Monday, June 24, 2013

Writer's Block

This is mostly from facebook. It begins with a post by Judith Tarr on writer's block.
I thought Tarr's post was terrific. I refuse to believe in writer's block, because I think believing in it gives it too much power. This does not mean it isn't real. It is a lot easier to write if you are able to sell. Beating against a wall is exhausting. People tire out, and writing becomes a lot less fun. When I lost my last day job and decided to retire and write full time, I discovered it was hard to write. I had lost my drive to write in the years I worked day jobs full time and wrote little. Gradually the energy and enthusiasm has come back -- mostly, I think, because I'm selling.

(For example, my sudden enthusiasm for trolls. Let me tell you about trolls. Maybe I need to write a novel about trolls.)

I never had the kind of physical panic response to trying to write that Judith Tarr describes. I just found it hard to write and not all that interesting. Though I did keep on, largely due -- I think -- to my writing group, the Wyrdsmsiths. And now I am enjoying writing again. The stories inside me are beating on the inside of my skull and trying to chew their way out.

At times one simply needs a vacation from writing. At other times, the stress of life can make writing very difficult. And at times the problem is the one Tarr describes: a failure to sell, a failure of positive feedback...

In another post, Tarr writes about using Book View Cafe (an e-publishing collective) to get her large backlist out in e-books and using Kickstarter to fund two novels. I do feel there are more options these days. At the moment, I am sticking with independent publishers, and I would not say no to a New York publisher. Publishers of all varieties reduce the work I have to do. But I am keeping the other options in mind.