Turns out after 20 years of writing fiction, there’s always something new to learn. Mostly this is one of the perks of the job. Recently, for instance, I’ve been learning about both poisons and perfumes and its been fascinating, although I have wondered why my writer’s group has been less enthusiastic about the snacks at my house of late.
Unfortunately, not everything one learns is that fun. I’ve been having one of those…challenging weeks.
I always feel trivial when I complain about writing. There are people in this world with real problems, and I am not one of them. But, I do have 3 books due before October, and none of them are going well. The hero and the heroine are taking way too long to get together in the romance, the edits are late in the YA, and how the mystery fits together is still a mystery to me, despite the addition of both perfume and poison to go with the potions.
What’s really frustrating, is this is one of those times when you learn you need to be careful what you wish for. I’m one of those writers who works in a punctuated fashion. I write madly, then hit a wall, and stop for awhile, until my subconscious figures out its problem, and then I write madly again. I always figured that’d be great for a 3 name author; when I hit a wall in one book, I can just hop over and write madly on another book while the first one sorts itself out in the back of my brain.
Unfortunately, it’s turning out not to be that simple. Jumping from one project that’s not going well to another project that’s not going well does not seem to make either of them go better.
And I actually probably could have figured that out if I’d really thought about it. Sigh.
When I started this post, I thought I’d talk about the nature of this learning experience, about how it’s caused me to dig deep, call on the wells of patience and self-trust necessary in being a professional writer and all young and would-be writers should take note. But what you don’t see here is that between this para and the previous para, there’s a five minute break because my fingers and my brain refused to go there.
What it comes down to is, I’m frustrated. I’m sitting down every day with ticking deadlines somewhere in Manhattan and nobody to go all 24 on it but myself. It drives me crazy when I can’t write on command. I’m a professional. I’ve been around the block so many times I know where all the good parking spots are, and there are days I STILL can’t write well. And I procrastibake, and I read, and I go for walks, and I STILL can’t get the words in any kind of decent order on the screen.
The truly ironic part here is I don’t believe in writer’s block. No seriously, I don’t. It’s a pretentious condition that belongs to no other profession. No dentist walks into the office in the morning and says “No! I can’t drill any more!” Or maybe they do. Or maybe we just wish they would. Or maybe I’ve just lost control of this essay.
I’m going to leave the previous para in place because it is a perfect illustration of the kind of week it’s been writing-wise. The worst part is that this will happen again, and it will happen again, and when I’m in the middle of it, there’s only very cold comfort in knowing I’ve gotten out of it every other time, and I will get out of it this time. It’s still deeply, maddeningly frustrating, because I’m not getting what I need to done, I’m not keeping my promises and I have no choice but to keep trying, and keep trying and…and…and…
So, for those who read these posts to gain insight into the writing life, here it is. It’s disorganized and annoying and worrying and some days there’s just nothing to be done, except dig in and dig deep and all those other cliches.
Now, that is really frustrating.
From the Author: “I’ve loved the stories of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table since I was little. I was a disappointed to realize that most books focused on the affair between Guinevere and Lancelot. I wanted to write some of the other stories…”
“ I loved that Miranda discovers her inner beauty and strength and gets 2 hunky guys!!” — “Stef” from Bookaholics Romance Book Club
Bitter Angels by C.L. Anderson
“Great edge-of-the-seat interstellar intrigue and a riveting space opera-espionage. This one was tough to put down.” — David J. Williams, Author of The Burning Skies -