Friday, February 6, 2009
Taking A Stroll Around The Writer's Block
I worried this would happen. I was on such a roll with my novel, and then I stopped when this job came along because I obviously had to spend all my spare time writing the "test" cover blurbs. (Which ended up being very real cover blurbs, not test ones at all.) Now that I've got the job and a schedule and can spread out the writing, things have calmed down a bit and I can have a little bit of down time to write my book. But, after not touching it for two weeks, my suspicions that I would go back to it and hate it were confirmed. It is so beyond frustrating I can't even tell you.
Bill said, "No. I don't care if you hate it. You are going to keep writing it. You will never finish a book if you keep doing this, and you've done it a million times. You were too excited about this one to give it up." This is one of the few things I do that Bill is passionate about, so I know I have to do what he says. And he's right. I was way too excited about this one to give it up. But I still think it's going to be hard to get back the love for it that I once had.
Bill also keeps telling me, "This is your first book." Meaning, it doesn't have to be a masterpiece, in fact, no matter how hard you try, it won't be. And, although I know he's absolutely right, everything in me says differently. I think it does have to be a masterpiece, or at least a huge success, and these are my arguments to back this up:
1. J.K. Rowling. First time she ever picked up a pen and started writing, the world was gifted with the phenomenon that is Harry Potter.
2. Stephenie Meyer. No explanation needed.
3. I truly believe a person's first published work will make them or break them. If my first book is crap, or even mediocre, who would publish me again? Who would buy another book that I wrote again? No one.
4. If I'm going to spend a year or more of my life writing a book, it will be my masterpiece. It will be a part of me, my own creation, my baby. It has to be amazing. I don't do mediocre. That defeats the whole purpose of doing this. I write to feel. And I don't feel mediocre. I feel amazing, or heartbreaking, or powerful.
So you see, it does have to be a masterpiece (sorry honey, you're wrong.) Bill says I'm putting too much pressure on myself and therefore I am self-destructing before I've even started. About this, he is absolutely right. I've done this my whole life. But I don't know how to fix this. Even the great Stephenie advises new writers to write as if no one will ever read it. I can't do that, because if I thought no one would ever read it, I wouldn't write it. I write every word with the reader in mind, because that's how I judge whether or not what I'm writing is readable.
By the length of this post, you can see I have no problems writing. I can write and write and write till the cows come home. But what I don't have is a story to tell. So I'm asking you, O Faithful Readers of mine, to help me out. Give me some ideas. What do you think I should write about? You can be serious, be funny, give me a one word answer (excluding the word "vampires"), or give me a full-on plot. Then I will pick my favorite and write the book and make millions. Just kidding. But I might pick my favorite, just for fun.
So...what should I write my book about?