Thanks for all the kind and encouraging words in response to my last post. To more fully explain my mental state, I offer this two-part cartoon:





Except with a lot less procrastination and a lot more piano-banging -- or in this case, laptop-banging.

I'm used to having three days twice a month where I can't write or even think straight; I've even come to factor those times into my overall writing schedule, because they're so predictable. This difficulty, on the other hand, can't be written down to any of the usual cyclical-hormonal factors, and it's unnerving me.

I knew I'd be in a bit of a slump after the exhilaration of finishing my revision of Knife: that was why I took a whole week off after finishing the book just to relax and think about other things. I was actually looking forward to getting back to Touching Indigo at the end of that hiatus -- but no matter how I tackled that first scene of Book II, it refused to come together. Even once I got the dialogue down, I couldn't make the narration happen.

And then I went back and looked at the work I'd done on Knife, which at the time I'd been so pleased with and generally proud of -- and I hated every word of it. I picked up another author's book, one I'd read before and enjoyed -- and I found fault with that, too. Which made plain that this was an irrational mental state rather than an objective problem with my ability to write -- but knowing that doesn't actually solve the problem, alas.

I don't feel that taking more time off is the solution, because aside from a few head-bashing attempts I've now taken at least two full weeks off writing -- actually closer to three. And the less I write the more frustrated and daunted I feel, and the more conscious that the lovely productive writing habits I built up over the ten weeks I was revising Knife are going down the toilet.

It would be nice to be able to embrace the "give yourself permission to write crap" philosophy and just hammer out something at random -- but while noble in intent and effective for many, that strategy doesn't work at all for me: if I think I'm writing crap I won't want to write at all. So right now the only thing I can think of is to keep doing something related to writing, even if it's only making notes. Something that allows me to feel like I'm making needed progress, without pressuring me to deliver a level of prose that my brain isn't up to at the moment.

Eventually this block will clear, I know.

I just wish I knew when.

*facedesk*

Apr. 17th, 2007 06:48 pm
rj_anderson: (Touching Indigo - Thea)
I've just seen the first batch of hook critiques on [livejournal.com profile] fangs_fur_fey, and come to the realization that my hook for Indigo (which hasn't been judged yet) is terrible. It's flat, passive, and gives no indication whatsoever of the characters's personalities or my voice as a writer. About the only thing going for it is that it's short -- which may be a plus when you've got one agent reading hundreds of hooks a week, but when you're competing for the attention of a judge with only 10-20 hooks to review, not so much.

On the plus side, I suppose this means I don't have to worry about polishing up my first five pages.

*sigh*

On a more positive note, I do want to say how much I appreciate all of you who've contributed your thoughts, advice, and words of encouragement in response to my Writing Angst. I apologize for being such a downer -- thanks for bearing with me.

P.S. In case anybody wonders what I'm on about, this is the hook I sent in )

Downs and Ups

Jan. 16th, 2007 10:25 pm
rj_anderson: (Saffron Cake)
I had a bit of a creative discouragement today, but as though to make up for it, I received two lovely packages.

One was a gorgeous calendar by [livejournal.com profile] avarill with pictures of her Nunavut trip -- thank you so much, [livejournal.com profile] avarill!

The other was a lavish basket of fruit, cheese, chocolates, nuts and other goodies, which my husband received as a perk for speaking to a professional organization. I must say, this is quite the nicest one he's come home with yet.

*munches chocolate to fend off creative Dementors*

*did not get her 750 words written today, however, so is good thing I am not actually signed up to [livejournal.com profile] novel_in_90 yet*

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