Wednesday, July 6, 2011
Bossing Myself Around
I tell myself to buckle down, to get to work, to stop messing around. "Enough is enough!" I admonish. I mentally cajole, lecture, and yell. All to no avail. I just won't listen. There are all types and causes of writer's block and I guess unless you have physically lost the use of your hands, they are all psychological. I am suffering from a motivational writer's block. My story isn't going poorly, I'm not frustrated by my characters, I am just not writing despite my best efforts to force myself to do so. Confused yet? How can I both be the one telling myself to write and not writing? Well, I'm confused too. I am bossy. Ask my husband. Like bossy people the world over, I never thought I was bossy until presented with incontrovertible evidence (trust me), so now I am an admitted bossy boss. However, the person who is most resistant to be bossed around by me is.... me. It is so frustrating. I am so frustrating. Is this what it is like to have a teenager? If the whining thus far was not clue enough, I did not write at the library yesterday. I went to the library. I read a book instead. I then checked out a whole bagful and last night I read instead of writing again. The good news is that I stumbled onto a really great series and read the first three books in one sitting. The series revolves around the attendees of the Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women, which is a boarding school for future spies. So cool, right? Well, it's even better than it sounds because author Ally Carter has managed to do what no writer has done for me since JK Rowling- create a world that I absolutely want to inhabit. Just like I wished I could turn back the clock and be eleven again so that I could receive my acceptance letter to Hogwarts via owl post, I have a similar longing to be a Gallagher Girl. This brings to mind something I maybe lost sight of a bit in the past few months- why I write. I write because I love to read and I hope that my novels will make someone feel the way I do when I read a book I love. And there are a lot of different great feelings there- it can just be an utter appreciation of the crafting of a story (Henry Neff's The Tapestry series or the recently read The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan), the joy of truly fun adventure (all of Rick Riordan's books), awe (The Hunger Games trilogy), agonizing heartache (Bastard Out of Carolina is one blazing example), and so many more. In short, I want to write and if I can't boss myself out of this motivational block, maybe I can read myself out of it because reminders of why I want to write are all around me.