Does Your Writing Ever Disappoint You?

There are times the words flow, they are an unstoppable tide which rushes up the shingle beach, taking all before it. The words, sentences and paragraphs form a not so orderly queue in your mind, tripping over each other to be unloaded onto the blank page or computer screen. It is a literary stampede, a runaway train and you go with it, delighted at the ease with which the story is forming.

I’ve felt like that at times this week. I’ve been writing consistently and my word count has pleased and perplexed me in equal measure. Pleased because every time I have a few spare moments I feel drawn to the story whereas often in the past wild horses could not have dragged me to it. I’m ahead of schedule and it shows no sign of letting up. I’m going with the flow and making the most of this Indian summer.

But I’m bemused as well. Because why can’t it be this easy all the time? What about the times when I sit staring at the blank screen unable to string two coherent sentences together, when the well is utterly dry and the word drought shows no sign of abating. Why it so often famine or feast when it comes to story telling, there is no comfortable middle ground where we can hone our craft in peace.

Then there are the times when the work is cast aside for days, weeks or months on end. There was a two month period during the penning of Book 1 when I couldn’t look at it. I still blogged but the laptop was otherwise neglected, sitting in the corner of the room staring at me forlornly every time I walked past. It could feel it’s rejection burning into back of my neck but I was powerless to pick it up.

Lastly there is the garbage shift, where you pour your heart and soul into a piece only to sit back and realise you have just created the worst piece of prose in living history. You clench your nose for it truly stinks. Did I really think that was any good? Self doubt creeps inside you, that old friend of even the most talented author. It whispers old truths in your ear, shaming and belittling your ability.

You angrily run a red pen through the line, rip the page from your notebook or hit the delete button on the keyboard. I’ve wiped entire chapters in the past, hours of work in a fit of pique. I’ve seen fellow bloggers delete multiple posts because they feel inadequate and unworthy. This saddens me because we are all equals within this community. We checks our egos at the door when we log on.

Writing, like every other art, is a process and, at times, that process can be tortuous. There are days when nothing seems to be going to plan and everything we touch turns to mush. My advice? Persevere. Don’t give up. Even the greats have struggled to create, to produce the works of greatness we purr and coo over today. There are no short cuts and there will be tough times when we can see no light at the end of the tunnel.

I’ll return to the book later, eager to pick up the golden creative thread and add to my burgeoning word count. I have plans of finishing the first draft by the end of the year and my hopes of that are growing by the day. Yet I’m always warily looking ahead waiting for the tensile thread to snap and for my dreams to unravel before my eyes. Leaving me alone and adrift, a writer who cannot write.

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 17 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

69 thoughts on “Does Your Writing Ever Disappoint You?

  1. I agree – over the years though I have taken the approach that it’s important to express and it’s important to have the outlet. From the off i only ever wrote really for my benefit. There are times when i write and the poem or piece isn’t how i imagined or the ‘clever’ idea i had in my head isn’t so clever but then, there are the pieces that just connect with me as the writer and then the pieces i don’t like which contact with the reader. My advice would always be, have faith in your ability but most of all, write for you, enjoy the words, the feelings, the wordplay, putting it together. Writing can be art but equally when i am at home and some DIY needs doing and i realise i don’t have the skill, sometimes being able to wield a screwdriver seems more useful 🙂 Keep going and keep the passion 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. You can’t just turn it on or off, can you? I’m excellent at procrastinating – I’ve been meaning to write something this morning, and suddenly decided that my oven needs to be deep cleaned…I’ve even managed to break the oven door in the process! I should have just written something in the first place 🙂

    Best of luck with your book!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I always tell my pupils that when the words stop, they’ve taken the wrong ‘plot path’ somewhere, possibly even a dead end. By going back a few steps, they find the right way. And then sometimes, you’re just tired. ☺

    Liked by 4 people

  4. It’s all process. If you view it as process then I find I stay on more of an even keel. Less drama. More words on the page and editting will take care of the sins of omission or commission.And oh yeah, sometimes you are just tired!

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I have stepped back from my writing because my words are not coming… BUT! Creating the story was a HUGE undertaking. You had to set the cast, find the plot, expand upon it. As you progress with your second book, it’s become about writing for fun. I think you’re totally correct about writers block hitting during that first book but I think you should relish in this second, don’t worry about how it’s happening.. just that you’re getting there!! I hope this was helpful ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  6. That pesky blank page, hey. 🙂What a bothersome creature. Do you know (yes, I’m going woo woo on you here) I have totally come to think that the flow of creativity is directly related to the flow of our lives, particularly the state of our heart. Any sort of human nonsense that brings us away from living in our flow (guilt, shame, fear) hampers the flow and buggers up our writing something shocking. The heart needs to be king in this whole writing business. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so many of the famous writers and artists of our time made mention of ‘the muse’ as the secret to their success. Because the muse opened their hearts and moved the energy in all the perfect writerly ways. Our children can act as our muse. Our partner. We can act as our OWN muse with unrelenting self love: but the heart has to be fed, is my opinion. And so the blank page fills with the most beautiful magic ever to grace the face of the earth. 🙂(Okay. Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic there. But I think you get where I’m coming from anyway. Lol) Just keep writing! You’ve totally got this! ☺️🌸🌈

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Yes, that happened to me just now as I was trying to leave a ‘nice’ comment, urging you to crack on and strike (or maybe press some trousers) while the iron is hot. I’m sure all your faithful readers are willing you on, like a crowd at the end of a marathon. “Well done” “Keep it going” “You’re doing great”… 🤗

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Yup! I’ve also been writing with much more ease than usual these past few weeks. It is an amazing feeling and such a natural way to write. I do believe that our best work comes out of these seasons and I’m just going with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I completely agree with this. I used to beat myself up when the words didn’t come which, of course, made it worse. Then my mentor, a very wise successful writer, reminded me that there are seasons in your writing. Don’t fight it, accept it. You will quickly learn when you need to attack writing and when to retreat. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Oh my gosh yes. I have been off WP for a while because of this and I have closed an acct and getting ready to do it again because it can be overwhelming especially when you just aren’t getting what you need from yourself. Thanks for the encouraging words.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. See, but you’ve still got the way of it right Stephen! In the mean times when the Muses are being stingy with their adoration, YOU’RE STILL BLOGGING. And your candor for the dark times butts up against the times of triumph and makes for a distinctly human and empathetic read 😀 Keep your fingers moving. This is something you have learned that many of us small time writers have not mastered. You are the Keyboard Jedi, Advanced Class! Keep going! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Over the years I have related book writing to roughing in a house — getting the plot and frame in place. Then continuing to work on closing it in. The last part, the interior, always takes longer because of all the detail work. Even after finishing, sometimes a remodeling project is in order to finally get it right — to get a story you can live with.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, I too am in process of the detail work. Sooooo slow, yet I do enjoy adding some more detail that I gained from knowing the characters and their environment better than when I started. Wishing you the best as you get closer to the publishing phase.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I can always see in it a truth about me, so I don’t believe it disappoints me. However, I sometimes decide not to publish because I am not ready for that truth to be known. When after it is several months in the draft category, I do a purge and delete.


  14. Yes, yes, and yes again. Someone told me once that the best place to leave off your writing is when it is all flowing like lava down the side of a volcano and conversely that the worst time to stop is when you are stuck. For me, picking it back up again after a fallow period is really hard. Picking up again when the flow is flowing is much less so.


  15. Well done with your writing. Thanks for sharing. May your creative spark continue. My writing is very bleak when I re read but I remember their is a purpose for it. It is said that to express is cathartic. Best Wishes

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  16. Sometimes my writing disappoints me, and I feel like I’m fooling myself and will never be able to write anything good. I’ve finally learned that I can’t trust that feeling. Often when it feels like I’ve written a steaming pile of excrement, I go back to that steaming pile in a day or two and find it isn’t as bad as I thought. And sometimes it’s actually pretty OK. So I resist the urge to tear up the page or delete everything I wrote and let it sit. Maybe my writing is like a compost pile – let the poop sit long enough, and it turns into sweet-smelling fertile goodness.


  17. My frustration is with myself when it comes to my writing! I am not consistent. I do not set aside time daily to write. I don’t always have a pen and paper with me to write down ideas. All my fault, but still frustrating.


  18. I think it’s safe to say that we have all been disappointed by our own writing at some point. I know I have, whether it’s looking back at an old piece, or reading over something that was just finished only to delete the entire thing.


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