Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Self doubt (again)

I seem to be in a quandary. I am writing virtually everyday, sometimes for several hours, yet I am unsure what to do.

The writing itself is going well. I have chosen to publish early short chapters on I've had some positive feedback which is encouraging. I'm just not sure how much to publish there. Do I keep most back and then try sending it to a publisher/agent?

I started this particular story after I 'scene wrote' in my head one night when I couldn't sleep. It's a mapcap account of one man. I had no proper plot but the words kept coming and I published the first short chapter almost straight away on Scriggler. Since then I have an ending and notes (most of which are being superseded!) as the story has taken a turn I did not see from the outset. I have gone with it and so far it is working. Although I want it to continue as a comedy, this adds some depth to the character. I am just having doubts about my methods of publication. I have in fact written 18 short chapters, about half way through the novel.

I already have one 'free-to-read' story on a blog which is ongoing. Should I continue or am I burning my boats? I have no writing buddy to share work with, I don't belong to a writing group and most of my friends while encouraging have not even bothered to look at my blog. One said to me, 'if you ever bring out a book, I'll read it, but I don't read stuff online.' I guess I've become discouraged (again). The only motivation I have is mine. If I didn't love writing so much I'd have given up long ago. However, is this type of self promotion damaging? Thoughts please.

On a slightly different note I was speaking to a lady at church the other and she is considering writing a book set in the Spanish Civil War. She already has a degree in Spanish (it may be literature or history, can't remember which) and she was given the advice to maybe do an MA and then she might get some help with the book. She couldn't contemplate it after years of study and I told her not to. I really don't think doing and MA will get you a book deal. At least I was able to have a decent conversation with someone about writing and books. Chats like that are a lifeline.

Next time I put up a chapter of my comedy novel I'll try and link it here and to Google+ Some feedback would be greatly appreciated (all previous chapters will then be found by clicking on my name).


  1. First thing to say - you are a writer! You are writing almost every day, words and ideas are bubbling up from the unconscious and flowing (I wish I wrote every day!) That is the most important thing, the bedrock and springboard of it all.

    Secondly, I'd strongly advise joining a writing group. My poetry improved enormously after joining a poetry workshop and I find it invaluable for finding out what works and what doesn't, weeding out mistakes or whole lines or stanzas which I like but are superfluous. Etc. You get mixed feedback, sometimes it contradicts, some you value more than others, sometimes you need to trust your own judgement, your own voice, but overall it's great. It's an editing process. You might have to try more than one if there are a few around, find people you trust and who have a sufficient depth and insight. Join a group whose work you judge better than your own rather than less good. Your writing will rise to the challenge. I don't know about online groups, have no experience.

    Above all, never give up! By hook or by crook, by ups and downs, you will get there. Something in you wants to emerge and be heard. Good luck!

  2. Thank you Hilaire for your kind words and advice. Sometimes I just need someone to tell me these things! The advice on feedback I take is when more than one person brings up the same thing. Then I know it's worth looking at again. Thanks again.