Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Writer's block really makes you question everything.

Okay, that probably sounds a bit overdramatic. I've been afflicted with this particular ailment, to some degree, with each book I've written. It's a stumbling block, and I usually just try to work on something else until the feeling passes.

But this is no stumbling block. I'm looking down into the chasm of six solid months now, gaping like a...... crap, I can't even come up with a good gaping metaphor! I'm 130ish pages into my current novel and I have it all sketched out. I know the beginning, middle, and ending, but I can't even look at it anymore. I'll admit at first it was kind of nice to have an excuse to just watch a movie or read a book, but lately I've been starting to panic. In fact, I'm making my way through the grief cycle backwards-- I started at acceptance and I'm quickly moving into the depression/bargaining/anger phases.

And fear. I think anyone who writes can sympathize with that fear; when you stare at the blank paper/screen and wonder bleakly if you'll EVER WRITE ANYTHING AGAIN. (And if you're the writer who doesn't get it, who fills page after page effortlessly and has never had so much as an off day, my better self is very happy for you. But let's not talk for a while, 'kay?)

So eventually you start to think, if I can't write anymore, what am I? Who am I? Which is just silly. Writing is a huge part of me, but it's still just a part. There's so much more to life than that. Still, when you reach that six month point, you're starting to feel so picked on that everything just seems more dire than it really is.

On the other hand... it could always be worse. Today I looked up writer's block on Wikipedia and found Henry Roth, an author whose first novel was published in 1934.

Enter writer's block.

His second novel made it's debut in, wait for it... 1994.


Suddenly six months isn't looking so bad. :)


M. Gray said...

Cute post! Thanks for sharing!

I ordered your book, Spare Change, on Amazon. I'm so excited for it to come!

Sarah M Eden said...

"...like an over-ripe fish." There's your gaping metaphor.
Have you tried writing something else? I caught the watch a movie, read a book coping mechanisms. Sometimes I just have to try to write something else. Plot, characterization. Get's the blood flowing through my little-used brain and sometimes that helps.
Good luck. Have a cookie. Even if it doesn't cure the writers block, you still get a cookie out of it.

Melanie J said...

Okay, I'm so not a self help book person, but from what I understand, Julia Cameron's book, The Artist's Way, is kind of the premiere guide for getting over writer's block.

Still waiting to see those first 130 pages...

Kate said...

When I get writer's block it's usually because a) I scared to write the next part because it's not a scene I'm feel "qualified" (whatever that means!) to write or b) the story is lacking something and I haven't figured out what it is yet.

That's just me. Gook luck!

Kate said...

Aack!! I just saw all the typos in my comment. I've gotta remember to hit preview first!

Julianne said...

Oh since I'm not one of those people who is a writer I guess you can keep talking to me. We really should get cake, to celebrate my non engagement and cure your writers block.

Aubrey said...

Thanks for the advice, everybody! I think I'll try the cookie and cake first and then move on to the non-dessert related suggestions. ;)

Kimberly said...

Wow, talk about a dose of perspective!

I second the cookie idea, 'cause if it doesn't work then hey, you got a cookie so life can't be all bad, right?