On Writer Panic and Really Small Rooms…

The title pretty much sums it up…

A short piece of backstory:

THE ARCHIVED is based on a project I fell madly in love with while I was waiting for NW edits. It was oh so lovely, but also oh so flawed. When Editor A and I decided to re-envision the project, I was so extremely excited, but also knew it would be hard to let go of what it WAS.

And it is. It’s proving so, so hard to separate the two books in my head. It’s a learning experience, and at times incredibly stressful. That said, every time I do manage to overcome a plot hurdle, a pacing snag, every time I manage to let an old piece go in favor of a newer, stronger element, I feel like I’ve made it to the top of a mountain. And then I descend, and find a dozen more freaking large hills in my way. Hence the unusually manic-depressive tweets (i.e. EEE WIN THIS BOOK ROCKS…ARGH KILL ME I HATE YOU BOOK DIE DIE).

So. There you go.

Writing is hard.


20 thoughts on “On Writer Panic and Really Small Rooms…

  1. Tessa G says:

    ❤ ❤ ❤

  2. Lydia Sharp says:

    I originally started replying to this on twitter, but damn that character limit.

    So well said. I’m on the verge of tears here. I wish more writers who are in the public eye were more REAL like this.

    “While some of the things might seem the same, it’s a totally different book now.”

    I wish I could clearly explain just how relevant this comment is to what I’m currently experiencing with my WIP, but I’m probably going to eff it up, so bear with me. I’ve only been working on it since December (yeah, it’s the same one I mentioned to you at book club all those months ago), but I thought it would be done by now. Instead, I’m further from completion now, after working on it for 5 months straight, than I was back in December.

    Through writing and rewriting, I’ve probably written enough words to fill 5 novels, and I have yet to write the ending once. I keep finding major plot mistakes. I keep realizing how much it is lacking. I keep changing. Everything. This is so untypical of how I usually write, and being untypical like this makes it supremely frustrating. It feels like it will never be done, not in a million lifetimes.

    I want to give up on it–just to release the constant mental pressure–but I know I won’t. The story is too close to my heart. But at the same time, I don’t even recognize it anymore. Like you said, it’s a totally different book now, and it’s hard to separate what you’re writing now from what you wrote before and then scrapped.

    I’ve been somewhat public about my struggles, too. My blog post on Monday was all of two sentences, and basically said, “I feel like I’m moving backwards, never forward.” And sometimes I wonder if being so public about the process is harming my persona, but then I see the comments other writers make to my posts about how they are going through the same thing, and I see posts like this one–yours–that are so spot on about how much WORK this career path really is, and I’m reminded that being REAL is the only way to be.

    You couldn’t have posted this at a better time for me. And I guess the above is just my rambly way of saying “thank you.”


  3. Tashina says:

    I wanted to give you a hug while watching the video, but this will have to do *virtual hug*

    I simply love how honest and real you are, and I actually enjoy your tweets because they remind me though I’m nowhere near finishing my first draft, I’m not alone and there are more terrible days to come. I will get through them.

    And I’m anxiously waiting for Near Witch and I will wait for however long it takes for The Archived, especially now. XD

    So, really, I just wanted to say ‘thank you’! You rock! ❤ =)

    • veschwab says:


      And I’m so glad you do, because I never know if I should just keep my mouth shut and smile.

      Big thank you.

  4. Auntie Bubbles says:

    Victoria, you are someone so special – you’re going to be so much more than you can ever imgine. I’m so proud of you. Hang in there; life is just full of these turbulent rides – they come and they go; they are who you are and each experience just adds to your boundless energy, talent and repetoire.

    I love you “bunches and bunches” – you rock my girl!!!!

  5. Lauren M says:

    That Princess Bride analogy was epic.
    But seriously, thank you for being so honest and open with your readers about your writing process–it’s inspiring! I love how despite your struggle you’re still optimistic and determined. =)
    Keep on keepin’ on, V! *hugs*

    • veschwab says:

      I honestly think I can compare anything in life to the fire swamp.

      Also, my favorite line in that movie, and of course appropriate right now:
      “We’ll never survive!”
      “Nonsense. You only say that because no one ever has.”

  6. You are amazing. You can do this–you will overcome it and when it’s all done, you’ll think, “I *did* that.”

    And if it helps, just remember that you can’t edit a blank page.

    • veschwab says:

      I seriously cannot wait for the day when I can say “I did that.” Right now it seems so far away.

      And YES. YOU’RE RIGHT about editing. Have to just get a draft down first.

  7. Jade Timms says:

    Thank. You.

    It’s so nice to be reminded that I’m not the only one rocking back and forth in a corner muttering to myself. Or am I?

  8. Terri says:

    I’m going to start at the beginning (obviously).
    I love you for being hyper and for eating oreos.
    I’m more concerned about you now.
    I would bake with you 🙂
    Please still disappear into twitter!
    I think it’s great that you put this in the public eye. Don’t stop talking or telling us. If you want to bake me cupcakes that’s fine 😛
    It WILL be a book!
    I WANT A CUPCAKE STRESS BALL! Where did you get it?!
    *virtual hugs*

    • veschwab says:

      Awww. And don’t be too concerned. I’m lucky enough to have so many amazing people in my life to keep me afloat.

      I promise to continue to disappear into Twitter. It is actually really important to me to show all sides of the process.

      And the stress ball was a gift! Isn’t it amazing??

  9. Annika says:

    Your title has me thinking about a writer’s panic room. Plot not working? PANIC ROOM. I suspect it would have a lot of sweets in it, and a nice soothing message painted on the wall. Probably “DON’T PANIC.”

    • veschwab says:

      YES. I think my panic room would have a plate of cookies, some chamomile tea, a few stuffed animals…oh man, I feel a PANIC ROOM blog post coming on.

  10. katherineskye says:

    As an aspiring author, It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels like there in a bubble. Or trying to listen to everyone at the same time. I need a stress ball. I had a few authors look at my debut novel, some things need to change. I know I shouldn’t panic right now, but I’m trying to get my novel ready for RT in Chicago.

    Aww, oreo cookies and stress (cupcake) ball, your words will flow.

  11. […] Writers — @ veschwab On Writer Panic and Really Small Rooms. I love this author’s vlogs, and I can’t wait for her debut YA novel, The Near Witch, […]

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