This will come as no surprise to anyone who reads my blog with any regularity, but I’ve now decided to officially scrap my WIP. For those who may not know, I haven’t worked on it since the first half of last year.
Now you might be wondering what makes today any different from any other day before now. It all comes down to a feeling. That’s really it. I’ve been thinking just a little about my writing lately and I’ve reached the conclusion that I can come up with a better story and write it. The thing is that no one even knew what the original story was about because I kept it under wraps except for maybe two other people. Neither of them on WordPress.
The next question I can see you twirling around your head is what I’ll be working on next. I honestly have no idea. I think I might be able to revisit something I briefly worked on in the past, but I don’t know. I’m certain I can come up with one story to write. Hopefully.
Have you ever experienced a long period of not writing? What’d you do once you came out of it? And please don’t call it writer’s block. If you want to write, then you will. If you don’t, then you won’t.
On this day in 2014 I published Blogging Isn’t Writing.
Photo Credit: Peecho
This is my third post about writer’s block in as many weeks. BUT this time around it’s a tale of victory rather than defeat.
That’s right! I told you guys in the last writer’s block post that my manuscript hadn’t been touched in weeks. Actually, I came to find out that it was more than a month. Which made me sad. Last Saturday night I actually got some writing done! The funny part is that the chapter ended up going in a direction that I hadn’t even thought of until I sat down to write. Maybe that’s all I needed to do?
Anyway, I wish I had something interesting to tell you all about why that day was different from so many before it. I don’t. Honestly, this is what happened. Saturdays are definitely my laziest day of the week. I typically get off work and go home and sleep for several hours because I’m so tired. I did that last week, but this time around I spent hours thinking about my beloved manuscript that was getting dusty from lack of use. I thought about it all day long. I watched the hours tick by and thought it would be another day of nothing. Then I simply opened my manuscript about 10:30 that night and sat there staring at it. Then I wrote.
You see, this experience was far more than not having any creative ideas for my story; I was fighting a fight within myself. All along I knew I needed to write, but I dreaded starting. I knew it would be difficult. I knew it might not be what I originally planned. I knew a lot of things except for what I wanted to write, until I did so.
So don’t sit there and think about why you DON’T want to write, think about why you do. Then do it.
Photo Credit: Create Meme
I wrote a post last week about writer’s block, so before you go thinking that I’m just reposting the same thing, I’m not. This is quite a bit different.
So now you’re probably wondering what the title of this post means exactly. Well, it means what it says. Most writers embarking on a great writing journey will almost certainly hit a wall in which their creative juices just don’t seem to be flowing at all. I know I’ve experienced this a number of times in the last year that I’ve written seriously. But this that I’m facing now, no, this is different.
The first draft manuscript of my second book has not been touched in weeks. I don’t have an exact date but I know it’s been much too long. The thing is, is that I think about the stupid thing every single day. I think about sitting down at my computer and writing a few thousand words and raising my middle finger to the screen and proclaiming, “YOU CAN’T STOP ME!” I think of what happened in the last chapter I actually wrote. I think of what might happen in the chapters to come. But there’s nothing there. Nothing. It’s as though I’m driving in an unknown land and somehow managed to drive myself straight into a dead end with no idea how I got there. Any person who says writing is easy should be shot, but writing should never be THIS hard.
Not that people should care about my writing, but no one I know does. I have like two people who regularly ask about how book two is coming along. My family doesn’t ask. My so-called friends don’t ask. No one asks. Which means I’m only accountable to myself. That may not be enough this time around.
You know what I need? A punch in the face. Or someone to yell at me that this is what I’ve wanted to do for so long. Or maybe just someone to sit down and talk to me about my story. Maybe another person will see something I don’t.
I’m opening Word as I type this. I refuse to let my story push me around. I’m taking it back. Right now.
Photo Credit: zazzle.com
I have written several posts during my time on WordPress detailing my avid attitude against the existence of writer’s block. I’ve always said that it’s not a lack of creativity but rather a mind game that the author is losing to himself. I’ve said that it’s an excuse not to write. That it’s ridiculous to sit there and think that a writer can be writing along and then have no idea where to take the story. I’ve said all of these things about the phenomena known as writer’s block, and I’m ready to admit that I was wrong.
You see, I have a very straightforward writing philosophy. I write a chapter. I read through it. Make changes. Take a day or two or five away from writing. Then repeat the process. It was slightly different for my first book, but this is what it is today. I’ve worked my way through ten chapters of my second book, and the process itself has never failed. It was me.
In my tenth chapter I took my story to a place that I probably shouldn’t have. I knew that it would be difficult writing from there because I was starting to write what I didn’t know. I was taking the story to a place I didn’t anticipate and, as a result, I’m stuck. I don’t know what I want to happen in the next few chapters. I don’t know what the heck my private detective is doing by handling his case the way he is. I don’t know how these next few chapters will allow me to finish the story how I want to. BUT I do know that I’m not going back and rewriting my previous chapter in order to make these next few a bit easier to write. The story is great how it is now, I just need to get moving forward again. And I will, I just need some time to think.
If you’re suffering from this horrible illness that seems to inflict all writers at some point, rest assured, you’re not alone. I’m right there with you. I salute your determination to keep pressing forward. Now if only I could do so myself.
Photo Credit: momitforward.com
I read more blog posts in a day than I’d like to disclose, and about 97% of those posts all pertain to writing, reading, or some other aspect of books like reviews. There are plenty of topics that are repeated by bloggers because they’re so prevalent. For instance, it would be fairly easy for me to find posts everyday about writer’s block. I’ll probably join in on that discussion at some point, but that’s not today. Today I’d like to discuss another topic that I’ve read about several times and have personal experience with.
If I write, then I can’t read. But if I read, then I can’t write.
This is the age-old question an author faces when there is only a limited amount of time for writing and/or reading. The author is forced to ask himself which is the more pressing of the two. Do I want to finish that great book I’m almost done with or do i want to sit at my computer with my head in my hands searching for the right words to put to paper? Or, I have a few great chapters I REALLY want to write before I forget them, that book on the nightstand can wait a day or two or seven.
I’m constantly reading about writers who don’t feel that both activities can be done within the same day or stretch of a few hours. STOP TELLING YOURSELF THAT! Sorry to raise my voice but I really feel that this point needs to be made. If you are VERY limited in the amount of time that you have for reading/ writing, then okay, doing one of the two is better than doing neither. But if you find yourself constantly forcing yourself to pick one over the other for no apparent reason other than to do so, then stop it. Right now. When have you heard of an author who doesn’t read? I’ve read about bestselling authors who read several books a week! All while writing. Now, I understand that it’s different when they don’t have a regular job, but the number of hours they spend writing is not something any person can accomplish.
The point I’d like for you to take from reading this is that you don’t always have to choose one over the other. If you have a great book that you’re finishing up, then go ahead and finish it and your manuscript will be there waiting for you once you’ve finished. I promise. Or if you have a string of chapters that are just itching to get out of your head and onto paper, then go right ahead and type them up. But there’s no reason to stop your reading altogether because you’re working on your first novel or for your writing to take a backseat because you’ve got your hands on the newest Stephen King book.
If you love writing then I know you love reading, don’t end your relationship with one because of the other. Three IS NOT a crowd this time.