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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Something's wrong with me

So I'm sitting at the cafe at Barnes and Noble, which has always been a place with a good writing vibe for me.  I determined earlier today that I was going to come here after work and bang out some work on my next novel.  By the time I got here, ordered my coffee, and sat down...I completely lost my vibe.  Sigh. I know that sounds like such a piss-poor excuse, and will likely (and perhaps deservedly) be written off as one, but it's what happened and it's irritating me. I've been trying to get started on this book for weeks, and every time I sit down with it, the words won't come to get it started.  So I end up writing something else--something like this blog--just to get some words down on a page.  Writers write; it's what we do.  We're driven to get something down every day, and if you're not, then you're not a writer.  So I'm not whining that I can't write. I'm not passing off laziness as a bullshit lack of inspiration.  Nothing like that.

No, I'm irritated that I can't write what I want to write.

This damn novel has been digging at my brain for quite some time, now.  I know how I want it to start: with a playground fist fight between Galen and a bully.  I just can't get the words going.

I think part of the problem is that I have too many projects going on right now, and when I try to pick one to work on, my mind goes all a-jumble. I've got seven--literally seven--novels in various stages of non-completion, and all of them want me to finish them.  I have a book for Elf Lair Games (which may soon become an imprint of Elf Lair Publishing) that I have to finish editing, before the writer travels from Chi-town to Pittsburgh to jam a pen through my neck. I have an adventure module for the same that I need to figure out how to get maps done for, when I'm awful at doing cartography.

So yeah, just too many irons in the fire.  Every time I sit down to work on one, it's like my brain wants to explore all the options for all the others.  At some point, something's gotta give, and at least one of these things needs to get done.  It's not like I'm going to find an agent to rep me for the novels anyway; I've just about given up on that pipe dream. I don't have the ability to get to all the big conventions to take agents out to lunch, schmooze, and network, and cold querying has failed me miserably.  I think I'm just very poor at writing query letters.  My 3- to 4-sentence synopses of my books are quite horrid; it's no wonder nobody wants to read more.  Somehow I doubt I'm lucky enough to be one of those people whose self-published novel on Amazon is so successful that major publishers start offering big advances to purchase the rights to pub it.  See, I also seem to be pretty poor at self-promotion; that none of the people who have purchased Broken Gods and raved to me about it have published reviews on Amazon or Barnes and Noble is proof of that. Reviews equal attention on those places, and I can't seem to get any reviews.  I've asked my publisher to forward the book to a few review sites that I sent him; no dice.  It's just a bummer, that's all.  I suppose just having a book published is a major accomplishment, so I can't really complain, but'd be nice to see it take off just a little bit.

Ugh, this is a depressing blog.  Wasn't my intent setting out.  I'm just frustrated; I'd like to be able to quiet the old brain long enough to pick a project and get going full-steam ahead on it.  Anyone got any advice?


  1. Try working through the activities in The Artist's Way or Finding Water by Julia Cameron. Lots of good suggestions for freeing your creativity in both.

  2. Don't know if this will help because I am not a writer, and as you say if you aren't writing you aren't one, but...

    When I have too many irons in and can't devote proper energy to any of them, I choose none of them for a little while. I usually just do something else I enjoy for a short amount of time. Then I come back when I feel a little more clear.

    1. Problem is, that'll just lead to me starting ANOTHER novel that will languish till I get 'round to completing it. That's the danger with being a writer. "Doing something else," all too often means, "writing something else."

    2. Well then I am out of advice (outside of things I think you would never personally do to quiet your brain, like yoga for example, lol)... just a hug and a hope that it gets better. :)


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