Wednesday, 2 July 2008

What does your editor tell you?

Are you ever assailed with self doubt about your writing ability, or about the reasons for writing at all? Do you “follow yourself around nagging and suggesting and complaining”? What are some of the negative things your Editor tells you? What could your Editor say to be more encouraging? How do you encourage yourself to keep practicing the craft of writing?

Writing for me came by chance. Before May 2005, I never even considered it. Now I can't seem to stop. Maybe to make up for all those years I did not. Doubts are inevitable. Sometimes I can't write a full piece as I can't find that appropriate word. It gets so frustrating. Then I start thinking, is it worth it? Why do I have to be a perfectionist? When something does not come up the way I wish for it, I do keep turning it inside my head. I cannot rest until I get it right. Sometimes I don't. The first villanelle I wrote took me more than a year to finish. However, after I completed it, I wrote many more.

Every writer will understand that mind block. Words refuse to pour forth without rhyme or reason. My editor stops me from using long words. It is indifferent to all kinds of cajoling. It is saner than me. It keeps me in order.

For perfect writing, one need only practice. When we see our words formed perfectly into some sort of order, the pleasure we get is not something that can be described. My advise is keep writing more and more. Only way to fight the writing blues. With that note, I think I will go on to work on my novel. I have only written 6700+ words. That too in November 2007.


  1. Gautami, I had no idea you only started writing in 2005. It seems to come so naturally to you. I'm assuming that English is not your native language, which makes your proficiency (especially in poetry all the more remarkable).
    Are your writing your novel in English?

    You're absolutely correct when you advise writing more as a means to overcoming the doubt. I learned that with music. I used to suffer from horrible performance anxiety. Once I started doing it more and more, the anxiety went away (well, almost!)

    Thanks for sharing in Write On Wednesday!

  2. I need to find a new editor I think :) My old one quit.

  3. Whenever I get stuck, I immediately put it on one side and go to something else. It may be a day or months before I return to it, but when I do, the problem is ironed out.
    The important thing is to realise being stuck is temporary.

  4. I used to be able to blog forever. It freed me and taught me so much

    Now I find myself wanting to write for publication mainly for many reasons including rapidly advancing age--and my editor, not the editor in me, thinks I'm incredible which is so helpful as my internal editor...

  5. Excellent advice, and a great way to incorporate the 3WW prompt. :)

  6. sorry... typos :(

    we started writing at about the same time... i never wrote anything artistic before 2005 :)
    and you're doing a great job!

  7. I thought you'd been at it for years and years, especially because of the poetry you write. It's great to see you are so confident about it: gives me hope :) Glad your computer is up and running again!

  8. I almost combined these two clubs but I had something else in my head.

    I had no idea we started the same year. :) You write so well and in your second language. I agree, practice, practice, practice.

    Being a perfectionist makes it a time consuming thing but if the passions there go for it!

    I'd love to have your editor. lol


  9. when one has writer's block, one has writer's block -- there isn't anything we can do about it. i stopped stressing over this many moons ago and let the creativity come naturally. i can never force myself to write something just for the sake of writing something. i believe my inner editor strongly feels different in this area. however, i am indifferent to its opinion!

    for someone who began writing in 2005, you are an excellent writer...

  10. I think it was Ted Kooser (current Poet Laureate of the USA) I heard on the radio say he writes a poem every day and hopes to get one good one a month. I may be misremembering exactly what he said, but it is interesting to know that even the best and most accomplished don't achieve perfection every time.

  11. I too had never written until recently - a couple of years ago in fact. I didn't read books either. Now I can't stop writing and I read every other spare minute.

  12. I wish my editor would stop me from writing boring poems.

    it's so true what you say, sometimes you just have to write to get through your blocks

  13. After my "past life" as a lawyer, I only write when I want to - seems to be every day, though. :)

  14. Interesting take on the prompt - it's true - just sit in the chair and write! Nice post!

  15. My editor tells me I can't spell and my use of grammar isn't any good........add to that I write crappy stories.........
    bugga aye!

  16. I'm pretty much on my own out here because my Editor is useless.
    He only comes in once or twice a week. He makes a big to-to about it and causes a scene so that everyone knows that he is here.

    Then he goes into his office closes the door and starts drinking. One of the secretaries wakes him up around 5:30 and puts him in a cab.

    I don't care if he is the Publisher's brother, he's useless.

  17. i agree. and i really do want to improve my writing so im going to take your advise and write as much as i can.

  18. I just went to a conference where one of the speakers said there isn't such a thing as writer's block, just like you won't ever here a plumber say he's got plumbers block. Writing is not a block it is a way through.

    I encourage you to keep on with the novel.

  19. You write: For perfect writing, one need only practice. When we see our words formed perfectly into some sort of order, the pleasure we get is not something that can be described. My advise is keep writing more and more.

    I know what you mean about the pleasure that we can't describe. That is so very, very true!

  20. i love your advice... and i will never stop writing at all....

  21. You're so right, pratcice makes perfect. Golly to have only started in 2005 ... you've proved the point ;)

  22. Hello.

    I've created a blog dedicated to the Villanelle form, and it is my goal to turn this blog into the internet's premier repository of Villanelles. My goal is also to include every Villanelle on earth (if possible). Come and see my blog:

    and let me know what you think of it so far. Also, I'd like to ask your permission to publish your Villanelles on my blog as well. You need not do anything, for I would compile your collection of Villanelles myself, and include your name and the copyright year on each poem. Each post has 2 labels, "Poet: Last name First name" and "Title: Title of Poem", in order to group and sort by poet's name and Title in alphabetical order. Please let me know if this is okay with you.

    Thank you for your time and consideration.