Watching Jules & Julia again and it reminded me I had started a blog *cough* weeks ago and haven’t updated since.
Other than making me hungry and reminding myself that I’m a horrible cook, I love this movie because I consider it a writing movie. The character Jules has to face some of her own personal demons as she writes her blog and that is something I’m all too familiar with, writing demons.
Recently I found me a shield to protect myself from those demons, in the form of a book. I picked up “Around the Writer’s Block” by Rosanne Bane as an impulse buy at my favorite bookstore. Then when my free time exploded due to lack of work a month or so later, I picked it back up to read again. Like most writers, I have a round dozen books on writing [ Jason Ridler is not a normal writer, therefore he has several dozens], but this one resonated with me because she used cognitive research and therapy techniques in her advice on how to deal with your own personal block.
A lot of mine centers around this one little thought: My friends don’t even want to read my stuff, so why bother?
That right there froze five years of writing potential out of me. Five years I’ll never get back.
I had gotten used to instant feedback from the fanfic community. You posted it, they didn’t care if it wasn’t exactly publishable or that it had plot holes and more typos than a third grade essay, it was something about characters they already loved and they also loved to tell you about it. When I switched to writing my own fiction, all those comments dried up.
So now my intent is to rely on just my First Reader. She’s already read the first chapter of my new novel and has given her approval to keep going. And she likes my title! [Titles are harder than endings for me, I swear.] And here’s the kicker: No one else is allowed to read it until I finish. And damned if I’m not just, well if not flying along, I’m faster than not writing at all!
Not every writer has the same process, and not everything that works for me will work for you. That’s why there’s so many writing books out there, and why people keep writing more. What works for you is what works for you, and may work for someone else. But if you really want to write, and you can’t stop thinking of stories to write, you WILL find a way. Never stop trying, never give up.