Wednesday, March 9, 2016

My book is a disaster, wine and Rick Springfield

Hi. My name is Jen and my book is a disaster.

I think there should be a support group for people like me.

Writers who stare at the screen,  reading the words they've written, and just think, "What the hell is that supposed to be?"

That's where I am right now as I work on HARM'S WAY, the sequel to UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT.

To be honest, I hit the "I hate this" phase in just about every book I write.

(And here you thought it was easy to just sit around and spin wonderful tales.)

But I hit  "this sucks" WAY sooner than usual in this book and it's taking WAY longer to snap out of it.

None of my usual tricks have worked.

None of my unusual tricks have worked either.

I was so desperate, I even tried the old tried-and-true writer's crutch: alcohol.

This was the first time in the 2.5 years I've lived here that alcohol has crossed the threshold. There's nothing "wrong" with alcohol, I'm just not a drinker.

But I was so desperate I was willing to give it a try. All I got was headache from my single glass of wine. Pathetic, aren't I?

The only thing that's helped a little is reading Rick Springfield's LATE, LATE AT NIGHT.  It didn't help my creativity, but it did lessen my feeling that I'm the most neurotic writer on the planet.

You know you're struggling when you look at someone else's struggles and think, "At least I'm not that bad. Yet."


I'm frustrated because I know that the cause of my malaise has nothing to do with the book, and everything to do with another area of my life. But knowing it, and doing something about it (since I pretty much have no control over the life stuff) are very different.

Knowing doesn't help.
Alcohol doesn't help.
Sitting in front of the computer screen for endless hours doesn't help.

Time will help.
Distance will help.
Indulging my inner bitch would help (but I'm on the fence about that).

What's a writer to do?

Me? I'm listening to my favorite Springfield song... (I know how to pick the cheery ones, don't I?)

Tell me Killer Friends: How do you get past your "disasters"?


B.E. Sanderson said...

I wish I could help. If I was down there I'd give you a hug and sit up all night brainstorming this with you. And I get really silly when I'm tired, so at least that would be amusing and get your mind off the problem. Hey, maybe silly is exactly what you need. Throw something totally off the wall in there, shake it up. You can always edit out the bizarre later once you get back on track. Just a thought. You might be trying to jam something into a mold based on some preconceptions. Break the mold. Throw out the preconceptions and just write.

Or I'm out of my tree and need to be medicated. ;o)

Either way, I'm here if you need me. :hugs:

Karyn Good said...

You have my sympathies. Stress has a way of sidelining creativity. Big time. When I'm in the middle of 'a disaster' I know my self-talk turns nasty. So I try and take care of myself mentally and make sure I'm not beating myself up (which is very much a work in progress). Last fall I started reading Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert and I must get back to it because if was helpful. To me, at least. Because last fall? Right where you are. Life stuff happening and the book was stuck. STUCK. And had been for months. I worked thru it. Because that's what we do. We get a handle on things and life moves on. Except in my case, a lot more wine was involved. :)