Friday, January 11, 2008


Today, I'm going to refrain from being selectively silent.

The past month-and-a-smidge has been a bad writing time for me. First, I wasn't actually writing. Second, the reason I wasn't writing was because I felt extremely depressed about my writing.

I know I can write well. I also know I can write badly. Nathan's very kind review of my pages made me realize I'd written a good portion of my novel badly. I've rewritten the opening scene and believe it's "fixed", but there's still the rest of the book to deal with.

The thing is, I've been working on this novel for two-and-a-bit years; it's time to move on. The right thing to do is to feed this book to the dust-bunnies under my bed and write a new one.

I can't do it.

I still believe in this novel. I'm also finding it really hard to get the next one plotted; I don't have a passion for any of those new characters yet and I don't have a handle on how my climax is going work, or even how the storylines are going to intersect.

The result is I'm not moving forward on either book. I'm not a writer, right now.

I used to be able to launch myself into this blog with enthusiasm. Now I feel like a hack such as myself has no right to offer opinions to others. I can be a cheerleader for all of you; I don't have confidence that I can be anything more.

And since this mindset won't do, here's what I've decided to try.

I'm giving myself permission to stay hung up on the old novel, provided whatever effort I invest in noodling around on it, I spend an equal time fighting through the plotting for the new book. If the choices are to wallow in self-pity and not write anything, or to beat a dead horse, then at least beating a dead horse is good exercise.

Grumble. The problem with me exposing a weakness here is that it feels like I'm asking everyone for pity or ego-petting. I'm not.

I would find commiseration useful, however. If you're willing, please tell me about your worst writing moments. What kinds of thoughts went through your head? What beliefs affected your actions? What, specifically, did you do to keep going? I'd love to hear your story.

I really don't want the comment trail to be about me; I'm dealing with me (I think). Please make it about you. :-)

Pageloads since 01/01/2009: