Posted in Uncategorized, Writing

Writing Prompt Boot Camp #1..Breaking up with Writer’s Block.

“Dear Writer’s Block, it’s not you, it’s me …I am going to commit to writing every single day whether I feel especially inspired or not.  I have spent way too much time giving myself excuses for not writing getting caught up in drama and little things and entertainment that is created by others. I am a creator and it is time for me to create rather than consume.  I need to brush the dust out of the brain to edit my novel properly.  I need to do some fresh writing.

I did more writing when I didn’t have a car. It is funny how when you are riding public transit or waiting for the next bus to come you feel the need to fill the void of that ten to fifteen minutes, but if you are comfortable at home it is just as easy to pop in a movie or binge watch Breaking Bad. There is something about being in between places that forces me to be creative and perhaps my life has become too predictable, too ordinary.  There aren’t enough gaps for stories to thrive. My time is scheduled, over booked, except for writing. Writing is my passion, my key to being centered and fulfilled and not making time for it often leads me to feeling listless or aimless.

For that reason among others, you have to go Writer’s Block. I have spent way too much time, money and energy on you and wasted precious time I can never get back. I know of no one else who has 4 novels sitting on their floor since 2001. And over a dozen short stories but none written this year. I want to do NANOWRIMO this year, no excuses. No maybe next year. What if I were to die in a freak accident next year? I want no more regrets.  I don’t want to look back wondering where all my time went. Wondering if I am leaving any contribution to society or any mark on this world. Anything for my son to be proud of? I am a descendant of Mark Twain, or his father anyway, and how many people can say that? I am sure there are some, but not many.  I have a writer’s legacy, I have been writing since I was 6. I went to the Cougar writing conference at 11. I got to see Peninsula College back then. I had a lot of encouragement from teachers.

I drew horses and unicorns and dreamed a lot. I made histories, names, and genealogies of fictional families, races, creatures.  Where did that go? I used to put myself to sleep by going through my own fictional soap opera called Zennis. Still haven’t written that story, and it is one door among a long hallway of dimensions waiting for me to explore;  so many stories lying dormant, waiting for my pen to bring them to life, to share the stories with others. I miss having a writer’s group, perhaps I should find a new one. It helped me to stay focused, to make time. Timed writes were helpful too, really allowed me to see other settings and forced me to think of other ideas I may not have without that pressure and limitation.

So, I am going to commit to myself, to get up at 5 am, and write until around 5 30 so that I can write without distractions and it is a time I can write on a daily basis since I often get up at 5 30 to get ready for work, it will force me to fit it in. If I am feeling truly inspired I will have a notepad with me and will write later. I used to keep one by my bed because some of my favorite stories actually came from dreams and if you don’t write them down immediately little details disappear, and sometimes whole planets and languages are just gone. And the only thing I can remember is that it was really cool. That makes me sad because I know it was a moment in time and the story is gone forever never to return.

When I was deep into writing my novel for the first time I fell in love with the characters, I lived and breathed with them, felt bad when they were hurt. They felt like real people. I was obsessed and focused and there were never enough hours in the day. I would get home from work and write until I went to bed, got up early so I could write before work, go to work, come back home and write some more. It got so intense; my husband at the time actually became jealous of my novel because I spent more time writing it than talking to him.  He passionately hated my novel, but would brag to others that I had written it.  It is hard for people to understand the total concentration required; the shutting off of everything but this one thing for hours. It seems crazy, like a neurosis. Maybe it is something a creative person could understand but a more traditional sort might have trouble with. Perhaps writers are crazy.

When you, Writer’s Block come in, it is like the fountain has been shut off, and no matter how hard I turn the knob nothing happens. It is like my heart has been removed, but I don’t die, but I am not alive either. It is a horrible stagnant feeling. But most often it just is a sign that I have drifted too far from my authentic self or got caught up in the minutiae of everyday existence.  The day to day grind kills dreams. Too much time worrying about bills, and tasks and what other people are doing or not doing, it removes me further from what I should be doing. It is easy to get caught in this trap, this nonexistent existence.  This killing of time, destroying worlds by not writing them down. Not creating history that will never be real but may really affect someone and speak to a deeper meaning or purpose.

I still feel that Science- Fiction especially lends itself to exploring deep issues with humanity and the world. It is like the ultimate what if scenario, the ultimate sand box experience. You put in hypothetical’s and explore what may happen under specific conditions. Fantasy often lends itself to exploring archetypes and history and the heroic quest. It explores something deeply primal and necessary, the human story.  It looks back while Science-Fiction looks forward. I love them best but have dabbled in suspense/horror as well. It can also explore the human condition and I love a twisted ending.

Part of the joy I get from the short story is the twist or the epiphany you get at the end. It is that sensation that the light has been turned on and now everything makes sense. I like that feeling and I like putting it together. A novel takes a different kind of approach. I knew how I wanted it to start, and I knew how it would end, but the middle only had a few incidents mapped out. A lot of little events became important along the way, and I found myself going on the path less taken often. So often that the novel is a mess, and perhaps a more experienced writer would have recognized the danger signs and know how and when to reign the beast in.  Now it is a massive intimidating behemoth that I am perpetually rewriting.

Sometimes I think I should give up on this dream, and start afresh. But it is hard; I keep finding myself wanting to do justice to those characters I spent so much time with.  I feel I almost owe it to them to get their story published. Their existence depends on people being able to get to know them like I have, and it is my duty as a writer to make them real, and allow people to care about them. So, Writer’s Block, I have no more time in my life for you, pack your bags, you have over stayed your welcome. There is the door, good bye and if I see you again, don’t expect a long stay.



Singe mom, part time writer of primarily sci-fi and fantasy.

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