Monday, June 29, 2009

In the Beginning was the Word

It's not that I have no ideas for the next book (the one I was supposed to start working on last week). I have plenty of ideas. Some of them, I stupidly shared with others:

"Don't write that," I was told. "Nobody's buying that concept."

"Don't write that," someone else said. "Shifters are hotter. Write shifters."

So there they sit on their shelf, my poor little unmarketable, non-shifty ideas. Next to them sit a couple of others who are similar enough (lacking shifterliness) to make me worry.

Oh, em, gee! Have you seen my schedule? Sure, I can scribble junk on a notebook longhand while I sit in a parking lot for ten minutes waiting for the Stevenses, Jr. to get out of summer camp, but really, what's the point? None of those words will make it into a book anyway.

EXCUSE #3 (The Deep Thoughts)
It's a fear of commitment. Once I embark on my unsaleable shifterlessness project, that's it! I have to see it through. And what if I hate my protags? What if my antag takes over the story? What if I invest 100,000 words in the initial draft and have to throw all of them, ALL of them back out again? What if I can't figure out what to name this dude? What if he ends up just another Nathan Kamp look-alike cardboard romance hero? I AM DROWNING IN ANGST!

I have a blog to write and post.

Oh, wait. It's finished. Well, crap.

Help me procrastinate (don't worry, you won't end up #5 on this list): What excuses do you use to put off getting started? And if you are rolling your eyes as you read this, enlighten us: How do you overcome initial inertia to get your book rolling?

*No. Clint has nothing to do with this post. I just like the picture.


  1. Come and read my new blog. That's a good waste of time. In fact, you should be a follower so I have more than 2.

  2. Hi :)
    This was a great blog post. I was grinning throughout.
    The internet is a major time-waster for me. It's amazing how the minutes (er, hours) can fly by.
    Love From Canada

  3. Oh, procrastination...yeah. Well, it starts by reading everyone else's blogs, then devolves into "refining" a completed story/synopsis/query. Avoid "prepping" for conferences (like Nationals) because it leads to anxiety attacks. A wholly justifiable procrastination is conquering the TBR pile. After all, we must be well read if are to be...well read. Added bonus = books are portable and fill the inevitably variable waiting-for-junior time.

  4. WARNING: Consciousness Streaming...

    I umm...suck as a writer. I can't write worth sh*& and I'm such a bad writer. IMPOSTER SYNDROME! DAH, DAH, DAAA--(does that sound like menacing music?) I'm hopeless with this. I find any reason to be distracted. I guess it's a combination of fear of success, of the unknown, of failure (this is probably the major culprit.) As the Psychedelic Furs proclaim in LOVE MY WAY--"You can never win or lose if you don't run the raaaaace..." Hmm, good point!

    I've always felt as if I'm on the cusp of cusps. :-) I like short cuts and I'm way too impatient. Okay, I think I write well enough for a few great scenes--wait, let's cut this down to paragraphs or even sentences, shall we? But then what?

    I've put together two manuscripts of over 240 pages they're still not ready. I know this, so why am I not working furiously to make them ready? My glaring, humbling conclusion=I AM LAZY!

    So where's that workshop that'll motivate my energy, stimulate my chakras and free me from this lazy demon?--Oh and take me away from my WIPs...giggle, giggle.

  5. Can we vote on your next nothing-to-do-with-the-blog-topic picture? I vote Nathan Fillion, and please note I had that vote in before Rosie thinks of suggesting Gerard Butler (although, I might enjoy his picture, too!).

    I'm with Rosie on the Imposter Syndrome, as you well know. As to procrastination, I'm darn good at that, but it's not my biggest problem. Knowing when to stop revising is mine. I have a really frustrating way of "learning by writing," so any story I'm working on has to go through a gazillion revisions until it gets anywhere close to "right."

    Before I can even consider starting something new, I feel the need to go over all those somewhat-completed-but-nowhere-near-ready-to-submit stories gathering dust on my computer.

    It frustrates me to read the comments you've received. What if J.K. Rowland listened when her friends said, "Don't write that -- no one has wanted to read about a young boy since Mark Twain got published." So no one is buying it? Well, maybe they haven't bought other books on that topic, but by the time you complete your story, the market could have totally changed.

    If you only write about what you think will sell -- what fun is that? Write because you love to write, about whatever moves you or makes you excited to get back to the keyboard. Let others follow the well-worn paths; do what Robert Frost suggests and take the road less traveled. Or not. It's your story -- do what feels right to you.

  6. GERRY, GERRY, GERRY! But the Fillion kid, aint' chopped liver. He'll do. ;-)

    Anyway, Becke's points stir up, perhaps another blog topic, Keri: When do we know when the MS is ready? When should we stop revising, fleshing out, changing entire plots?!!!

    Is it a gut feeling? Is there a formula?--If I think about this long enough in my lazy chair, I may never finish. See, I can go on and on with the procrastination.

  7. First, and most importantly, thank you, Becke and Ro, for your eye-candy-on-the-blog suggestions. Trolling the interwebs for more pictures is yet another tool to add to my kit. Along with KAK's bloghopping (especially over to Genevieve's place). And Rob, thank you for the retweet. I think I've already written a novel's worth on twitter. And now I shall sob.

  8. Okay-well, I write women's fiction, contemporary, chick-lit whatever you want to call it and that went out years ago-RIGHT? Wrong! If it has, then why do chick-lit books get published every day-Bump in the Road, Confessions of a Shopaholic, Wild Water Walking Club, Whistlin' Dixie in a Nor'Easter- I could go on...And if so then why are editor's and agent's requesting my submissions (okay I am getting rejects but that is b/c my writing probably isn't ready in THEIR minds...the nerve!)
    I am in a RWA chick lit chapter and there are several gal there that are coming out with new stuff all year long...
    If I listened to people that such and such genre is "OUT" - I wouldn't be writing.
    Trust me...if one of my novels stricks a cord with an editor/agent, that book will be published.
    I say write from your heart and write what you want to write, not what is "in style", besided since when have you followed in other people's footsteps?
    For the rest of your blog...I will have to comment later, because the beginning really struck a cord with this chick-litter!!!

  9. Come back, Tonya! (But when you do, don't comment on excuse #2, because I KNOW you rolled your eyes at that one!)