Tuesday, November 13, 2007

An Actual Post About Writing... sort of.

With the Blood Ties series almost officially over for me, I am gearing up for a new project. I've been so excited to work on something brand new, something fresh, something....

I've already written before.

Back when I was shopping the first Blood Ties book around, I wrote a different book. I started writing it while I was a board member for a different RWA chapter and we were on a retreat that turned into DRA-MA. To ignore where I was and how much I just wanted to go home, I started working on a completely different story, set in a completely different universe. It was about a half-faery assassin who lived underground, in the sewers of a future earth that had become an alternate world for faerytale and nightmare creatures. I wrote the whole book in probably three months. Now, I'm rewriting it as part of a trilogy that will be released in 2009.

The problem? It's not new to me. I already know how the story ends, so I don't have the fun of discovery that usually fuels me to keep writing.

A lot of people ask how I battle writer's block. "Jen," the ask, seeking the wisdom of a sage, "how do you battle writer's block?" The answer is: I just don't know.

It's not that I don't get blocked. Every writer gets to a point when they have nothing to say in their manuscript. My personal way to solve this is to just push past it. Even if what I'm writing is uninspired crap (as it often is), I can always fix it later.

Here's the thing: if you're sitting down at the computer every day, looking at the last two lines you wrote six days ago and you have no idea how to proceed, you're going to get burned out faster than if you just force yourself to keep going. You might have to just write [blah blah blah this is what happens in the rest of this scene] and go back to it later, but you have to keep your forward momentum.

It seems to me that there is a lot of fear involved in writing. Fear of writer's block, fear of burn out, fear of not being perfect on your first try, fear of rejection, it's all stupid. How come I have never once heard about someone having a fear of not finishing their manuscript, or a fear of getting a huge contract and being crushed under a pile of money?

Now, I'm going to go back to myself as an example. My editor and agent agree that the next step in my career involves a book I've already written, but that needs a major overhaul from the ground up. I could have said, "No, I'm afraid I'll get burned out," but instead, I'm forcing myself through a story I've already told. I'm I afraid I'll get burned out? Meh. It's a possibility. But will burnout on one project mean that I will never write again? No. Plus, after this book is done, I'll have the sequel to write, so I have something to look forward to.

And that might be the key to getting over the fear of writer's block and burnout. If you have something to look forward to, that's going to help vault you over the hurdles you come up against.

Now, as for other writing problems, like people thinking you don't have a real job because you work at home or people thinking you have tons of money to give them for no good reason (you know, people like your kids and spouse), that I can't help you with. But as someone with no attention span and very little persistence, I can say with certainty that if I can get over writer's block and burnout, pretty much anyone, including several species of monkey and lemur can, as well.

THE MORE YOU KNOW! ::rainbow:::

4 comments:

  1. I'm not much for faeries, but the new trilogy sounds like a great read :-)

    Have a lovely day! :-)

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  2. There is not writer's block. And there is no spoon.

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  3. Sounds like a fabulous new trilogy!

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  4. I'm right there with you. In fact, I'm taking a break from my werecat series (I'm on book four of six) to refresh ye olde imagination with something a little different. Who knows if it will every go anywhere. But it's so stinking fun!

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