Oh blog entry, where art thou?

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Ok, so I’ve had a few blog topics in my head. The importance of blurbs, how to create really good secondary characters, newsletter hell, and a few others that I now cannot remember. Have those topics manifested themselves into actual blog entries? No. Why? I’m in writer’s block. (Can one ever say that they are in writer’s block? Feels likes it…) Apparently for me that means anytime I think about writing something planned, I freeze and stare at a blank page. Newsletter? Frozen.

So this entry is not planned. I’m not closely pondering the deep meaning of each word I’m typing into this. I’m not thinking about the fact that this is writing, and instead thinking about it as complaining.

Ah, yes, the art of complaining. Something everyone seems able to do at any point. There’s always something that’s annoying us, that’s bothering us. My annoyance is writer’s block. What the heck is wrong with me that I spit out 23k words in 2.5 months (hey, it’s my first book, that’s good for me) and now I stare? And stare. And stare some more. What’s wrong? To be honest with myself (and well, anyone reading this blog), I’m guessing that it’s partly an editing issue and partly a confidence issue.

Editing issue – I’m an editor. I’m trained to look at the written word a specific way, looking for problem areas. Why does this become an issue for me? Because when I’ve been editing for a while then try to change to writing, the words will not flow from me. I’ll write a sentence then read it over and think, “Man, that doesn’t convey the idea I want. It’s needs more emotion.” I agonize over every little sentence until I drive myself crazy. I just can’t get out of the editing part and into the writing. I tell myself that it doesn’t matter if it sucks big hairy donkey balls, in Karen’s words, I just need to get it out.

The other issue – my confidence. I am not one of those writers who’ve known since they could read that they wanted to be a writer. I have never said “I want to write when I grow up.” I hated writing. Detested it even. Pulling words out of me was like pulling teeth. I knew that I couldn’t write. Never had any aspirations to do so, either. So when I started this book, it was more of a dare to myself. More of a challenge just to see if I could write a book. I had an idea in my head, I edit the darn stuff, help authors come up with ideas, why not?

And then, the scariest thing happened – I liked it. For the first time in my life I liked writing. The words were flowing, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly. Sometimes it took me an hour just to get over my fear of writing and DO it, and sometimes I got right into the story and popped out a thousand words in two hours. The idea of telling this couple’s story, and setting up the next two books–yes, turns out this is the first in a series–fascinated me and hooked me right off.

But underlining all that is my fear. The fear that I was actually right growing up – that I can’t write, that I’m only pretending to do this, that I really have no idea what I’m doing despite the fact I edit it.

It’s crippling to my writing. I stare, and stare, and stare some more just telling myself, “You can do this. You’ve written 23k, more than you ever thought you would. You can do this.” And still. I stare.

I need to stop the staring and start the writing. Again. And again. Until the damn book is done.

And then, and only then, can I edit.

If only it were that easy…

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2 Responses to “Oh blog entry, where art thou?”

  1. Marissa Says:

    I think part of it is my fault. I’m not writing but rather slacking off so I’m not pressuring you to perform either. As we are anchors and inspiration for each other, this could be the issue. But I WILL be getting back into the writing… I have to, even if I have no clue if the NY publishers like my work or not. LOL Four weeks and nothing. Sigh.

  2. Jennifer McKenzie Says:

    Ah, the self editor. It’s a bitch ain’t it? Kate, you don’t have to “know” you wanted to be a writer. You don’t even have to think you’re the greatest thing since freakin’ Jane Austen. All you need is a story to tell.
    I played with writing. It was never my ambition to be a “writer”. I had several other manifestations before “writer” was my direction. Choir director, English teacher (scary eh?), Nurse, mother….none of them were writer.
    But I had a story to tell and I told it……very badly. LOL. You’re learning the craft. And learning to actually write the damn thing is different than the editing torture IMHO.
    What happened to me is that writing that one story opened up a door to other stories, other characters. You can TOTALLY do this.
    Then there’s Nora Robert’s famous line (which is cool and annoying all at once) “You can’t edit a blank page”.
    You go, girl.

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