Friday, September 14, 2012

Waving the White Flag

Maybe if I just admit defeat my muse will come back to me. Maybe if I start swinging that metaphorical white flag, I'll find myself able to write again.

This is just a post to vent my feelings -- writing related feelings, of course.

I'm sure every writer goes through it... writer's block, frustration, procrastination, fear... whatever one may call it. That feeling of wanting to write, but not wanting to write, because it will never be good.

I think I may be putting this out here to ask for advice. Not just to vent. Because I'm pretty sure this has been a problem for me for a while. At times it feels like I'm a one and done author. I wrote one book and now I can't write another. Nothing I write can live up to that, even if that one manuscript isn't even finished yet. (As in, in the editing stage, pre-querying.)

I believe this can be referred to as a sophomore slump?

How does one write their second book? I hear it's the hardest one to accomplish. For me personally, I've ruined every attempt by thinking too hard about it. I put too much backstory into the characters and struggled to get that to show rather than explore the characters as I write them. (And yet I can't stop, because I love exploring my characters. Just in the wrong stage of the writing process.)

The one attempt at writing without backstory is currently five handwritten pages in a notebook in my purse.

Two years ago, a chapter a day was a considerably easy feat. I could write whatever I wanted, and not care about how it flowed, or how it might be recieved by others.

Today, anything I write feels like it's running into a brick wall -- repeatedly.

I once wrote a novel in a month. Now it took me thirteen days to write one chapter.

How did this happen?

Reading more, writing regardless of what's coming out, finding a beta... all things I know need to happen (although the latter is much harder than I thought.)

I think what sucks the most is that I'm in the middle of a story right now that I would love to finish, but that brick wall keeps getting in the way.

So my question(s) to you, fellow writers, is have you ever hit a block like this? How did it affect you? How did you overcome it?

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