Unblocked, Unbooked

BlockyApparently Stephen King never had a moment of writing doubt in his life. When asked by Charlie Rose at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan, “Do you ever get writer’s block?” King answered, “What’s that?” But for the rest of us non-pod people it sometimes strikes with dangerous ferocity. In my case, it happened after I completed my novel.

It took me about two years to write. And in all that time not a soul read more than a few pages. It was, though I had backed it up in triplicate, wholly a creation existing in my mind. I eventually gave copies to my writers group. All of a sudden, these private ideas were being commented on. It’s a bit like having your secret thoughts auctioned off on stage. Finally, the day of the critique came. I kept my head up. I took it like a man. But there was something inside that got kicked around.

People have said that your novel is like your baby, and anyone who says anything negative about it is pretty much telling you your baby is ugly. The work of art that I labored on for two years was imperfect. I knew that, but it was hard to hear.

And for almost two months the novel sat alone, abandoned. Two years of work is a long time. I couldn’t imagine having to spend another six months or a year on it. It sat on my hard drive, festering.

But then something happened. I don’t know what or why. I think I’d be doing the spark an injustice if I tried to define it. But I got the urge back. I spent this week rewriting the first chapter. The novel is becoming something different. I believe it is becoming something better.

But, I’d better go. My morning caffeine is starting to kick in and I want to use this energy while I have it.

4 Replies to “Unblocked, Unbooked”

  1. “I think I’d be doing the spark an injustice if I tried to define it.”

    I agree with you here. Trying to describe it would be like dousing a pale of water on the flame before it gets going good. Anyway, glad the fires are burning for you again.

  2. It’s not an ugly baby. I’m glad you went back to that truckstop, where you left it — waving its chubby arms and crying — and picked it up again.

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