The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug. **Mark Twain

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Writer's overload block

I'm sure there's not a writer alive that hasn't experienced writer's block.  We all face the white screen hoping that some mystical transition will take place and in a white cloud of smoke - pulizer prize winning words will appear.

I'm wondering though if some of you have experienced writer's overload block.  That's when my agent likes the proposal but thinks it drops off here and there and needs some punching up.  "Can you check all 40,000 words against the Chicago Manuel of style and make sure chapters 3, 5 and 8 don't drag as much as they do."

"Sure I can do that."  I respond in my brightest voice.

It's only days later when I stare at the mountain of work and wonder if I'll ever be able to complete the necessary fixes.  My head hurts and I wonder why I ever started this project in the first place.  Sound familiar? 

A lot of famous people have the same problem. 

Dorothy Parker is quoted with "I hate to write.  I love to have written."  Many writers have used this quote to express their frustrations with writing.

Writing a book is a horrible, exhausting struggle, like a long bout of some painful illness. One would never undertake such a thing if one were not driven on by some demon whom one can neither resist nor understand. ~George Orwell, "Why I Write," 1947

Being an author is having angels whisper in your ear - and devils, too. ~Graycie Harmon

A writer is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people. ~Thomas Mann, Essays of Three Decades, 1947

One ought only to write when one leaves a piece of one's own flesh in the inkpot, each time one dips one's pen. ~Leo Tolstoy

If I'm trying to sleep, the ideas won't stop. If I'm trying to write, there appears a barren nothingness. ~Carrie Latet

Writing is a struggle against silence. ~Carlos Fuentes

Every writer I know has trouble writing. ~Joseph Heller

Writing is easy: All you do is sit staring at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead. ~Gene Fowler

Today, I'm plowing into my book and taking it one word at a time.  Just like the old saying how do you eat an elephant?  One bite at a time.  Today, I'm biting at my manuscript. 

Huff....Puff...stare into space....

I'll leave you with the best quote of all.

Ink on paper is as beautiful to me as flowers on the mountains; God composes, why shouldn't we? ~Terri Guillemets

God loves you and has called you to write,


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