let them come out to play.

    The spring will soon be here - and you'll feel different soon, too.

  2. I am not a writer, but I suspect it is like everything just need to take a 'holiday' from it and not worry about it. Then I am sure you will go back to your writing refreshed and with renewed enthusiasm and creativity. Don't bash yourself over the head, relax xxxxx

  3. I concur and understand you feelings Val. For it is the same with my poetry, the other week I felt like removing 80% of my poems from that particular blog.

    have dry times when ideas fall away and am unable to pick up the thread, plus I know that poems that are contrived just simply don't work neither do they actually work for others.
    In talking with Mrs H she describes it as the lean times when the artist inspiration temporally stops flowing.

    All one can do is take a break, do something else entirely different dance, sing, play music etc enjoy the time of doing nothing knowing that you will come back better.

  4. Hi Val, I have put away writing for years - and then go back to it fresh. I have done that with my current book, that you have read much of - it is on the shelf for now.

    I do the same with art. I feel the creative currents are in a constant state of flux and it is good to flow elsewhere for a time. I like your writing/voice - it is you!

  5. Hi Val .. I struggle with posts - but usually too much info to sort out! .. and not writing a book - I can understand you having enough at times ...

    Glad you can't find all the copies - it'll come right and winter frankly is not the best time to feel inspired quite often ... so cold seizes our brains ...

    Plenty of readers for all sorts of writing ...

    Cheers - enjoy a break ... and good luck with going again .. Hilary

  6. Thank you all for your encouragement. Maybe it is the winter, but I really appreciate the lovely comments here.

    Jo - "words can be fun when you let them come out to play". I love that idea, and yes, the playful part is what's been mssing.

    Fran - I promise to stay away from the bats.. No bashing on the programme :-)

    Mel - I'm glad I'm not the only one! Playing music sounds like a great alternative for a while!

    String - thank you for your empathy. If you can put things away for so long and find refreshment, then that gives me great courage.

    Hilary - I can well imagine that with all the information in your posts you find it hard to sort them out, but they are so very interesting! Each one is like the result of a research project - not like my 'storifying'.

    Thank you all again xxx

  7. Not with writing as I don't write in this sense. But with photography definitely. Sometimes I go out, camera in hand, and nothing grabs my attention, everything feels blah. On another time it seems like everything a subject of photography. The winter hasn't been good in this I must say.

  8. Maria, I barely pick up a camera in winter - well apart from my phone to catch special moments! I know what you mean about that too!

  9. well, I am not a writer. But I will tell you, Val, that I always enjoy whatever your post is, I have never, said, oi, that was stale. NEVER.
    I shall agree with Maria, because I can only relate with the camera, I always had my camera with me, but it has been some time, I don't feel that excitement, that angle, that view. I have looked at them lately, thinking I should charge them up again, for when the moment strikes.

    Your writing always captures me. I look forward to what you have in store at your blog. xo

  10. Yes. I feel like that MOST of the time. As do ALL writers of whatever fame Ans NO, I forbid you to press the delete button. OK? NONONONO. The way I deal with it is to wrtite my way through it - a short story, a blog,an imaginary diary whatever it takes. Hit the keyboard and write. Writewritewrite. Got the message, friend?? xxxx

  11. Oh I get it a lot. What I found harder is it becomes self perpetuating. I get stressed that I have not written anything for a long time and that's totally the wrong mood to be in to be crearive. We are too critical of ourselves when we are in a negative mood. It's easier said than done but the best thing to do is not put ourselves under pressure to write, be nice to ourselves and just say #$%* it!

    This is a really good video to watch about it as well:

  12. I love reading your posts Val they are never stale. I don't write books just wee bits and bobs and my blog but this past week I haven't posted as I haven't been well and part of me just says,"What's the point of my bog?" Nothing I write is any good, but I suppose when I'm well again I will get back to it. Sometimes it's just the mood you're in and a bit of self doubt,don't press delete.

  13. I have to say I am very touched by all this encouragement and the really kind comments.

    Grace - I can always rely on you to give me a lift. You are a dear friend.

    Carol - you too, plus you make me laugh and give me energy!! No, I won't press delete. I don't dare now...:-) And yes, I will keep writing. Thank you! You are a friend indeed.

    Stu, that link! Wow! Thanks so much! maybe we're all feeling the same at the moment. Maybe we should call it PWS - post winter syndrome..haha, do you think we could get time off work for it?

    Anne- your blog is one I look forward to reading too, so it is absolutely full of point! But I'm so sorry you haven't been well. I hope you'll feel like writing again soon. I've only just discovered you!

    To everyone - I've actually put another story on my Short Stories tab. I'm not happy with the ending, but it's something I could develop when the mood takes me. I keep changing the Night Train too, so it's convenient to have them both in the same place. If you read it, let me know what you think.

  14. Val, I put BBE away for 30 years. Never delete- good writing (and we know how good yours is, don't we?) comes at its own time. If it doesn't feel right in the moment, shelve it for the right time. You will know when that is, instinctively.

    In the meantime, find another joyful thing to do. Your readers are patient, and will wait for the great stuff again. :)


  15. I have exactly the same problem. I only write purposefully when I'm given a deadline. I do find that dabbling in other genres, especially poetry where humour can be used wryly, helps to revitalise my writing muse. I suspect a bit of sun would help too.

  16. you are very dear to me Val. x

  17. oh my word, YES. and other things flow in such a self doubt and indeed insecurities are boundless.

    maybe if you notice the flow of the other stuff the flow of writing will return. or, the current of writing will return.

  18. I have exactly the same problem :) :) I have really enjoyed reading your post!

  19. Anne-Marie, you give me courage too. Maybe a rest gives the work time to mature as it has don in your case! Congratulations on book number three dear!!! That's an amazing achievement in just a year.

    Ros, yes, I try other things too. Oddly I've never tried poetry other than silly comic verses for people's birthdays. Maybe that's something I could have a go at. Thank you!

    Grace, thank you again! Mwah!

    Gina - I'll look for the flow elsewhere now. Being close to water certainly helps :-)

    Marinela - thank you! I'll be over to visit you soon. I see you are also a poet.

  20. I have just read your blog for the first time, think it is marvellous and have made a note to read more of your work. I am an aspiring fiction writer with nothing published as yet except a couple of magazine articles. Being retired and not working for a deadline I find it difficult to get motivated mostly but once I get started I am always pleased that I made the effort, as I enjoy it so much. I admire your lifestyle as well by the way. All the best Val

  21. It's just plain lack of inspiration, kind of a slight depression. I usually hit the wall in November - December and then I'm mentally hibernating/vegetating until late March. Then I suddenly wake up one morning, head full of ideas and suddenly there is energy to go ahead with them. When I was younger it sometimes scared me, this sudden lack of inspiration and energy, but nowadays i have got used to how my body and mind works so I just get along waiting for the energy to kick in. It actually happened today, I suddenly woke up this morning with an idea about how to arrange some kind of home-brewed automatic irrigation for our garden and greenhouse and afterwards I found myself reading blogs... :) Have to write a new input in my blog soon.


  22. Your writing is you, Val! I find these moments of self-doubt and uninspiration (is this a word?) often. Usually it's because of my lack of time and every minute of my day is so filled with something!
    Please do not "select all - delete"! Just point at the x in the upper right-hand corner and walk away.
    Your writing will beckon soon enough.

  23. ... pointing at the x will do nothing.
    You have to click, as well ... ;)

  24. I hope you're feeling better and less insecure now. Writing is like life, isn't it. Good times and bad. (Hopefully more good than bad!)

  25. Gosh, I missed these last comments!

    Many thanks to Hans, Old Salt, Jenny and Dale. I am very touched by all the kind words. The encouragement has been just great, and if I didn't have so much work to do, I would be writing like crazy!


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