Friday, January 29, 2010

Sneaking Around

OK. So here I sit in Borders. I think this is the first time I've ever sneaked out in the middle of the day to write. My mother-in-law is watching the kids. She told me to go get some errands done. I grabbed my purse and flew out the door without mentioning that I really only had one small thing to do.

Now I find myself sipping a latte, thinking that this probably wasn't what she intended when she sent me out and offered to empty my dishwasher. Although it's possible that she wouldn't mind once she found out what a real treat this is to me.

Like a few of my fellow bloggers, I usually only get to write after my family has gone to sleep. Don't get me wrong. I'm a night owl and the later it gets, the more creative I become.

Except for the last few weeks. I seem to be suffering from writer's block. In fact, it's worse than block. I've been avoiding the computer altogether for a few days. I've got a lot of decisions to make about my storyline and I think I'm unsure how to do it.

I'm applying for a writer's retreat and a manuscript review, which means I will have to revisit my first 20-25 pages. Maybe doing so will clarify things.

As for the above picture, we don't have a furry pet, only a fish, and he is not very photogenic. I don't like to be left out, so here is a photo from my children's menagerie. His name is Faris and he makes a great pillow when I'm called in to chase the monsters away. Come to think of it, I actually have had a number of great plot ideas while performing this duty. Hey, maybe it will be Faris who helps propel me out of this funk.

However, it's probably best not to depend on a $3.99 donkey pillow from Walmart and to use my remaining stolen time at this bookstore to try to make my own story magic happen instead.


  1. Monta--I offer you one of my suggestions that has helped other friends with writer's block: stop writing in chronological order. Write the ending. Or at least much further along. If you have to, write a couple real quick different drafts of a key scene and then see which one you like better. You know where the story will end up--it's ok to pick one way to get there and then later decide on another route.

  2. Thanks Trager. Sounds like good advice and out of the norm for me.

  3. I agree with Trager I barely ever have writer block with my novels because when I get stuck, I usually move to a different scene in the book. My problem in the past is that I just forget that I'm writing a novel and I move on to doing something else (kind of like Dory on "Nemo"). That's why I'm so grateful to be apart of this group. You guys help me remember I should be writing. It's like wake everyday saying: "P 42 Wallaby Way Sidney, I remembered it again."

  4. In the previous post I meant to say "It's like I wake up everyday saying."
    Is there no way to edit your comments once posted?

  5. Monta, I know exactly what you're feeling, because I'm at that point in my novel also. In the past I've done what Trager suggested and it has kept me writing. Sometimes you just have to write what you want regardless of what point in the story that scene is. My problem though is, every decision made now affects later scenes. It's hard for me to write something knowing before I start that whatever I wrote will change. I know that sounds stupid because everything gets revised endless times, but if I go into knowing it's going to change, then I don't want to do it. That's when I get writers block. Keep trying though, and you'll have those good days when everything flows.

  6. Monta. Great entry very honest. I believe that talking to someone you trust who understands you as an author and your taste can help guide you out of writer's block. Sometimes the answers are so simple and obvious. Oftentimes we are too close to our work that we can't see it clearly enough.