Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Writer's block


I'm just sitting here thrumming my fingers up and down thinking about how I have nothing interesting at all to say, seriously.

Not one interesting word. Nope. So I guess you might as well quit reading, and go back to your facebook page, and kill time elsewhere.  It seems these days there are no end to the ways one may squander ones time, and absorb oneself into the realm of gleaning useful knowlages.

Actually, the problem isn't that I don't have anything interesting to say, I have loads of things I want to say.  But when you have lots to say, and you have to pick just one thing that is the most important  to say, I find that really hard to do. So most the time, I end up frozen. Then I end up not saying anything at all. 

Did that make any sense?

Probably not.

Among other things, I've been battling  writer's block----actually I don't just have writer's block, I have something more like writer's brick---solid, heavy, immovable. It let up for a couple days, and I've been trudging along, but I don't know...the words seem stuck.

Have you ever felt that way? You go along and everything flows smoothly, and then without even knowing why, the car quits, and you're left wondering what happened?
You still had somewhere you needed to be. Why have you run out of gas?

That's what I'm feeling like.
It's almost as if I'm afraid to write---afraid to create. It's weird.I can think of a lot of excuses not to write. There's so much other work I need to do...but actually it feels like I'm just running away from writing. I'm really not sure what brought this on. It just happened.

I think it has something to do with the fact that while waiting for edits to come in for my last book in my fantasy series, I've been faced with a blank canvas for my next novel, "The Unsame Ones."

I started book, The Unsame Ones," about a year ago, but I was still madly working on my fantasy series, so that book took the back burner.

Now that I have some extra time, I decided to go look over my notes for my next book.
However...for the life of me, I can't find the file. It is lost somewhere in cyberspace.
My ideas, thoughts, and a few rough chapter ideas are gone.

Not cool. It wasn't a huge amount of work. But it was something I could work with. Something I had down. Moving ideas around are a lot easier to do than staring at a blank page, and starting from scratch.

After feeling a bit sorry for myself, I began again. It's been good for me in a way. I've approached the story with some fun concepts that I know I didn't have in my last book file. But still, starting anything is the hardest part, at least for me. It's really intimidating.  I have to remember that it's about getting ideas down, and scratching up the paper. It's about writing scenes, and conversations as they come. It's about scribbling, and moving words around to see how they sound.

To get myself excited about the project I designed this cover. It's not finished, and the blurb is something to be desired. But it's a start. 

And another problem is, whenever I begin a new project my self critic "Olga," is jumps into action. She makes it her life's work to inspect, and supervise every word that I write.

 She smirks as I begin a new, waiting to jump at any flaw that might show itself. She folds her arms and watches, sure to point out anything that doesn't meet with her approval---which hardly anything does, if at all. She wants to know how the story ends, and how everything turns out. She wants things to be clean, pristine, purified, tidy, and for every word to have a purpose. She thinks that my writing stinks, and that when all is said and done, that my words are at best, amusing.

It is her that I fear.

She laughs at me.
Mocks me.
She waits for me to fail.
Points out a nasty review.
It is she who tells me that I have nothing more to say.
That whatever I have to say has already been said by better, more skilled writers.
It is she who I battle with.

This master of the arts, perfectionist teacher, grammar police extraordinaire, this...unpleaseable creature that will never be satisfied. 

With her looming over my shoulder as I write, I keep having this gnawing feeling that once the last book in my fantasy series is finished, I won't have anything else interesting to say.
I'm worried that nobody will like my books and that I'll be a failure.

I guess I have this general fear that maybe the words I write aren't useful to anybody, and if that's true, maybe I myself am not a valuable person.

I'm afraid that while everybody is living, and busy being busy, that me my writing will have not mattered at all to anybody.

I'm afraid that once I start to work on another book, that nothing will come, that the worlds will have dried up. Yes, those  are my fears.

They may seem small. But they are real to me.

The fear of failure is at the heart of it. The fear of my own flaws, and inadequacies.Of wanting to make something that everybody likes.
But I think everybody has these fears. These mental roadblocks that we all must overcome.
Yes. You, me, everybody. We battle with our inner Olga's. We all struggle with fear, and with the pains of creating---of feeling vulnerable.

Yes, to share and to create is to be very vulnerable.  And we must be gentle with ourselves, patient and kind. We must treat our inner artist as if it were a tender child.

I always try to keep a mental image in my head of a kid proudly showing a drawing scrawled with crayon to their mother---I notice how proud they look of their drawing.  They aren't ashamed of what they created. They aren't looking for the world to approve of their creation. Just their mom.

They are just happy to have created something.
I try to remember that as I share and create.
The joy is in the creation.
It's not possible to make something everybody will like.
Every artist has had their critics and they still created. 
Still they went on.
And so will I.
I will make and create something I like.
And then I will have succeeded.
What have I to fear then?


  1. I hope you feel better soon. Writer's block or any kind of artistic block is a really bad feeling!!

    1. Trisha,

      Yeah it is a bad feeling. Thanks for understanding. :)


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