It's the first Wednesday of the month and time for another Insecure Writers Support Group post. A big shout out to Alex J. Cavanaugh for starting this great outlet for writers looking to help one another and gain support. I'm so excite to be one of this month's co-hosts and can't wait to get around to everyone's blogs.
This month I'm facing a bit of a challenge. What do you do when you feel like you're stuck in a bit of a publishing black hole? My manuscript hasn't seen the light of day in ages and I'm starting to think that my agent may have lost my number . . .
I'm not really sure where to go at this point. I'm trying to work on something new but feel very uninspired. Any other writers out there facing similar challenges? What are you doing to climb back toward the light?
I don't have an agent yet, but I submitted the first 95 pages of a manuscript to an agent in 2014 and she promised to get back to me. It is now 2016 and I am still waiting. I didn't call her back but took out my manuscript and started revising it once again. But you already have an agent and maybe you should consider calling her. Things happen unexpectantly and she could be sick or something else.
All the best and I hope you hear from your agent soon.
Oh, thank you for co-hosting this month also.
Sorry to hear that. I don't have an agent but I agree with Pat. You can revise your manuscript or call your agent to remind him/her about it. Life can get hectic and it could've fallen by the wayside. You can also write a synopsis of another story idea you're working on that might be of interest.ReplyDelete
Hopefully you still have her number! Call that woman. And yes, start working on something else.ReplyDelete
Hanging out with other creative people helps kick start your own creative projects. Also, I get really inspired by attending writer's conferences and workshops. Believe in yourself. Fill yourself up with all forms of the arts.ReplyDelete
Mary at Play off the Page
What do I do to climb back to the light? Well, when I can't write, I make note of my day to day life. When something funny or weird pops up, I write a brief note to self and save it in Scrivener (yes I'm a big Scrivener fan).ReplyDelete
I trust my dry spell will pass. Sometimes just reviewing these nuggets of life is enough to inspire a short story, new blog post, or a twist on something I'm writing.
That's a tough spot to be in. Maybe you do need a bread to recharge the batteries. Maybe writing something else will get the juices flowing again. I think for me, I have to realize that the writing process is not always going to be pleasurable. I might have to drag myself, kicking and screaming, through some rough chapters before things start clicking and writing becomes fun and exciting again. Plus I have trouble with inserting cliches everywhere.ReplyDelete
I know the feeling. A new series I wrote has been hanging out in a black hole with my editor for a long time. It's unfortunate publishing is such a slow business because us writers are an anxious lot!ReplyDelete
Ugh. I hear you. Maybe a bit of a break, physical or mental? Fill that creative well again? Hang in there!ReplyDelete
Thanks for co-hosting, Lauren. Maybe this is the summer you're suppose to just be you and let the cards fall where they may. I can remember feeling this way. It was hard to be kind to myself, but when I finally did, things happened. It was magic.ReplyDelete
Sorry to hear this. I'm keeping lists of what I need to accomplish, but I'm not looking at them too much. While my muse is faltering, I'm focusing on technical things I can control. If you haven't heard from you agent, maybe you should call her. In any case, you should write something or do something creative just for fun. I find that helps me refocus on my writing down the road.ReplyDelete
I'm sorry. That's such a sucky place to be. I've known way too many people who parted ways with an agent because of a circumstance like this. I hope it passes. Definitely look at something new, and maybe alternative to publishing out there?ReplyDelete
Perhaps you could try a short story/novella and self-publish it? Just to be doing something different? I know writers who both self-publish and traditionally publish and it seems to be working well for them.ReplyDelete
I hope you figure out how to get your spark back soon.
Go back and read some of the good comments about your writing. Read a book that inspired you. And you have an agent? That's awesome!ReplyDelete
I hate that. From such a positive hopeful start to "What the h*** happened". Definitely, contact her. Really, do you want to work with an agent who disappears whenever it suits her?ReplyDelete
It's a hard call. Nudge the agent. Ignore the agent. Cry. Hope you hear from that person soon and she has publishers in a bidding war for your manuscript. It happens.ReplyDelete
Sorry you're stuck in such a miserable place. I'd call the agent and find out what's going on. Maybe taking a little time and watching/reading movies/books that you love will inspire you. Or maybe rereading your MS will rekindle your interest in writing and spark new ideas. Hope good news comes soon! Good luck, and thanks for co-hosting!ReplyDelete
Summer is always a slump for me, so I try not to be too hard on myself. I feel like I haven't written in ages. Now and then I bring up WIP on my computer, might write a sentence or two . . . But yeah, I understand. As summer winds down I'm simply hoping I'll ramp back up.ReplyDelete
Hi, this is my first time at your blog. It is beautiful! I’ve joined your blog. Thanks for co-hosting this month's #IWSG session. Wow! I know what you mean with wondering why I should continue to write. Who would want to read my memoir about attending college as a mother of five children? I'm stuck as well and have been stalling terribly. You need to remember that you are a good writer and you are loved. Sometimes this is the only thing that can keep a writer going. All the luck!ReplyDelete
Maybe you should give that agent a call?ReplyDelete
When I'm struggling with inspiration, I always turn to word/picture prompts. It never fails me... gets my creative juices flowing nicely again.
Try different approaches.
Here are some ideas:
Sing in the shower.
Add one ritual behavior to your writing program, e.g. get a glass of water exactly every 20 minutes.
When you are drafting, treat yourself to a piece of (insert favorite snack here) after every fifth paragraph.
Write down a list of ideas and draw random arrows between them.
Work on a story title. Quickly make up 3 distinctly different titles. Meditate on them. What bugs you about the one you like least?
Flip through a book containing thought provoking images.
Find what works for you.
Thank you for co-hosting the IWSG this month.
Thanks for co-hosting today, Lauren! Climbing back toward the light for me always seems to start with a big hug from my husband. But what really gets me moving is playing loud blues music, dancing around, and letting my mind go with the music. Often something pops up! Enjoy your IWSG Day!ReplyDelete
Thank you for co-hosting. Yep, give that agent a ring. Maybe send some cookies. That would work on me, LOL. I wouldn't worry about the lack of inspiration. While writing The Guardian's Wildchild, I quit for an entire year. At first it bothered me but my life was pretty turbulent at that time (well, more than usual). It will pass. Trust me. BlessingsReplyDelete
Right now, I'm still trying to finish my first story, but I'm determined to do it so I'm rarely uninspired. Maybe too tired to write, but that's another story.ReplyDelete
Thanks for co-hosting this month's IWSG!
Ooof! That doesn't sound like a fun place, and I'm sorry I don't have any advice (never had an agent myself). Looks like others have helpful tips, though. Thanks for co-hosting!ReplyDelete
Hi SL, I don't know if self-publishing is a feasible option for you, but I love the control and fast pace of it. I'm so impatient that I've never tried an agent or traditional publishing. My first four novels were with a small publisher and are not selling well at all, but my self-pubbed novels do a little better. Are you working on anything new?ReplyDelete
Try sending your agent a polite email asking for an update. A writer has the right to do. I've been stuck with my writing lately. I've tried all of my usual tactics but none have worked. I think it's because I'm personally stressed and focusing a bit too much on marketing.ReplyDelete
I'm afraid I know nothing about dealing with an agent, but I can certainly sympathize with feeling uninspired. Free-writing always works for breaking me out of writer's block. I just set a timer for five or ten minutes, and go. I often end up with nonsense, but even that's enough to shake loose some ideas.ReplyDelete
I don't know anything about dealing with agents, but is sounds tough. I guess I can be clinch and say, If what you are doing doesn't work, change what you are doing. I would think the agent has a responsibility to keep you updated ever so often especially if you are going to be paying him. That is just good business in anyone's book.ReplyDelete
Juneta @ Writer's Gambit
Forget the agent and start working on something new. Immerse yourself in your new story. It will make you happy.ReplyDelete
As for the other story: I'm more and more inclined towards self-publishing. Everything I read nowadays pushes me in that direction. I played the game with agents and submissions before, I have a publisher, but I'm dissatisfied with them. As soon as my contract expires, I'm going to republish my novels myself.
hank you for co-hosting today's #IWSG, Lauren. You probably saw the movie, Finding Nemo, and know the oft-repeated line, "Keep on swimming, keep on swimming." Great mantra for writers! "Keep on writing." I've always loved the story Maria Shriver tells: 3 months after she published her memoir, her father asked what she was doing. She said, "Dad, I just published a book." His reply, "That was 3 months ago, what are you doing NOW?"ReplyDelete
Oh, my goodness. Just headed over to Stephen Tremp's blog site and his title is Keep on Swimming!ReplyDelete
Keep on keeping on. One book done, another to be written. Thanks for cohosting.ReplyDelete
Thank you for co-hosting!ReplyDelete
I have no experience in this department...wish I could offer some words of wisdom but all I have are, "hang in there."
I haven't yet been published, so I can't advise you on your black hole. Hopefully, it resolves itself soon.ReplyDelete
Thanks for co-hosting!
First and foremost, thanks so much for co-hosting this month's IWSG! I've never had an agent myself, so I'm unable to give you any advice on that front. I'm still editing my first novel - that I started three years ago! :) Keep writing and forging ahead. I write short stories and pieces whenever I can and have submit them to contests when I can. Best of luck and I'm sure the light will show itself soon. Have a great week. EvaReplyDelete
Thank you for co-hosting!ReplyDelete
I've been in a reading and writing rut for a minute, so I hear you.
I've been reading more than usual, while my ms languishes, waiting for me to finish it. Is this the summer doldrums??? Thanks for co-hosting this month.ReplyDelete
I would definitely follow up. Maybe give her some specific questions too? I hope you find some answers soon and I would start something new too.ReplyDelete
I've never had an agent, so no personal experience, but I would be in touch with her and find out what's going on. And in the meantime, work on something new and (hopefully) exciting. For me new stuff's usually exciting for the first couple days and then not exciting until usually the second or third draft.ReplyDelete
Good luck and thanks for co-hosting IWSG.
LOL, love it! I felt that way many times before I got my first book deal, but it never ends. I go months without hearing from my agent sometimes, too. I often go right to work on something else and send her that, too. Then she has a stack of things from me!ReplyDelete
Do you think it's summer doldrums? I've been there in feeling uninspired, and then I get slammed with too much inspiration at once. I hope you get slammed that way soon!ReplyDelete
Just keep writing....eat some chocolate...walk... alot...ReplyDelete