Roberta Branca

Archive for the ‘Writer’s Block’ Category

Don’t Be A Writing Diva

In Procrastination, Support, Writer's Block, Writing Practice on September 18, 2010 at 11:18 pm

All writers face this scenario: You’ve made the time to write. Maybe you turn on soft music, make sure the dog/cat/other pet has their needs taken care of so they won’t bother you, etc. And you stare at the computer screen/blank page/chalkboard utterly unable to get going.

Or, you’re typing/writing away and you know it’s crap. Just utter blah. So you decide to call it a day until “The Muse” comes to you again.

Recently I was whining to my significant other about writer’s block, and he responded in his usual frank way.

“You don’t have enough publication credits yet to be a writing diva.”

We were in a lovely Greek restaurant so luckily I was in a receptive mood. Plus, there was a lot of truth to it so it seemed only right to take it in good humor. I have two short stories published online, and another published as an electronic book. I am already working on a mystery novel in spite of these thin credits.

For one thing, my production rate is not high enough to worry about whether I have anything to say or not; I have to write on a daily basis even if I have to unravel all the work later and start over. Everything I’ve ever read about writing from published writers says that you have to write nonsense every day just to stay in practice. Spit-and-polish comes later, after some more disciplined work with your editing hat on.

What I take away from this brief conversation is that my writing practice won’t happen in a vacuum. I need supportive yet honest people around me who have the right to share in my failures if I expect them to revel in my joys and empathize with my sorrows. Also, while it may be true that I have a sixth sense that I was born to be a writer, the act writing itself will only happen as an active, daily choice.

As Stephen King says in his book On Writing: Even Thoreau stopped staring at the pond and wrote a book.