If you do what you have always done, you will get what you have always had.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


I have had a series of conversations with Scott and Eric about writing lately. I won't go into all the boring details; the gist is that I realized that both Scott and I are letting life get in the way of the dream. A few years ago we were focussed on writing, and on making a living with it. We wanted our names on the NYT Best Seller List. I wanted to be the first Science Fiction author to make Oprah's Book Club. In the last few years, for various reasons, we've lost that.

I called Scott on it last week, and we've been trying to coordinate schedules so that we could (gasp!) finish the sequel to The Dragon's Lady. Scott is fired up about it. I, on the other hand, hate everything on my hard drive. Seriously, I'm about ready to kill every character in every book in every genre and be done with it.

It's a phase. I know it is. I read enough writers' blogs to know that this is a natural progression. It's the second book block, compounded by the fact that there are two of us birthing it simultaneously. If I can just figure out how to get the hunger back I'll be all right. I just can't put my finger on what is so different now, other than the fact that I've lived in three different houses in two countries since we finished The Dragon's Lady. My kids are older, and I'm only homeschooling one. That should make my life easier, right? I don't have the money worries that I did before; that should take pressure off, not put it on. I'm not writing in the dining room; I have my own computer in my own space, and when I'm at my desk everyone (except the cats) knows to leave me alone. Is it the cats? Could it be that Charcoal was my muse? He knew the sound of the keyboard and would come to sit in my lap and try to nurse on my sleeve. Can't do much about that. If I could bring him back, I'd have done it long ago.

I don't know. Thoughts and ideas would be appreciated at this point. All I can think to do now is take my wine glass upstairs and read. Yeah, that's productive. *snort*



Blogger Jean said...

I've been having a tough writing year, too. I've been doing TONS of reading. I try to tell myself it helps (and I believe it does -- but not in an immediate result of words on paper). I haven't been coupling that with a wine glass, though. I wonder...

I'm going back over T&T and outlining what I have written, noting the scene summary, the character perspective, and the purpose of the scene. I'm not sure it will help me get fresh words on paper, but while I'm stuck (yet again!), I figure it's at least a productive use of my time. It's something I have to do eventually, right?

I wish I had better suggestions. I'm stuck right now, too, and part of me (gasp!) doesn't care. I can blame part of it on being in an awkward phase of my career, but since I'm reasonably certain it's the transition to retirement phase, I should be even more energized to get this going.

Mentally, we're funny creatures, aren't we?

10:06 AM  
Blogger Valerie Comer said...

Hugs, EJ. I can't imagine co-writing. In my marriage, it (usually) seems like when one is down about something--money issues come to mind--the other is optimistic. It's like we can hold the light for the other one.

In the writing, though, you'd both need to be optimistic at the same time and that's hard to coordinate. :P

My only suggestion, and it may well be worthless, is to try a solo story in a new genre. Chick lit? :P I dunno, just something really different, with a different voice.

12:29 PM  
Blogger EJ said...

Thanks for the encouragement, ladies. Val, I've been working on solo projects in Christian fiction for a couple of years. They're part of what I'm almost ready to delete. I have at least three unfinished stories that have rough spots that won't gel and nothing I have tried so far has worked. I suspect I have some undetected preconcieved notion that is in my way.

Thanks to y'all, though, the books have been spared and the frustration has been eased.

9:15 AM  
Blogger Jean said...

The key of course, is to not despair -- and even if you do, to not hit DELETE and never give up. As you noted, these swings are normal. Check out Tambo's post today over at Tamboblog (http://www.tamarasilerjones.com/blog/) She has posted a wonderful quote that could serve us all well.

10:02 AM  

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