Wednesday, December 19, 2007

writer's block and baby blocks

I'm trying to write a sequel to the book I already finished. I think. I've started it three times, and it's really, really hard for me to move beyond the first page. When I started writing the first novel almost three years ago, I knew exactly where the novel would start, even though I didn't know where it would go. Every book, no matter how its authors defy conventional forms, has a beginning. And if I can't find the beginning, I won't find the middle or the end, either.

Writing is such a slog sometimes. I remember thinking, "If I could just finish the first chapter, then I will know if I can expand it into a full-length novel." Then I thought, "If I could just finish the first hundred pages, then I will really be on my way." Then it was, "Am I ever going to get this thing finished?" It's easy to get overwhelmed by it all. The only way I did was by living the good old cliché about the elephant--one bite at a time.

Now I'm trying to bite again. It's fairly easy to write in small increments of one page a day, or three pages a day, if you don't think about what you're trying to do. But first I have to find the elephant before I can eat it. Elephants are pretty scarce around here.

I already blogged about how it's so hard for me to figure out what to do during this short block of time when baby is sleeping. It's hard to commit myself to any one thing when there are so many things I'm interested in and like doing.

But there's another obstacle, speaking of blocks. It's good old-fashioned procrastination. When there are no words in my fingers, there's always email, blogging, snack time, internet surfing, reading...I don't know why writing causes me to act this way. I suppose it's because it requires thought. And thoughts, like elephants, require a little coaxing to come out into the open.

1 comment:

Sara & Company said...

Good luck finding that elephant! That is exciting that you are writing again! Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.