Friday, July 25, 2014

WB - The Dreaded Words

As a writer, there are a few things that scare me. Bad reviews, no reviews, people nodding and smiling when I tell them about my book and saying "Oh, that sounds different."

And then the scariest. Writer's Block.

I've never officially had it in a 'I can't even think of a single word to say', but more in a way of never being able to finish a sentence correctly. Lately, I've learned about just putting down what you're thinking in the first draft and going back later to edit it (thank you Stephanie Morrill and everyone else at Go Teen Writers for backing me up on that one!) but I've hit the sticking point.

I participated in a word war this week. Usually word wars are hour or minute timed things where you and other writers set a certain amount of time and see who can write the most words in said time. Go Teen Writers hosted one this week that lasted for a week and helped me to put 10,120 words into my sequel. I'm at 9,199 after deletions but still, it motivated me to put in some effort that's been sadly lacking in me for weeks. 

Right after Christmas, I was on a high from finishing my last book and really wanted to get to work on the sequel. A month later, with the rambling start of a sequel and the realization I really needed to put some serious edits into my first book, my steam died down a little. Other projects call my name and sometimes I sway to their call but my sights are set on finishing off my two book series and moving on too other things (while hopefully making a name for myself with my books :). As I've said before, I've dived back into Only Human with only occasional moments of depression and this week, I tackled the Big One. Things were going great but today, I'm just plain ole' stuck.

Writing is something I have a love/hate relationship with. I have thousands of stories in my mind, too  many to ever finish just the way I want them. The fact that I have a computer and the time to get some of those stories down is amazing. Unfortunately, I'm not the kind of girl born with words.

Anyone knowing me would laugh at that statement. If anything, I've been born with too many words but no, I mean words. The kind of words that make people stop and reread the sentence because they realize the sheer genius of the simple yet descriptive description. The kind of words that stick in people's mind, make people laugh, make people cry, or make people slam the book shut and ask when the sequel will ever be released. Even in my early teens when I cared less about technique and more about writing my thoughts down, I've liked words. Not like my older sisters who use words like 'fastidious' or 'supercilious' or 'trifling'. I know what all those words mean (thanks, guys ;) but I like simple words that bring a picture to my mind. I like Taylor Swift and one of the reasons I listen to her songs isn't the great melodies, because a lot of them sound similar, but because of the way she has of phrasing things. "I've never heard silence quite this loud", or "But you held your pride like you shoulda held me". Those lines have stuck with me for years.

I want to be that writer. The one whose words stick in peoples minds and make them want to come back for more no matter what the story might be about. 

I'm stuck in a rut right now where I feel like my characters are all carbon copies of each other, my books are boring and the same, and everyone speaks the same way. I know I'm not a terrible writer but right now, I'm not feeling like a good one. No one around me writes, no one around me understands what goes into me trying to put my emotions, thoughts, and work out there, and sometimes I feel like I'm going crazy. 

I want to write. It's the one thing I've stuck with all these years and one of the things that's actually stuck with me. No matter what happens to me, I can put it all in a story and make it all right. The problem is, now I'm having a hard time writing. Am I going to be one of those people who writes forever but never produces anything worth writing? Am I going to write a blog to myself for the rest of my life about writing but never actually reach my goal? 

-Anna Leigh

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