Tag Archives: writer’s block

Drafting

Words, once they are printed, have a life of their own. Carol Burnett

My blog has been accusing me of neglect, since it has been several weeks since I last updated it and now it is April 8th and the last time I updated was in the middle of March. This time the silence has not been me hiding from my feelings.

I’ve been busy in my new schedule and I’ve also been putting a lot of time and energy into my novel’s first draft. Thus far, I’ve written 88,000 words in 71.8 hours over the course of ten or eleven weeks. I’m pretty proud of myself. And I definitely see that if I did this full-time I’d have the potential to be faster than I am now when I am writing in between adult commitments in my life.

Last week, I hit a snag, but I overcame it and wrote 5k on Sunday. So overall, the writing life is treating me well. And I’m plugging away. My characters are making trouble for as we speak and doing things I never expected them to do. But if the story surprises me, then hopefully it will surprise my alpha reader brother and beta readers too. And maybe someday some readers who don’t know me personally.

© K. Klein 2013

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On the Edge

“The weak can never forgive.  Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong.”  ~Mahatma Gandhi

I am weak. Most things are forgivable and I do try to work on being gracious in my daily life. However, some betrayals and choices are flat-out wrong. Some things truly are unforgivable.

I don’t much want to go into the gory details, but I am struggling right now. My anxiety and depression are eating at me. I have the solution for Chapter 16 or so I thought. And here I am. Too damn afraid to sit down and write because I am in turmoil. I am holding the anger because I don’t know how to let go.

This is ironic because I have not talked to my mom (or her husband) since said unforgivable stuff; I can’t lash out at her. So what do I do? I turn the anger inwards and it produces said anxiety and depression. Which I then try to ignore. I’ve mentioned that I don’t always play well with my emotions. I’m trying to avoid how I feel. And it is not working.

What I have gathered from several years worth of therapy is that forgiveness is not about the other person. It is about giving yourself peace. It does not condone the betrayal, but letting it go allows you to breathe easier. I get it intellectually. However, emotionally I am stuck somewhere in childhood; more or less having an internal tantrum. I think my tantrum is uglier, if less noisy than a child’s tantrums though. Most children are done in minutes; mine has been ongoing for years.

And yet, here I am, still unable to forgive my mom(or her husband). I’ve tried, but at this point I am still unable to let it go.

©K. Klein 2012

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Writer’s Block?

“Discipline allows magic. To be a writer is to be the very best of assassins. You do not sit down and write every day to force the Muse to show up. You get into the habit of writing every day so that when she shows up, you have the maximum chance of catching her, bashing her on the head, and squeezing every last drop out of that bitch.” ~Lili St. Crow

I am not going to lie, the last semester of graduate school kicked my butt and I stopped writing every day. I am a bit perturbed because it took me so long to get into the habit the first time. I am still struggling with it now. (Hunting for a day job doesn’t help either). But that is me.

I’ve heard many writers say there is no such thing as writer’s block. I don’t know whether or not I agree myself. I think that writing is such an intensely personal thing that I can’t know if it exists for other writers. However, I do know one thing; it does exist for me – sort of. Please, let me explain. When I do not want to write there is usually a reason. I suffer from writer’s anxiety, writer’s depression, and writer’s fear. I occasionally suffer from writer’s denial of reality. Overall, I think it is easier just to say writer’s block.

When I don’t want to write or feel blocked it is usually because I don’t want to face the reality of the situation. There is an underlying emotion that the writing is bringing up and I want to run away from the emotion. And I can’t write about it and still run away from the emotion. (I never said I played nice with my emotions). It isn’t always that I am trying to run away from my emotions.

Occasionally, I have written myself into a corner and don’t know what is going to happen next. Or, I know what is supposed to happen next, but it doesn’t feel right. And the plan looks like it is falling apart. I don’t handle the plan falling apart well; it might be a slight tendency towards perfectionism. At this point, I start to avoid the page because I don’t know what to do. And I am afraid of failure.

If I don’t write – I can’t get it wrong. I know. I know. It is not exactly logical.

However, if I am smart, I ask myself what is wrong? For example, I am working on my rewrite in a two-pronged way.  I am writing the chapters out longhand and I am typing up the longhand chapters. Not the most efficient method ever, but it works. I think. The point being, I am still stuck on how to make Chapter 24 work; it is the lynchpin of the novel. I really don’t want to screw it up. Even more, I don’t want the plan to fall apart.

So in an effort to do something productive towards the rewrite, I have been typing up the longhand chapters I have. I came upon Chapter 16 and realized the longhand version is wrong. I couldn’t explain it to myself. I looked at it again and realized I needed to do my research.

This ended up with me looking up how to write an alphabet encryption and creating a cipher. I haven’t written the new Chapter 16 yet, but now I know what is happening. I have a better mental picture of where the chapter is going and a clear path to connect it back to the overall plot of the novel. It took me staring at the screen, getting frustrated, and then scribbling in my journal to realize I needed to do my homework.

That worked for me. I don’t know whether or not it would work for others. I figured out what makes me tick and actively work towards keeping the words flowing. That doesn’t mean I don’t hit fits and starts sometimes. Now I know not to stop writing for six months, but actively go back to the page and try to figure out what is going on so I can fix it and move forward.

©K. Klein 2012

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