Wednesday, February 10, 2010


How true is this?
The problem I have is the first sentence - 'It's not all bad.' Being a writer tends to make soul searching a downward spiralling experience: am I good enough; is my work good enough; am I actually improving; why do I bother...that is bad.

I've not written a lot this year. I've not read a huge amount either. Yes, I've been working on the Dark Pages antho for quite some time now but I'm at a stage where I make overall decisions - most of the work is being done by my copy editor (who is a God send).

During all this soul-searching time, I keep coming back to the thought that I'm kidding myself and I should just bite the bullet and call an end to the farce. The saying is, "Writer's write" and I'm not writing so the conclusion is pretty self explanatory.


Inner Voice is still tugging at my brain. Last night I realised I needed a new chapter and a new ending (I've known about needing a new end for a while but I think I found one last night). I already know I need to expand on a couple of character arcs. I've come up with a couple of new problems for my MC to solve with ingenuity and common household items. I've even come up with the ways he could solve them (a couple for each so the first attempt may not always work or work as expected). The overall result should be an increase in tension, a better resolution for the MC, a closer tie with the love interest, a chance for a little bit of humour, and a better highlighting of this kids overall abilities. Good things.

I don't think I'll ever do an editor gig again. I can't seem to break from this project and spend time on my work. The desire just isn't there, and I'm self aware enough to know that it's because I can work on only one major project at a time, even if I'm not doing a huge amount of the primary project at that time. I need an uninterrupted flow from inspiration to perspiration. If I worked on Inner Voice now, and was then required to reread a Dark Pages story and make editorial decisions, I'd quickly loose the want to go back to Dark Pages or the inspiration to work on Inner Voice. Result = nothing gets done.

So I'll continue with Dark Pages and continue to not be writing at this moment in time (there, I'm owning that decision). When the antho is done, I'll take a break as suggested by many of you. I'll get some reading done. I'll potter around the house and bang some tools together. When I can't stop creating new scenes for Inner Voice (inside my head or on note paper), I'll come back to it, and then I'll be a writer again.

Biggest issue with that is the total lack of material that will give me for regular blog posts. I tend to only blog about the writing side of my life and the lessons I learn as I go forward (at least I hope it's forward). Most other writers understand the limiting nature of this and either philosophise about writing or find humorous antidotes or comment on a broader range of topics. Not sure which way I'll go with this.

Suggestions for great current affairs sites appreciated.


  1. I think given you're going to try and read more after Dark Pages, you could post more reviews. Go watch a movie or two, that's what I'm doing in my slump.

  2. It sounds like you've got a tough balancing act to maintain. Take your time and do one project at a time (as you said). It sounds like you've come to grips with your 'slump'. I think that we are all our own harshest critics.

  3. I've been there. Man, have I ever. I like reading the Galley Cat daily updates (re: current affairs)...keeps you up on publishing at least.


  4. Not long ago I realized writing about my writing was throwing off my writing, so I've (more or less) stopped writing about my writing on my blog, freeing me up to post whatever.

    As writers we adapt to what suits us best. So don't worry . . . . : )

  5. I think this is a perfect time to thank you for the link months ago to Alexandra's page and your own post about elevator pitches - they helped me create two wonderful (at the moment, give them a week and they'll be lacklustre) pitches last week.

  6. I am in a slump as well. I try to sit down to write and pretty soon the kids are running around screaming at each other and I end up sitting there thinking about fried chicken.

  7. If I had a soul I'm sure searching it would lead to a serious downward spiral. I, like you, can only do one major project at a time-- even a beta read requires my full attention. But if we'd rather be doing something other than that major project, or even just feel we should be, that's always painful.

  8. Thanks once more for all the supportive comments - go ahead and award yourselves the Sunshine award.

    Aaron - thanks for the link.

    Cate - You're most welcome. Glad they helped.

    Jamie - mmmm, fried chicken.