So I am writing this in my local Panera, on 38th Avenue in Denver, Colorado. Why am I here? Because I am frustratingly slow sometimes when it comes to writing. No. That’s not true. The truth is that I slow down. I get distracted.
I refuse to call what’s happening writers block. In fact, I don’t believe in writers block.
See, my understanding of writers block has to do with not knowing what to write next. But that seems to be a problem for pansters, not planners. (People who write by the seat of their pants. Me, I’m a planner.)
Since I outline every beat, every scene, I know exactly where I’m going. And even when I’m not motivated to write a scene, if I just get in front of a computer screen and do it, the words usually come. Sometimes there in the 1,000-1,200 range. Sometimes there in the 1,500-1,800 range. Sometimes I blow the roof off and write 2,500. But the words do come.
Yet here I am, five months into the first draft of a historical fiction and I’m only half way completed. My goals now are all askew and Nanowrimo is looming.
At the beginning of this year I published a goal of writing four books. Baring a miracle, that ain’t happening. I’m not really angry with myself, or disappointed. I’m just frustrated that I can’t get this together a little faster. These are first drafts.
In addition, my writer life, outside of the actual writing, has been extraordinary the last six months. (I will blog about that later.) I have been amazed and humbled by my greater tribe of writers here in Colorado.
In addition, I have reached out to some agents recently and they’ve been very receptive to what I’ve pitched. People want to read my stories. So it’s frustrating that I can’t (or won’t – self sabotage is an old friend of mine.) write faster.
I do see a pattern, however.
I have attempted three novels. I have done a complete top-to-bottom re-write of one of them, so I guess I could argue that I’ve attempted to write four. In every case I have trouble with the first half of Act 2.
I follow the late Blake Snyder’s screenplay outline called “Save the Cat.” The first half of Act 2 has three parts in it: The B Story, Fun & Games, and the Midpoint. I think I’m getting better at the Midpoint. I think that’s also true for the B Story. (Usually where a love story begins in many films and books,) It’s the Fun & Games, where we see the protagonist in their in their element, doing what they do best, that I struggle with. Each time I write I struggle with this.
I don’t really have an answer here, but I just wanted to share how hard it is to write a book. Even a crappy book requires time, patience, and dedication. Things I am willing to commit on this journey, but things that require effort. If any you have any suggestions, I would be happy to hear them.
Alright, this book ain’t gonna write itself.