There are few topics of discussion off-limits to most writers when it comes to craft. There are several, however, that spark some passionate replies and opinions. One of these is the question of whether someone is a “Plotter,” a “Pantser,” or some weird hybrid of the two known as a “Plantser.” For the record, when I first started writing, I was definitely in the pantster camp. But the reality is, I like making lists too much to stay in that realm. And as the threads of my stories became more intricate, I needed some kind of map of where things were headed. Now, mind you, it’s kind of like just putting destinations on a paper map. I know where I am going, but I won’t really decide which road I’m going to take until I get in the car. Old school. No Waze when it comes to writing the story.
As fascinating as that topic is (no, seriously, there are entire books on the topic), I’m actually going to speak to another incendiary topic near and dear to my heart. Nothing fires up a group of otherwise sane writers like the topic of Writer’s Block. I’m kidding–there’s no such thing as a sane writer. But Writer’s Block…that is a literary IED. There are many camps in this battle. From flat out denying its existence to taking it out on a date and wooing it so it leaves you alone.
I want to take a moment and thank those of you that still follow this blog. I know that it’s been hit or miss. We had a nice little run there during the holidays where it seemed I found my groove and then BLAMMO…nothing for like three months. It would be pretty easy for me to lay the blame on quite a few different things. Pandemic, high sugar intake, working my way through my bourbon collection, not being able to hang out with friends, the death of my grandfather, and even the fact that sometimes it’s cold as balls in Ohio and I just want to curl up into a ball and not leave the covers.
The reality is that it is all of those things. And none of those things. I’m sitting here in my newly christened writing space, in my recently organized bedroom and there is a peace, a contentment that I’m feeling that has been somewhat rare this past year, at least where the writing is concerned. The reality is, I didn’t want to write. I found reasons not to write. I think maybe it was partly imposter syndrome. I see The Treachery of Rainbows staring at my from my bookshelf–which I’m not going to lie, is ridiculously surreal–and part of me worries that I won’t top it. And that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Because how can you top the last book if you don’t write any more books?!? You see the problem here? Yeah. Me too.
And it’s not that the ideas aren’t there. I have the ideas. Well, I have snippets of the ideas. It’s just getting to the place where sitting down to wrangle them on the page actually seems like a good idea. And up until very recently, it hadn’t. So, is it truly writer’s block? Dude. I don’t know. I know that I need to write to feel like a whole human. I mean…I’ve nearly filled half of a journal in the last 10 days. So it’s not like I’m not writing.
So, yeah, writing in and of itself isn’t really the issue. I think one of the things that has been messing with me is that, while I like the stories I’m working on, I don’t really have a concrete thread of why the reader would want to care about the main characters. In fact, because both stories I’m currently working on are short stories, I haven’t quite found the groove. In short, it’s really a combination of things.
There is a bright spot to all of this, though. When I procrastinate, I tend to want to get things organized. On that front, my room is now a place that I enjoy spending some time and not just a place to go to sleep. I have the bookshelves sorted and somewhat matching, like I meant for them to look like a set. And my writing desk is finally the proper amount of sorted so that it doesn’t feel cramped or awkward. It feels like a place that I want to actually sit down and write. Kind of like I’m doing now. Baby steps, man, baby steps.
Well, I have crossed this ‘write a blog post’ off my to-do list. I must leave you now for another world that I’m creating. One in which Empaths are magical beings and their magic is being used to synthesize a drug to force people into having empaty. I have no idea where the story is actually going to lead me, but I hope you will come along for the ride!
See you soon my friends!