March Madness Day 9

I hope everyone has been having a great and productive writing week. Remember, we're cheering you on over here this month:

Back in September I got an email from a librarian in LA asking if I'd like to be their school's first author to do a Skype visit. She chose CROSSED OUT for their October book club read. I'm with a couple small Indie publishers, so when I heard this I was very excited and also nervous. At this time I was kind of in a funk with my writing. It seemed like EVERYONE was doing better than me. Usually conferences and big book events helped but not this time around. So to get this email brightened my mood.

But then again I was nervous.

What if the girls HATE my book?

What if no one reads it or even worse...

What if no one shows up?

Then the event came and I still remember this one teen who came up to ask me questions about CROSSED OUT. She twirled her skirt while nervous energy bounced off her. "I just want you to know I loved your book and want to know when I can read more!"


This is how I felt:

It also totally motivated me to get back on track and write.

So my question for today is what motivates you when you get in a writing funk? Do share!

Stop by tomorrow with Kelsey Macke at


Jennifer said…
My plans for today are to spend the day writing. I'd been in a minor funk the past few days, but after flipping two scenes yesterday, I think I figured out the issue I was having with my WIP.

Have a great weekend, everyone!
Kim Baccellia said…
Yay for figuring out an issue in your WIP. Sometimes I know for me, it takes a day or two to step back from my project. Or even going on a walk, run, to help me with a scene that just isn't working.

Have a great weekend too!
Kim Harbridge said…
Sometimes reading gets me motivated when I'm in slump. If I'm reading something great, it inspires me to up my own game. (I can't even control my competitive streak when I'm reading apparently!)

Unfortunately, I've been in a bit of a reading slump lately. It kind of motivates me to avoid the same mistakes as I'm seeing in the books I'm reading, but doesn't give me the same push that a really great, awe-inducing read does.

Have a great weekend, everyone. Hope you get lots of great reading and writing done!
PatEsden said…

Doing things which take me out of my comfort zone always get me jazzed or out of a funk. Usually, the harder it is to do, the longer lasting the excitement.

I guess by getting out of comfort zone, I mean doing things which require me to publicly admit or show I'm a writer. Anything from telling the girl at Staples that I'm buying supplies because I'm a writer. Going to a convention or pitch session. Spending money on something which marks me as a professional. Loads of other things, too.

I'm down to formatting my manuscript, which means I can send it back to my agent tonight. Yay! This was my goal for mid-March, so I'm a few days ahead.
What motivates me is rather perverse...I go to the blue boards or twitter, knot firm and tight in my stomach, and peruse all the book deal announcements and signings and celebratory blogs. I'm like a kid whose afraid she'll be left behind. I choke back the envy and use the inspiration to boost my motivation and get back to work.

The hardest part is silencing all my own insecurities... But there it is. So party on, Wipsters!
Denise Jaden said…
I like skipping around in my manuscript when I get in a funk. I will jump to a favorite scene and just read it to get myself back in the mood. Which, to be honest, is what I'm doing today. Great post, Kim!
Anonymous said…
J-Law gifs. Gotta love 'em. :-)

That's not what motivates me to keep writing though (wait... is Jennifer impressed by aspiring YA authors? No? Then never mind...)

Honestly I get very discouraged when I'm in my own headspace and very frustrated by the lack of time my life allows me to write. I feel so limited in my knowledge and ability, especially when I read a good (published) book. I whine about my limitations on my blog, throwing in the towel and proclaiming myself worthless.

Then one of my awesome blogger friends slaps some sense into me, and before I know it I have a whole cheering section encouraging me to finish my book. I'm not sure why they believe in me but I'm very grateful that they do!
Alex Villasante said…
what a great story. I would have felt the same way, I think. Just one person being positive about your work is sometimes all it takes. But not your family or loved ones. fair or not, we tend to take their compliments for granted. This week I had someone in my writing group tell me, "I read FIND ME (the ms. he's beta-ing for me) and told my wife - her first book got her an agent but this book will get her published." So sweet to hear, doesn't matter if it turns out to be true or not (well, yeah it does.)
Kim Baccellia said…

I know what you mean on reading slumps. I find as a reviewer I have to break up reading certain genres like dystopias or else I burn out. I also try to read a book that I don't have to review or that isn't YA. That helps too.

Thanks for posting!
Kim Baccellia said…

Yay for meeting your one goal!

Yes, on the whole comfort zone thing. I'm not a shy person but when it comes to my own writing? That's a whole different thing. I still remember how hard it was to schedule my own book signing at a library event. Very hard for me to do, believe it or not. But I did get lots of positive comments and sold books!

Thanks for stopping by today!
Kim Baccellia said…
Mary Anne,

OMG, I totally can relate! I ended up cancelling my Publisher's Weekly membership as it got too hard for me as I'd end up comparing myself to others. That is one of my huge insecurities. I felt some of that at the last ALA in Anaheim especially when people asked, "So, you're signing too, right?"

For me twittering and Verla's board do help. Also author friends that are so supportive and encouraging. Another great site has to be YALITCHAT. Georgia has been wonderful! I think--know--that helps whenever the green eyed monster turns my way!

Thanks for commenting!
Kim Baccellia said…

Ooh, great idea! Skipping around in your manuscript.

How's Mexico? Are you back yet? If not, have a margarita and think of us! I loved our own stay there back in 2010!
Kim Baccellia said…

I just read an article where Jennifer said she was bullied big time in Middle School. Just like me! What I love about this actress is how open she is. I just love her energy, spunk, and enthusiasm.

I'm the same way on my own writing. It seriously takes some other author friends to tell me, "We need to work on you getting your work back out there again." **One told me this at ALA after I felt so discouraged. Some other authors were the same way. It perked me up. But yes, you have to believe in yourself first. Sometimes though I do think it's hard in this biz. It's totally not for the faint of heart. Thank goodness our community overall is very supportive!

Thanks for commenting!
Kim Baccellia said…

Yay for that comment! I love when others tell me that they love my work. I had one teen at my church come up to me the other week and say, "Ohmigosh, I totally love CROSSED OUT." Comments like that do really help!

Thanks for stopping by!
JoyMC said…
Other people's success can sometimes be discouraging, especially in cases where, for example, I beta-ed something I thought was really terrible and then she signed an amazing agent with it. BUT the success of people close to me with manuscripts I really believe in can be super motivating. Both of my principal critique partners have just signed great debut deals and I am not only soooo excited for them, but I find it's motivating me, too.

I also agree with going back and reading over parts of the manuscript I already feel good about - that can get me through a rough patch when drafting. And of course positive feedback from a CP or agent or someone else "in the know" also helps. :-)
I think there are times when I'm just too hard on myself. I get overcritical and need to take a step back. I, too, have felt Merlin's pain--minus all the magic. ;-)

But it's the 'magic' that pulls me out of the funk when I realize that my crit partners like what I wrote and share insight on ways to make it even better.

Also, hugs from the nephew (3 yo) and niece (16 mo) and seeing the world through their curious eyes keeps me inspired and motivated to continue.

I'd say enjoy the weekend to recharge, but, like many of you, I have a feeling there will be words, oh yes, words on a page a-coming.


Tonette dela Luna (who's pleasantly surprised to see some sun this weekend)
Misha Gericke said…
Generally, I tend to leave writing funks alone until they pass. But when I feel ready to write, I set myself goals, which is why I entered March Madness.

Checking in: Read 17 chapters which puts me ahead again and wrote 1268 words, which means I'm now ahead by a whole day. Total word count for the week: 10080.
Kim Baccellia said…

So very true. I've found if I don't compare myself to an author friend who did sign a nice deal and instead celebrate her/his success, it does in fact motivate me. It really does help to hear from others, "Yes, you're a great writer." I think the biggest challenge is not to rush your story out there and take the time to polish it. I hope I've learned that lesson.

Thanks again for posting!
Kim Baccellia said…

Yes, the magic! It is magical when you hear from critique buddies or even in my case, writing mentors, that are supportive and also point out what does work in your story. I call it sprinkling some'magic writing dust'.

The sun is doing peek a boo out here in Southern Ca.

Have a great writing weekend and thanks for posting!
Kim Baccellia said…

Yay, you go, chica! That's great!

Thanks for being a part of March Madness.
That's fantastic about the Skype visit. Happy, happy, happy for you.

What motivates me? Honestly, it's my love of writing and the hard-core work ethic that was drilled into me from infancy. And when I'm in a horrible funk, I take a break and binge read 12-15 novels a week until I feel like writing again.

Then there are my #wipmadness peeps. So I guess it's a combo. ^_^

Carolyn Charron said…
When I'm in a funk, I remind myself that ALL my favourite authors have a pile of rejection letters so I'm in good company. And I loved reading all these supportive comments.

Only revised 1 chapter today but it was a big one so I'm happy with my progress. No writing or check-in tomorrow for me, it's birthday party time! :D
Kim Baccellia said…

I also love to read whenever I'm in a writing funk. I just caught up in the BEAUTIFUL CREATURES series. That helped motivate me!

Thanks for posting!
Kim Baccellia said…

One chapter is huge! Whenever I do get down on myself I remember most of my author friends telling me they are a 10 year+ overnight success. I think most of us forget that most authors don't get there over night.

And Happy Birthday! Enjoy your day!
Melissa Grey said…
So my goals for March were:

1) Write a complete outline for this WIP
2) Write 2k words per day
3) Start the first draft of the WIP

I mentioned yesterday that I was feeling exceptionally frustrated about certain things and I gave myself a few hours to feel crappy. After my designated crappy time was up, I channeled all that negative energy into something positive and productive and wrote (by hand, mind you) over 3k words in about 4 hours *and* completed the outline for the WIP (the outline itself is about 17k ). I was like a woman crazed. Ain't no frenzy like an artistic frenzy.

I crashed for a few hours, woke up with monstrous hand/wrist cramps that made it virtually impossible to write for most of the day, but I still managed to start my draft and banged out the first chapter (about 2k words). So, 9 days in and I've completed 2/3 goals. The last one (writing 2k words every day) is an ongoing thing so yay! Now both of my hands are killing me but it was worth it.

Hope you're all doing well!

- M
Kim Baccellia said…
Wow, you go, Melissa! Love your comment about how you gave yourself permission to feel crappy but once that was up? You went and wrote. I need to do that more. Sometimes it's so easy to stay in a funk and then feel guilty. I really love what you did. Kuddos to you!!!!

Thanks for stopping in!
Chris said…
Tonight I spent a few hours on my favorite way to combat the writing funk and that was to go the bookstore and just browse the shelves, read a few pages, and write a dozen titles.

Reading is my go to for battling the funk. That and ice cream.

Managed to work out most of my beats for my screenplay. I'm sure they'll change as we shift things around, but at least I have something done.

So Kim do we get to see the new hairdo?
L.S. Taylor said…
Augh, I forgot to check in, again. But yesterday was filled with new experiences and even a little bit of revision. I;m feeling pretty good about it.
Kim Baccellia said…

Yay, on revisions! Today I ended up musing more over mine!

Thanks for posting!
Kim Baccellia said…

Ditto here on the reading. I used to eat Rocky Road ice cream but then found out I'm allergic to dairy. Bummer. Now though a mocha soy latte helps too!

Oh, I posted a couple photos of my new due up on FB. I'm Kbaccellia over there!

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