Sunday, August 18, 2013

Life After THE DEAL

It seems like all of my blog posts are prefaced by "ERMAHGERD SORRY I HAZ NOT POSTED IN FOREVER" now.

But yes, I'm back. Hopefully?

So why the hiatus this time? A lot has been happening. We've decided on a title for my BOOK (I still get this stupid little grin on my face every time I say it), so hopefully I can share it with you soon! With revisions forthcoming and my spectacular talent for procrastination, the end of summer has devolved into a mad rush of holy crap holy crap I don't even know where to start working and ugly crying.

Oh, yeah, and I forgot how to write.

I think, as writers, we tend to view a deal as a climax. It's when the prince defeats the dragon and demonstrates a fetish for unconscious women, and all that's left is the happily ever after. Which, on the other side of the climax, is kind of a horrifying idea, because it means that we've already peaked.

It's ridiculous, of course. And I told myself so as I sat, day after day, in front of a manuscript that, all of a sudden, was impossible to write. And not just the manuscript--blog posts, interviews, essays. I couldn't WORDS.

I tried taking a break. I watched all three seasons of Downton Abbey in a weekend and got to level fifty in Candy Crush Saga and devoted, like, twelve hours a day to Pinterest. And then I sat down and tried to write again and the words just wouldn't come.

So I'm (hopefully) on the tail end of the worst writing schlump of my life, and I'm still terrified that I've depleted my quota of reasonable writing ability, terrified that I've peaked, terrified that I will never write anything decent again, terrified about what this says about me as a writer, terrified about what this means about the future. I'm terrified that the book I've already written won't sell and everyone will hate it and I'll have to dye my hair purple and get a new nose and become an alpaca farmer to escape the shame.

I know it's silly. I know I'll get over this eventually. But right now I'm terrified, and that's okay. Because writing isn't easy and that's why we can't stop. Because sometimes we end a story and have to take a deep breath, because endings are frightening and transitions are hard. Because our characters can have happily ever afters and all of my friends are dead endings, but we can't. We have tomorrows. And it's okay to be afraid of them.

...but existential crises still suck.


  1. It's cool that just by reading lots of blog posts and such by authors that I have a better understanding of what it's like to be published, or on the way to being published. It definitely isn't the end goal, even though it feels like it is.

    I hope you get over your fears and are able to write like crazy!! :) Best of luck with your BOOK!!! Can't wait to hear the title.

  2. My heart goes out to you because I feel like I'm having a similar existential crisis. I keep looking at my WIP. I know what it needs to do, how to do it, even, but I just can't write these days. I literally was telling my sister the other day that I'd forgotten how to write, too.

    I had a little venting session with her. I can't write. I suck. These words don't even make any sense RAGE QUIT I'm done. And she is like the best friend you'll ever want to have as a writer because she quotes old Disney channel movies and knows how to make you smile... If you've ever seen "Brink" you'll know how hilarious I found it when she looked at me and said, "Don't quit. Just write better."

    I said I couldn't. She said, "Write anything. Do it right now."

    So I went into my crazy mode and repeated the "Write Better" mantra while I ugly cried. And ended up writing a song. It's a start, I think. It's progress.

    There are always going to be ruts and doubts and problems. I have no doubt that you'll push through this and find your words again. But what I've learned is that when the words won't come, we have to make them come. Be creative in other venues. Blog more, sing more, journal more, talk more. Do whatever you have to do to make the words come. And then, after all of that's done, WRITE BETTER.

    Hearts and hugs,