Thoughts of a wanna-be author and student.

April 04, 2011

C is for Confidence and Change

Yup, there's that word again: Change. I am (yet again) changing things up. I can't really say I like changing things up (in my story, real life is a bit different), but it's one of those things that's necessary. I've heard so many people say that the best thing you can do is "Follow your gut" and my gut is telling me that something just isn't right with my story.

Of course, this is the who knows how many-th change I've done and I have yet to even finish my dang story. Ugh. Everyone's journey is different, but I wish mine would find a path and stick to it for a few! This is getting frustrating. I like what I have. I really do like everything that I've thought of. I keep trying to think of ways to make it different but keep the same elements (I'm hoping that will work...) All of this right after I had a breakthrough, too.

When it comes to change, I always wonder: "Do I really need this?"
"Will I know when to stop?"
"When will this finally be right?"

To me, change in my MS is both good and something I dread. It's one of those things I need to learn to learn to accept--and welcome.

I think one of the reasons why change is so hard for me is because that evil little voice that everybody (especially us writers) whispers words that no sane person would ever say to another even in the darkest mood--I hope not, at least. We truly are the hardest on ourselves.

It took Cosmetology school--where I was forced to work with the public for 10hrs each school day--to gain basic confidence in myself. To be able to tell myself, "Yeah, I'm kind of pretty today. Yeah, I can cut hair pretty good--but I can color hair even better. My classmates know a lot, but I know more. I'm actually good."

Until I decided to actually write out a story with the intent to publish, I'd never given my writing a thought. I was the only one who was going to see it (for the most part) so what did it matter? It isn't like that anymore. I've had more doubts about my writing in the past couple months than I have in my entire lifetime. I know I'll gain my confidence back--maybe when all the changes stop??--but until then, I'm just going to keep swimming through the negativity, waiting for the day when the sun'll shine in my brain and the angels come out going "HALLELUJAH"

I wouldn't mind if that happened soon... Just a heads up, brain. 

What do you guys think about change? Do you like it? Hate it? And how do you stay confident in your writing? Until tomorrow--D-day!


  1. I know it can be scary but it's worth it - and those people are right about following your gut. I've been doing that with mine, leading to major story upheavals...but the story is getting so much better.

  2. Speaking of change, did you change your blog around again? I love it!! I happen to like change, as long as it's something positive. Like, having to cut my daughter's hair because there's gum in it is a bad change, but cutting it so it's an adorable little urban chic cut is good change LOL.

  3. Trisha - It definitely can be scary. I'm following my gut and I feel like it'll lead to good things :) I'm glad your story is getting better!

    Lindsay - Yes, I did change my blog around! That's a change I LOVE to do, haha. Adorable little urban chic cuts are definitely good changes. :D

  4. I think some changes are definitely necessary with stories, but it's a good skill to know when to stop.

    In Holly Lisle's article on One Pass Revision she says: "You will probably also have completely new plot ideas, have great ideas for new characters who could really shine, and complications that could just change everything. Don’t indulge yourself by putting them in this book. Write them down on a separate piece of paper and save them for the next book. The point of a novel revision is to finish this book."

    I think this is important advice because I think as writers we're always going to be coming up with new angles on a story. We can't always give in to the muse.

  5. That's a really great point, Sari. Thanks for sharing that--I definitely needed it. :) I really need to think of what this story will be so I can know when to stop it.

  6. Not a huge fan of change, but if it has to come I deal with it. In my stories, for example, the last book I wrote got critiqued by my crit group, and they HATED my main character. I was so upset. But, I read through it again and knew I had to change something. I made her totally different, gave her flaws and things and now I love her. I didn't realize how much I didn't like my character until I changed her. It just took a few other people to tell me before I knew she had to be different.
    If that even makes sense... LOL
    Change isn't always good, but if it makes your story and characters better, then it's worth it. :)


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