Monday, August 22, 2011

Can't Get Started



I didn't think it was possible but I appear to be on the verge of accomplishing even less in the month of August than I did in the month of July. I would seem to be an even bigger waste of space than I usually am. It's not a very positive attitude to have, I know. It happens some times.

Now it's happening because I'm very out of focus. I'm very out of sync and I just can't seem to get started with anything. It's been an alarming trend over the last few months and I can't say that I'm enjoying it.

Nor do I know how to pull myself out of it.

Last month, I read a lot. If you looked at my book review, you'll know that's true. When I get through ten books in one month, it's a sure sign that I wasn't writing a lot. And I wasn't. I'd been working on the Problem Character and his Problem Scene and while it was coming together, it was doing so slowly. So I read instead. I figured that was good because as Stephen King said (or wrote, rather in his book On Writing), "If you don't have the time to read, you don't have the time or the tools to write."

Now fast forward to August and not only am I still working on the same damn scene, I've only managed to read three books. I'm very disappointed with myself.

Not that this month has been a complete loss. Yes, I did work a lot the first two weeks and I'll have a very happy shiny paycheck to show for it. Ruthie's son is doing just about as well as he could be. And, over the weekend, I managed to scrape together an idea for NaNoWriMo 2011.

Now, keep in mind, that I mean 'idea' in the very broadest definition of the word possible. I have a character name (Jessalyn Jones) and an image of an opening scene. Apparently, it's going to be a suspense novel. Probably a very un-suspenseful one with no ending (I don't view this as being negative. Just realistic. I have yet to write an ending for a NaNoWriMo project.). In preparation for this, I will be spending the month of October reading suspense novels. Have one you'd like to recommend? Let me know!

15 comments:

  1. Wow, it sounds like to me you've accomplished a lot - even if you've got that blah feeling (which we all get) - maybe you just need an old-fashioned vacation???

    About suspense books, I enjoy Daniel Silva's books -

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  2. Hey, don't be so down on yourself! I've only read three books this month.
    I don't know if you'd call them suspense, but Preston & Child write killer thrillers.

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  3. No suspense to recommend.

    I think when we're not feeling or being very productive, we need to just relax into it. Enjoy the break, and at the same time, your life has sounded like it's filled with all sorts of craziness, so you know . . . that's a hard place to write from.

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  4. You aren't the only one. This current WIP has been coming along very....very slowly!

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  5. There's always September to hope for. Ted Dekker has some good thrillers. And if you like more Janet Evanovichey type fun suspense, Lisa Lutz is good.

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  6. Don't be too hard on yourself. Try, The Touch, by Lisa Olsen. SOOOO Gooood!

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  7. That's the life of a writer, *sigh*. You'll pull out of it. Give yourself permission to take a few days off (or maybe a week?) without any guilt - I'm sure you'll feel better next Monday :)

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  8. If you need to bounce some ideas off of someone, I'm available for you. Just describe what's got you stuck and maybe I can help.

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  9. You are right - it can be so tough at times. I have taken a day off that turned into three, that turned into a week that turned into three weeks... happens to all of us.
    When I look for suspense, I turn to Steve Berry or Agatha Christie, depending on how much "action" I crave.

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  10. Word on the street is that Lisa Gardner or Steve Berry are good for suspense. I'll be participating in NaNo too!

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  11. Honestly, I think a slump can be a sign that you need to take a complete, guilt-free break and then jump back in with renewed vigor. I kept trying to get myself to do better this summer, but things are different during the summer and I just couldn't do it. I was ruining that time by beating up on myself for not getting any writing done. It's summer! Let yourself enjoy it and then set yourself a specific date to get back to work. Something like that.

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  12. Well, suck, that is a big fat bummer when you are a little stuck. Perhaps it is summer? Fall seems to jump start things in me. And glad you are doing NaNo, I'm trying for the first time this year. Eek...

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  13. I've been working on the same scene for three months. You'd think I'd be smart enough to just give up and move on to another one, but apparently I'm not.

    I do, however, have the plot for my NaNoWriMo picked.

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  14. I'm also writing a suspense and I can tell you I have no idea what happens in the end. I'm taking that as a positive though because if I don't know, then maybe my readers won't either. Eh..maybe not.

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  15. Thank you everyone for the encouragement as well as the book recommendations! It's really very kind of you.

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