I haven’t written anything in a month. My writing prompt attempt in the middle of may does not count. Maybe I should say I haven’t worked on anything new since completing my novellas at the end of April.
The problem: Reading
Okay, there are people that say reading (maybe novels in the genre you write) will help get over writer’s block. That works. You just have to be careful that your characters aren’t all of a sudden sounding like someone else’s. So my problem isn’t novel reading. I can barely get into a book these days. Hmm…maybe I should look into new authors to read. The problem isn’t reading. It’s reading about writing.
Yep, Reading about writing, has completely stumped my creative flow. After my attempt at publication (see yesterday’s post), I recognized my writing neded a lot more work. I started to read up on writing. There are endless articles in Writer’s Digest or Women on Writing! about adding 10K words to your story (much needed by me), Show Don’t Tell (which can help in the adding 10K words), Making your Characters Jump Off the Page, working on subplots, Character motivation…
You get it.
Suddenly, I find whole days passing (time flies when you are on the web. one minute it’s 8am the next it is 4pm and I haven’t eaten breakfast or lunch which can feel amazing if you have been writing all that time. If you have been reading about writing…not so much). So days pass by and all I have done is read about writing and this has caused a performance anxiety of sorts. Every word has to make my characters sing. I’m doubting if my description is good enough. Am I telling or showing? Do my characters have enough conflict? Is my romance subplot underdeveloped? It goes on and on and on.
I’m not saying these questions aren’t important. They are AFTER you’ve finished your first draft. These are the questions I should ask while revising previously finished works. For my new idea/premise (for me it’s my first try at romantic suspense as opposed to my usual romantic mystery) all I should worry about is getting my words down on the page after my usual outline (a bare bones chapter by chapter synopsis).
Of course, I couldn’t resist seeing what others had to say about Writer’s Block. I think I can’t help but research- it’s the curse of having an engineering background (that’s a story for another day).
Writer’s Block- A Definition by Example
The main jist of it- “Even so, the author believes that writer’s block “never happens” (Perret 84) to professional writers and is a “cop-out” which professional writers never use because “You write, you eat. You don’t write, you find another job” (Belkom). ”
Definitely food for thought. (and the Writing Quote for Today)
A professional writer should have weekly goals (more realistic if you have a day job that takes up certain days of your week. Even if writing is your full time job, there is probably still a lot going on in your life.) You push to write whether you feel like it or not because as a professional your agent is wanting to sell your next book once he/she gets done with the one on hand.
So we should all think like professionals.
I need to set a daily word goal (I don’t have a job. I most likely won’t be working until summer ends. I am traveling around all summer and not staying anywhere long enough. Home is the longest stay right before I start school again and that would be for 3 weeks tops).
Sorry I digress.
I’m pulling out my guns and killing writer’s block.
You should too.