Have you ever tried taking a bicycle apart? Or a car or plane or something that would be a huge project to put back together?
I was sick for the past week. I took work off. I did nothing but lay in bed. I hated every minute of it. I had a nasty cold – the worst cold I’ve had in a long time. I didn’t think about my book for a week. I put it out of my thoughts entirely. I still have the cold, but I’m getting over it slowly.
Today, I started to work on it. But then stopped. I feel lost all of a sudden. As if, I’d taken apart a bicycle and couldn’t figure out how to put it back together. All the pieces lay surrounding me. I just don’t know what to do exactly.
The entire book, everything… It’s finished and it’s isn’t. I know what I want to have happen. I have the characters pretty much figured out. I have a ton of parts already written. It’s just figuring out the finer details and how to connect the dots.
Oh boy… It feels like it’s going to be the long haul.
There are parts of my book I’m totally satisfied with. These parts are the fresh tidbits I’ve been adding. The scenes I’m very dissatisfied with are the ones I’ve written long ago. They feel very stale to me like an ancient baguette and probably because I’ve read them over a million times. I come to write these scenes and edit them… And I find myself eternally stuck. I absolutely hate it.
What will I ever do?
I’ll probably end up printing them off and try different ways of rewriting the parts. I just don’t know how to go about doing it. I mean to say, I don’t know what I should change or keep. It feels like I’m slowly beginning to sink into a black lagoon. I need to quickly find my way out of this swampy No Man’s Land.
I’m stuck on a scene… Or rather I should say I’m stuck on several scenes and probably the rest of my book.
The problem isn’t that I don’t where to take the scene. The problem is that I feel as if my engine has been used up. As though there is no gas left in the tank. This is a horrible, awful, terrible feeling if you happen to be on a deadline and constantly trying to push yourself to write more.
My book is due to be published… Well, the editors should be getting back to me by November-ish. At which time I have to send them my entire book in its completed state. It’s current state is about eight chapters out of thirty. I’ve a lot of material written from previous drafts. Some of it I’ve been using and it’s helped.
My favorite feeling in the world is that sense of fire you get from inspiration. The flame that burns and burns and propels you to write a really, really good piece. It’s as if the words themselves are coming from some celestial place in the universe. A place of divine inspiration. A place that happens… Not as often as we’d like.
The worst feeling is the moment you start writing and it’s like watching paint dry. Each sentence, description, everything sounds absolutely stark. Forced. I’ve tried everything to bring my words to life this morning. I was completely productive and cleaned. I showered. I did chores. I went for a jog. I came home feeling refreshed and ready to fight the world. But then, I get on here and start typing. The words won’t obey me. My creativity is kaput.
Sometimes, when I feel like this I’ll stick a really good soundtrack on that’s full of energy. A few times it has worked and vitalized my writing. This time however… I’m still watching paint dry.
I’m trying to finish up a chapter. I know what should be in the chapter but I can’t find the sentences at the moment to do so. I’m on a very tight deadline for my book. In two months, maybe less.. I need it done. Which is a scary thought considering how little I have actually done. Today was a long day at work and my eyelids feel droopy. Half of me is considering brewing some coffee and chugging a cup of dark espresso. While on the other hand, I really just want to crash.
It’s interesting how movies and books are so BS. In TV shows or films, the hero of the story will chug a cup of coffee while working hard on the project that will save the world. Even though he has work in the morning and most likely get no sleep… That doesn’t faze our hero. He runs on zero sleep and gallons of coffee. If only!
There are actually people in this world who only need 4 hours of sleep. These people astound me. I envy them. All the things I could do with the extra time. I once knew someone like that. She’d fall asleep around midnight and wake up at 4am refreshed. She didn’t have work until 8am and would use the free time to teach herself coding.
Lately, I’ve been drinking way too much coffee. It’s not healthy and I’m trying to lay off. I’d usually drink it to stimulate my mind which helps me to write. But then, I’d have difficulty sleeping and would wake up all groggy. Not fun. Coffee and Cigarettes. The addictions of the world.
Tonight, instead of writing. I’m on here shooting blanks. The idea of coffee is a deadly temptation.
What do you do when you feel as though words are coming out of you sounding flat? As though they have no air. No color. No vibrancy which attracts the reader to the page. I have finished with a chapter for my book and I dare say that I’m glad with it, however the ending has stupefied me. I look over and ask, how should this be ended? I can see my character climbing into her car and saying farewell. But the words don’t surface in the correct order. They are all jumbled messes spilling from me in ink blots.
When I’m usually stuck in a rut like this, I open a good book and start reading. If a book is thrilling and the writing terrific, my power of words returns to me sharply. I feel inspired and a fresh flame of passion. I can write again, aha! Is what I say. My problem happens to be I’m extremely picky. It’s difficult for me to choose or even to find a good book. Sometimes, I scour the web for something smashing and mostly come up empty. Last night, I started reading a few stories on the New Yorker but eventually fell asleep half way through them.
I feel there are few good writers today. All of their writing has gone flat. Why is that? Sure, there are quite a few compelling stories that have and are being told, yet many of them have seem to forgotten the art of writing. The art of putting words together just so. I believe the poets have a better concept of it than us writers.
One great, amazing piece I have recently discovered and read is Nirvana by Adam Johnson. The story quite literary knocked my socks off. It was that brilliant. The artistry which Adam uses to convey his thoughts. The emotional context of the story. The beauty of the sentences so cleverly put together. And, the descriptions that leave me speech less. My favorite description Adam uses is when he describes the skin of a character as the color of refrigerator light. It’s a unique way of saying pale and weak. In my writing, I’ve tried find unique ways to describe things too. Sometimes I’ve succeeded and other times…
My point is, writing seems to have become flat. And I wish for somebody to prove me wrong. To show me all of the miraculous stories which have been written but never entered my radar. I believe finding a brilliantly written story will guide me out of my own quandary.
I’m currently going through my novel that is soon to be published. And I’m stuck. Yes, I admitted it. I don’t quite know what to do. A few weeks ago, my editor returned my novel with a lot of edits and helpful advice. Her main consensus: My characters require further development. That is what I’ve been up to. It’s been going really well for the most part until now.
I don’t want to say too much and give everything away. My problem is with the father. I want to write a scene that explores his character, but I’m having difficulty. Up to this point so far in the story, he’s a workaholic who doesn’t appreciate the fact he has a daughter. I want to show why he is a workaholic and why he treats his daughter the way he does. I’m having difficulties figure out exactly how I can show this, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out.
I’ll just be over here endlessly brainstorming until I do.