A beginning is a very delicate time

>> Sunday, January 27, 2008

In December, my excuse for being all non-writerly was that I'd just finished NaNoWriMo. I'd decompress and then get to editing "Cream And Bastards" in January. And that sort of is how I started out. Except I've found that I just can't read "C&B" right now. Fair enough.

But dammit, I can't get started on anything else, either, and it's pissing me off. There are two ideas in my head right now: one is something I started last year that needs to be rebooted, the other is an idea for a different sort of fantasy novel. I don't want to get too detailed about such things for various reasons, just suffice it to say that I think both of these ideas have some merit.

So I sit down with notepad and pen, and noodle a bit. But I can't get any traction right now. It's disappointing. I feel like I'm just sitting in the mud, flooring the accelerator, and accomplishing nothing more than spraying muck everywhere, painting myself with it.

This is a common sort of thing. A friend of mine was complaining about writer's block in her blog recently, and I was all would-be-reassuring. This is a universal experience of trying to get thoughts on paper. I'm not trolling for sympathy with this post, I'm merely venting; fuming, really, huffing out steam through the grillwork. It's vexing to be this constipated.

Yeargh. That's the word for it, and it's not even a damn word. Yeargh. Shout it from the rooftops, pound your chest and scream yeargh at the passerby like Kong up on the Empire State Building. Bare your teeth and swat at unseen planes. Yeargh.

Whatever, nevermind. I'm off to look at my blank page. And my pen, which I could also bitch about right now but I'll spare you the insignificant details.



MWT Monday, January 28, 2008 at 2:28:00 AM EST  

Hmmm. Have you tried freewriting? That's where you basically write whatever comes to mind (and if nothing comes to mind, you write down that nothing is coming to mind...). Sometimes I find that before I can get down to work on any "real" writing, first I have to get a bunch of cobwebs out of my brain. I end up writing down everything going on in my daily life and how I feel about it, usually at great length. And since it's not going to be anything anyone else ever sees, there's no reason to hide anything from yourself.

On the other hand, I'll share something I learned from years of playing Starcraft: If you can't break through, go around. Maybe your muse needs recharging, and you should go do something else entirely for a while. Take up a different art form - write poetry instead, make music, draw or paint something, do some photography with that new camera. ;) Then when you make your way back to fiction writing, you're refreshed and ready to go.

Jeri Monday, January 28, 2008 at 4:31:00 PM EST  

I've done a quick readthrough of my NaNoWriMo novel, and polished a couple of excerpts, but done nothing more.

I think I'm afraid of it. :P I worry that if I dig into it and truly start editing and rewriting, I'll decide it's such total cr*p that it's not worth any effort.

My internal editrix is pretty harsh. I think I'll write a couple of short stories to gain some perspective, then come back to the novel.

Good luck with a productive beginning!

Eric Monday, January 28, 2008 at 5:07:00 PM EST  

I was optimistic when I finished "C&B" that it was good enough to at least pull a short story out of, but it's been hard to get through the damn thing and I haven't looked at it in weeks.

I'll get through this. But there may be some annoying and whiny posts up here with me grumbling about how I can't seem to write.

And Jeri, you can say "crap" here.


MWT Monday, January 28, 2008 at 7:39:00 PM EST  

Another thought - after my first Nanowrimo, I discovered that the resting time wasn't over yet in December/January. I couldn't really do anything useful with it until July or so. So it might just be normal to not be able to get back into it.

Eric Monday, January 28, 2008 at 7:50:00 PM EST  

My first NaNoWriMo was so bad, I never gave it a second look at all. Maybe I should though. There was one salvageable bit in the rubbish, maybe.

Mmm. Maybe not. It really did stink.

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