Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Chapter 10 - Writer's Block

Some say it's a myth.  Others write through it.  Mine has seasons, different phases like the moon.  I am currently in a waning phase.

I am almost done* with the first draft of Momentum.  Sara, my roommate of nearly 5 years, has moved out.  I've lost the boy.  I'm losing money.  I am fighting to be even considered for writing classes.

I have a lot of empty space and a lot of echoes to contend with right now.  Writing has been like bashing my head repeatedly against a wall.

Not the right tone.  Not the same magic vein I tapped into before.  Inspiration has been fleeting and I've grasped at the little wisps of it like I used to chase after lightning bugs as a kid.

It's also summer and the story's climax is...at odds with pool days and sunshine.  I have to get dark.  I have to walk in rainstorms (literally) just to feel the way I need to.  Thankfully, fall is coming!  In high school, my friends and I called it the Autumn Effect.  It is the casual winding down of summer, the installation of the school year routine.  Back to the grind.  The days grow shorter and the nights cooler. Suddenly, it's easier to be sad.  More acceptable.

I have finished a manuscript before.  It is sitting beside me right now gathering dust, waiting for the right time.  I remember the exact day I finished.  It was in April and I was hunched over solo at a table meant for two in those Starbucks they put in Barnes and Noble.  Apparently, books and coffee go together.  I remember typing the last sentence and I, appropriately, announced that little victorious word count on my Facebook status.  Fast forward two years and it doesn't matter much how my heart pounded in my chest, shooting my blood through with adrenaline (I had done it!  I finished something!).  Not much came from it.

Maybe that's what I'm afraid of, why I feel a brick wall when I try to finish.  I know where to go and slowly, I have figured out how to get there.  I just can't start moving.  I trip, sprint a hundred feet, back track, edit, stumble, and finally stop.

I am not giving up though.  I suppose that is growth.  My problem used to be I would never finish.  As soon as things got rocky, I would let whatever project I was working on putter out and instead go with the lightning strike of inspiration.  I'd answer the seductive call of the next best thing.

I am not done yet.  This story isn't done yet.  It is far from perfect and it deserves all of me.  So that is what I will give it.

-E

*'Done' is a relative term.  A first draft is always awful and while I have combed out the tangles of the first few chapters (when I really should be ignoring my inner editor and simply writing), the rest is, for lack of a better term, a hot mess.  Cheers!

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