Thursday, December 22, 2005

Writer's Block

Some very nice people have weighed in with their ideas on how they get ideas.  Someone said something about me having writer’s block.  I don’t.  I’ve had that and this isn’t the same thing.

I’ve had it twice, in fact.  The first time was in the 80’s.  When I’d go to the typewriter I’d get a panic attack and I’d hyperventilate which made me feel as though I was going to faint.  Not exactly conducive to writing.  So I stopped going to the typewriter for a year or two or three.  When I went back I’d become Jack Early.

I published the last of my Laurano series in 1998.  I wrote one book between then and 2004.  The book in between those dates was rejected all over the place.  This was partly because I was doing something I always warn writers against.  I tried to write for the market and not because it was something I wanted to write or in the way I’d normally write.  It wasn’t a good book.  How could it be?

Over those 7 years I’d say I had a form of writer’s block.  I didn’t hyperventilate or faint when I’d sit down at the blank page of Word on my computer because I didn’t go at all.  Some of that was due to a clinical depression that went on for a full year until the right medication clicked in.  But some of it was because I didn’t want to write.  And I felt I couldn’t.

All of the above was very different from what I feel now.  I want to write.  I can’t afford to take time off.  The days dwindle down.  I don’t have a writer’s block, I just don’t have an idea.  Yet.

And I’m so glad people are leaving comments about how they get ideas.  I find it interesting and I might just try some of the suggestions.


Chaser said...

I've never had this type of block--yikes, knock on wood. I always figure when I can't write I either don't know what I want to say or I'm tired.

Tami P said...

Personally, I do think it's a form of writer's block. Okay, not the horrifying fear, or blank-pageitis, but a sort of depression related I just don't give a @#*! type.

I know I experienced a similar episode for about a year after a small pub I'd recently had a book out with went belly-up. I thought I'd finally found a foothold in the right direction, and WHAMMO!

In a way, you're sort of in the same boat. Rocking on a rough sea, insecure, not seeing the shoreline anymore.

Yuk, I'm getting sea-sick. Sorry for the ramble there. Just remember, as the saying goes, this too shall pass. The shoreline really is still there. Keep paddling.

Hey, if needs be, give yourself permission to take a break. (Maybe not as long as the year and a half I took. LOL) Yes, your career needs to move foreward, but it will. You've already proven yourself. Give yourself a little pat on the back, and realize that you really have so much going for you on the wide scope of things.

Take a hot bath, eat some chocolate, and relax. That mind will start spinning again.

ravaj said...

reading all the recent reviews of joan didion's book and interviews with her the one thing that stuck in my memory was her saying that she and her husband always kept notebooks with them and wrote down anything that came to mind asap.

although i have to write a lot of short things (like sermons) rather than a book, it's often been quite helpful to scribble down random thoughts during the week and then on a friday morning see what i've got.

good luck ...