Sunday, December 30, 2012

Forgetful Misadventures

I keep promising myself that I won't forget to blog. I keep promising myself that I'll find something to blog about. I keep promising myself that I won't listen to the blog advice that warns not to write about yourself because you're really not that interesting or the blog advice that warns not to give out too much writing advice because sometimes you're the only one who really knows what you're talking about.

Truth is, I don't have an exciting life and for I don't know how long now, I've really done very little writing. Between being a full-time student, a wife, and a mother, I really have little time for the other things in my life that used to really make me, me, like; writing, photography, going out to my local Borders and ordering a hazelnut latte while I hammer away at the keyboard getting lost in the various coffee and new book smells (okay, that one really isn't my fault since Borders decided to go out of business). The point is, I'm not feeling much like a writer these days and it's gone on much longer than I care to admit.

There was a point in time where I could easily come up with 100,000 words in a matter of just three or four months. There was a time when I was writing about three or four novels a year as well as a short story for NaNoWriMo. The ideas flowed easily. I didn't have to outline or put too much extra effort into my work. It just flowed, organically, as if the words already existed and I was just the instrument through which they would appear on screen. Now, I can barely open a Word document without feeling the creative juices turning off, like a light switch.

Sometimes, I'll be thinking about my characters and stories all day long. I'll have these scenes playing out in my head and I'll be thinking about the best way to weave all these plot points together. I'll tell myself, "as soon as I get home, I'm writing. No excuses," but as soon as I get situated, my brain goes blank. Everything I had been thinking suddenly seems like it's on the other side of a link I'm missing. I know what people say. The best way to get through writer's block is to write. Believe me, I've tried. I haven't touched my journal in over a year. I used to write in it every other day or so. I have three incomplete stories waiting for attention, all three of which I started as NaNoWriMo or CampNaNoWriMo projects.

Whatever this is, it feels debilitating. I look at my document and I want to write. I have the story in my brain somewhere, but it's obviously being held hostage by something I can't even negotiate with it because it refuses to answer the phone. I feel guilty when I avoid writing. I feel guilty when I open a document and try to write but can't. It's been far too long. I used to never start another story before I finished one. I would keep notes for any ideas that popped into my head so I could come back to them later, but I always had to see a project through to fruition before I began another and now I have nothing to show for the 150,000 or so words that the past few NaNoWriMos have given me because I can't finish the stories.

Funny enough, they all seem to begin to lag right about the same place ... right after the 200 page mark. For instance, the third installment of Tallulah and Gennadi's story is only a chapter or two from being complete. All the ends have been tied together except for forgiveness. That's the last of what needs to be said and I can't. With Fiona and Declan, I know the problem is a little more complicated than that. I have about 100 pages left to go and no idea how to get my story from where it is to where I planned for it to be and that might be because Declan was never supposed to be the hero. He was supposed to be a secondary character, a romantic red herring, but he proved to have a little more say over the matter than I did. And with my current WIP, Effie and Foster, I know exactly how the story ends and the events that lead us there, but I can't come up with the words on paper. It's maddening.

And because I have so much trouble writing, something I love so very much, I've avoided the blog. I feel ashamed that I can't write. Something you love so much shouldn't be this difficult, should it? That's what I keep telling myself. I diverted my attention by learning the gist of Twitter. I might be the last holdout to give into the Twittersphere. But that was just a diversion. If I could say it was about connecting with other authors, I could convince myself it was a step in the right direction.

So, if you've hung around and read through my entire sob story, perhaps you have a woeful tale of writer's block to share with me. Some advice? Some encouragement? Something to make me giggle and distract me from my problem once again? At this point, anything is welcome.


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