When Your Best isn’t Enough

12 Jun

You just pause… re-read the last paragraph… stop… look around the room. This can’t possibly be me at my best, right? My inspiration it’s lost under a pillow, or stuffed at the bottom of my closet. This, this on the page can’t possibly be what I came up with, can it?

Even when you’re giving it your all it sucks. Gosh it just sucks. The words don’t sound right. Every sentence is lopsided, and the dialogue sounds stilted and awkward. You just want to vomit. Yeah, because vomit might actually look more appealing than this mess.

We’ve all felt this way. Even when you are trying  give your best it just falls flat.  It’s frustrating. It’s what makes us dread writing, and in a way, what makes us love it too.

After all, there is nothing like a writing high. I don’t think there’s a drug in the world that can duplicate the feeling. That drive to write, to create, that just never ends, words are bubbling up in your mind so fast that it’s as if you’re living the scene in your mind as it spills out onto the page, and when you look back over it your just so… proud. It’s not even close to the right word, but that is as close as I can get to describing it. Pride, relief, accomplishment.

Without the lows, the slugging through terrible, or what feels terrible. Without the slam on your brakes wrong turns, and the stink of cheesy lines, you’d never know what the really good thing felt like.

But when your best doesn’t feel good enough what do you do?

If you can answer this, you have the answer to writers block, to everything that stalls, stops, or slows us down as writers.

And my answer? Gosh man will I feel dumb saying this, because it’s not the answer you guys want. It’s not the answer I want. That’s why you’re sitting here reading this right? Why you keep reading writing blogs, why you Google ‘how to get rid of writers block’? It’s because you hate the answer; an answer YOU ALREADY HAVE. I bet you can guess what it is before I even say it.

Write. Write, write write write write write write.

I would read this same advice over and over, but it never got through to me. Sometimes it still doesn’t make it through to my fingers from my brain. Okay, A LOT of the time it doesn’t. I just kept searching for a different answer and I never found one.

You won’t either.

That’s the reason your best isn’t good enough, it’s because you have absolutely convinced yourself (consciously or not) that there is another answer to your writing woes. That the act you’re doing now, or have done, or plan on doing is not good enough to make you better.

So every time you tell yourself it’s not good enough. Ask yourself why. I guarantee that every time you write you DO get better (whether you realize it or not!). Just keep writing.

Go on now! Write!




12 Responses to “When Your Best isn’t Enough”

  1. Joe Pineda June 12, 2012 at 10:48 pm #

    Exactly, all bad writing can be improved upon, but it has to be finished first. Otherwise it’s like focusing on parts of a sculpture without getting the basic frame right first.

    • Michelle Proulx June 12, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

      I love your sculpture analogy!

      • Joe Pineda June 13, 2012 at 6:15 pm #

        Thanks, though I’m afraid it’s not entirely original. I’m pretty sure it was Chris Baty from NaNoWriMo who wrote it. I only added to it.

  2. quix689 June 12, 2012 at 11:13 pm #

    This is something that I’ve been coming to terms with for the past couple of weeks. So much of what I’m writing doesn’t seem all that great right now, but I’m trying not to let it bother me. I generally like my second drafts better anyway. Reminding myself of that fact usually helps push me to keep writing when I feel like giving up. 🙂

  3. harmamae June 14, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    I know the feeling – some days when I write every word comes out feeling clunky and dull. It is good to keep writing though, because sometimes you can write through it. Sometimes it’s just a bad day, and everything will fall into place tomorrow. And sometimes I think you just have to sweat over a passage for a long time, until your brain eventually sorts it all out for you!

    • nkeda14 June 15, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

      And sometimes you have to write a scene over and over.. and over. Because you don’t always get it right the first time. If only we always could!

  4. Naomi June 14, 2012 at 7:19 pm #

    I definitely know this feeling – don’t we all?
    I agree that when you don’t feel like it, is when you have to make yourself do it. Even if you’re writing pure crap, at least you’re getting somewhere, and learning along the way.
    It’s a hard truth to face and no-one wants to hear it, so we try to stick our fingers in our ears and ignore it. It’s one of the things about NaNoWriMo that make it so good. It’s pretty much impossible to write a good novel in a month, it’s hard enough to churn out 50k words that make sense, and of course it will need lots of editing, but still, you’ve written, and it forces you to write.
    I just recently started a writing blog that I write to procrastinate from writing stories. It’s my procrastination, but at least I’m still writing.
    In terms of writing, I am definitely a “not good enough” person, the only person (that I know in real life) that ever reads my writing (only the best little snippets, as well as my blog) is my sister, who also writes. We swap stories and help each other work on them. I know I should let a wider audience read it to get more feedback, but I don’t feel like any of it is good enough to see the light of day. So for now I’ll keep typing away (:

    • nkeda14 June 15, 2012 at 10:28 pm #

      It’s hard giving your work to others, but honestly its good for you. Getting outside perspective is really important, and giving yours is even better in my opinion. It’s easy to be told something and not understand why it is, or to overlook it yourself, but it’s hard to see it in someone elses writing and then see it in your own and not understand. it sinks in better if you see a mirrored mistake in your own writing that you see in anothers.

      Also, congrats on starting a blog! I started Novel Ideas for much the same reason (and it’s still serving it’s purpose! haha. WordPress or Blogger?

      • Naomi June 25, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

        Oops, late reply – Blogger! 🙂 it’s http://fallingdeapinthough.blogspot.com

      • Naomi June 25, 2012 at 12:26 pm #

        woah, major typo fail. Falling DEEP, not deap, haha, sorry

      • nkeda14 June 25, 2012 at 9:07 pm #

        hmmm… for some reason it’s not coming up for me. Send me the link again?

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