Friday, July 31, 2009

I'm afraid...of writer's block

Sure I've met with the wall.

It happens about three times during my novel. After chapter three when I have defined my characters and am not sure what the hell the story is. Around mid-way when I'm sure this book is total crap and I shouldn't be writing it. And after I end the first draft and know that I have to go into the dreadful second draft phase. The second draft usually takes longer than the first draft because you have to clean up a lot of nonsense--the only saving grace, you have already typed THE END and you don't have to feel like quite the loser while you struggle through each sentence.

BUT is this writer's block or exhaustion? Am I just tired of typing away about one set of people or am I really hitting a block and need a bulldozer or a cosmopolitan to get past it? Or a Writer's Block, a drink that I came across in the New York Times.

Writer’s Block
Fresh lime juice
Muscat sparkling wine

I don't know if it works but it definitely puts me in a good mood. But nearly any cocktail can do that.

But these are still the good times. Ask my husband and he'll tell you that I'm much less of an uber bitch when I at least have a book to work on. When I'm in between stories it's a whole other story. My kids are going to grow up and say that they knew mama was a writer because she kept saying things like, "I got nothing to say. No stories, no nothing." And their favorite, "Can you keep it down, I'm in the middle of a sentence."

I hit major block when I finish a book, send it away, and have nothing but an empty page in front of me. There is nothing more intimidating than typing in the title of the book (I need a title before I can write anything) and chapter 1. I hate typing in chapter 1 and sometimes write a Prologue that may or may not be part of the final book. A prologue makes me feel safe, like it's
going to be all right, that the book will have a THE END.

I'm not having writer's block right now--and maybe that's why I can write about it. During writer's block, nothing comes out, and I mean nothing. I sit in front of the computer and watch TV, read a book while the laptop is on my lap, or chat with my husband about complete nonsense, ask my children to play monopoly with me until they're sick and tired of it--I do laundry, cook up a storm, go out with friends, invite people over all the time--anything to not look at the blank screen with no title and no chapter 1. Just a file titled Latest1.docx in a folder called Latest1.

It's the hardest time in any writer's life. I fear the wall. I fear opening the story I'm working on and finding that there are no new words, there's nothing to say, nowhere to go.

I'm almost ready to finish draft 1 of a book--and I know that the wall is rigth around the corner. I'm going to hit it and then what? I have to get through quickly because I only have two weeks of vacation and I need to get the manuscript to my agent by Labor Day Weekend. So I have my fingers crossed--I'm counting on skipping the wall this time as I type THE END and think, this book is a total waste of time. I need to rewrite the whole thing. I need to rewrite every book I have ever written.

After five books you'd think I'd be more sure of myself--you'd be so wrong. Self doubt is my middle name. I'm a writer and I'm scared of hitting the wall.

1 comment:

  1. You are a wonderful writer, never forget that! So nice to see you on here. Take care and hey, update your blog, let us know what is happening.