First, I have to give a warning. I’m writing this at 1 am, I feel like complete crap, and my iPhone 7’s autocorrect is a ducking wrench sucker. (I’m tired, but not tired? And just don’t care enough to fix it if it semi makes sense.)
“Oh, but Writer’s Block doesn’t exist!”
“Sit down and write fifteen minutes a day! You’ll get back in the groove!”
“Quit complaining, put your ass in the chair, and write the f*^%ing book!”
Yeah, well, you don’t see it, but I’m holding up both middle fingers to all the ridiculous positivity right now.
I am not used to this. The whole Block thing. I have also sniffles and have blown my nose until my eyes felt like they would pop out of their sockets today, so I get to express how much I feel like the rotten side of ass.
I’m generally a positive person.
I wanted to write something for some writers who are going through the same thing. The writers who are ballsy enough to publish on their own. The writers who bust their asses because they had this crazy notion they can get by as their own boss. Because, honey, I’ve written 7 books, and I’m still facing a dreaded Block, the in-between of books where I’m not sure what the hell I’m writing next.
First, I’m writing for myself. Actually, that’s my first point…
1.) If you’re stuck, write for yourself.
Forget reader expectation and that giant series you’re working on that needs to be put right now. If you start to write for yourself, whether it be a total brain dump about all your worries or stress in a journal or writing a book review, do something for yourself. I forget to do this quite a bit.
2.) Show binges are amazing.
True Blood. Sookie and her many lovers–I didn’t realize I needed to rewatch the show until the cold I have currently picked up laid me in bed all day and I couldn’t think of nothing else to do but throw the show on so I could listen to it (because ow getting a cold when you’re an adult hurts). I’m not saying YOU have to watch it. True Blood might not be your cup of tea. It could be Grey’s Anatomy, The Office, Doctor Who, Bugs Bunny–what the f*^% ever.
My point here–take time for yourself, because when you’re a writer and you’re self publishing, you can get too focused on what you need to write and how you need to write it to remember to be a freaking human.
I also never got around to watching season 7.
3.) Let your mind wander.
I’m bitching hardcore about not being able to write, but that doesn’t mean my brain isn’t still grabbing a hold of ideas for future books. I’m still writing–sort of. The only other time I went through one of these, I wound up with stacks of material that later ended up in Cheap Tricks. I’ve been in my bullet journal constantly between editing and attempting to decide on my next project (right now I want to write my damn trilogy). Honestly? I don’t have access to all of my writing files at the moment because my iMac is out of commission and so I know this will pass once I have access to my main writing folder again…
4.) Back up your shit.
I’m sure you’ve hear this before… but back up your files. Back them up on iCloud, one note, hard drives, Drop Box–whatever you have access to. This isn’t really on the same line of thought I had a second ago but I thought I’d throw it in there because it is contributing to my damn Block.
5.) It’s okay to flip flop on writing projects.
This is something I personally struggle with–I don’t know which f*^%ing book I want to write next. No joke–I’ve got three novels and a novella on the list of books I’m planning on tackling soon. I never have an issue finding ideas for my next book. I sat on the one I had for my last novel for two years before I sat down and actually wrote it. I threw away ideas, combined them, and redesigned Sophie a million times until I was happy with her. I’m sort of at that point with my next character, but I’m also sitting here thinking, “Dear God, Mara. This idea is crazy. You’re crazy for paying for covers you aren’t even going to use. Stop looking at pre-mades on Kellie’s Facebook group. People are gonna hate this entire idea and you’re gonna write trash and then trash will be connected to Kellie’s name and she’ll never sell you another cover again!”
Sound familiar for your own writing project?
I think I finally know why I’m doing this–the flipping back and forth thing. I want to end one series, but I really need a break from it at the same time. I’m dipping out of my New Adult genre a little because the MFC (main female character) has experienced life more than my others from previous books. She’s not naïve like Bri, but she’s not comfortable with herself like Sophie. I’m also not setting this book in any place I’m comfortable with–I’m doing a lot of research. Writing a new trilogy takes time and I need to freakin’ forgive myself. In the mean time, I am trying to get things out on a Word doc or paper, but I don’t want to worry about many files to move over when I have my iMac back (okay, I’m embarrassed, but that’s okay. It’s in pawn. I had to pawn my computer, my reasons are personal, and I’m getting it out March 5th. My little brother saved my ass by loaning me his MacBook Pro.) I also bought covers that have the same model on it, and so it’s going to be all about her, and I’m kicking my ass for not thinking about it more (but OMG are they gorgeous).
I feel like my train of thought was all over there…but whatever. Blame it on the cold.
6.) Don’t buy covers until you’re halfway in the project.
I feel this is self explanatory. Insert more feeling like an idiot (but OMG THE COVERS I HAVE ROCK). Unless you are ABSOLUTELY sure that book is happening and you’re not trend/trope chasing, don’t buy the cover yet.
That’s all I can think of at the moment. There are more. But I had to write this, not only to get it off my chest, but so maybe I can think more clearly when I sit down to work on Broke Peach later. And yes, that is the title book title. I’ve at least got that and a solid base for the rest of it.
I’m gonna get through this Block. And if you’re having doubts about your own writing, you’ll get through it too. There I go with my positivity crap again–maybe I’ll start feeling better soon.