Monday, March 16, 2009

I've lost my VOICE!!!

ARGH!! That's me screaming... so as you can probably guess, I haven't literally lost my voice. I can still scream at my kids (phew), sing in the shower and in the car and in the kitchen and anywhere else I feel the need and I can still nag my hubby, but I seem to have lost my writing voice.

All my rejections thus far (yep, I'm collecting them up) have mentioned that the editor reading LOVED MY VOICE. All the contests I've entered, whether up there or WAY down there, the judges have said they LOVED MY VOICE. So, you can imagine my dispair when I've started two different mss in the last few weeks and neither have that VOICE I'm getting lovely comments about. 

I don't know if the loss of sass in my mss has to do with the fact that I'm waiting to hear from an editor about whether or not she likes my proposals and which one she thinks (if any) is worthy of writing. Or perhaps it's because I've actually got permission to send my next mss straight to her desk and thus highjump the slush pile and this is putting pressure on that I've never had before. What if I botch this chance? Then I'm right back there in the slush pile. 

I've heard of people losing their 'muse' before, but that's not my issue. I've got ideas... but when I go to transfer them to paper (or more literally the screen), they shrivel up into nothing!!

Anyone else ever had this problem? How did you get back your voice? Drugs? Psychotherapy? I'm all ears....

9 comments:

Joanne Cleary said...

Hi Rach, I am sooo not qualified to give any advice. I usually find I struggle if I haven't been writing regularly and the first bits of what I write every day are complete rubbish. Until I find a rhythm of writing, then it's just normal rubbish :-)

I think you are probably putting pressure on yourself and that's what is causing you the difficulties. Relax, the editors love you, let your words floooooow.

Lorraine said...

I think the pressure is possibly stifling your creativity a little. There's such huge pressure to get it right that you can end up forgetting how much fun writing can be.

Could you try writing something short that you have no intention of ever trying to get published - just to free yourself up a bit?

Or perhaps you just need to keep going and then go back over the start at a later date...

Romy said...

My two cents ... just write.

No matter how flat the writing feels, just write. Later, when you get your groove back (and you will!) you can completely rewrite the scenes, or delete them and write completely new ones, but at least you will get the words flowing.

B.H. Dark said...

I had to rewrite the beginning of my last one several times, because every time I did it, it was fine—competent, interesting enough, but just FINE. Not good, or sparkling or fresh.

It was because of pressure, partly, and because I didn't really know where I was going, and was just starting the wrong way.

The good thing was that eventually I hit a version where the magic happened and I just knew, This was IT. It'll happen to you. Just keep writing, don't worry about revising for awhile, get into the groove of the story and you can always change it later. Voice can be edited in.

Julie C, posting as B.H.

Jackie Ashenden said...

Yep, everyone is right, Rach, I wouldn't worry about it. I'm feeling a bit like that myself and it's probably due to waiting. It's taking me ages to get back into the writing groove but I think I'm slowly getting there. Just keep at it. As Romy and Julie say, you can rewrite it later.

Felicity Roger said...

All of the above. But I work on the premise that I will keep writing as you cannot go back and edit an empty page. Writing is so like running a long distance race. There are moments that you feel that you can run forever and then five minutes later you just want it pack it all in and have the support car take you home. In the words of Dory from Nemo...just keep swimming...just keep swimming.

Rachael Johns said...

Thanks muchly ladies... you are of course all right and I should just stop whinging! Promise a more interesting post tonight :)

Lucy King said...

It takes me ages to get into the groove. Keep going, revise later (says she who does the opposite...)

Lacey Devlin said...

On a slightly less helpful note, if none of the above works... drink. Alcohol ;) that'll make you sassy ;) and slighly unbalanced..