Writer, Know Thyself

4 Jun

There are several question every writer hears All.The.Time. Allthetime.

One of these is, “aren’t you afraid you’re going to run out of ideas.” The answer is always no. And then it was yes. But really, it’s no.

Okay, I swear this all makes perfect sense in my head (scary place to live, fun place to visit).

Let me explain before you bring in the straightjacket.

I have a ton of ideas floating around in my noggin. I keep the files on my hard drive and the little notebook in my tote. They have several really great ideas or premises (and one that I”m still mourning which I promised people I’d let go off when someone else sold it…I’m working on it *says bitterly*)

So, Secret Book 2 is being revised (pre-agent revisions) Secret Book 1 is about to get re-revised (post-agent revisions) and I realized I need to actually be writing something. The list is really long of great (look at that humility) ideas to work on next. I tried to start a few and nothing was “clicking”… things weren’t falling into place. Writing felt a lot like work — not in the “Oh, I’m working hard” way but in the “Take this job and shove it” way.

I was majorly stressing about this. I was actually doing a little inner freak out. What if I had three books in me and they were done? How would I explain that to my writing peeps and the agent? How would I give up that dream? What would I do with my passion time?


Okay, breathe.

Stop. Think.

Breathe again. Again.

Okay. Got it.

Remember every time you started a book, Bree… I can call you Bree, right Bree? Remember? Remember how every time it felt like nothing was going to come together and that you couldn’t get past chapter one? Remember how every time you’d say, “You know what, just add the main points and move on”???? Remember how every time you’d do that and then start writing and things would begin to fall into place?

How ya doin’ there kid? Breathing?

Good. Remember – this is what you do. Every time. Starting (okay and the last 2 pages b/c shouldn’t everyone just guess the ending since you know what it is at that point so you can move on) is the hard part for me. It isn’t getting to know my characters or really understanding them.

Once that little talk was over, once I’d reminded myself that I stunk at starting a new project, breathing became easy again. Oh, I’m still worried about the next book, but who isn’t? But the key, the really important thing, is to know ourselves and what we excel at and what we flounder about with.

I’m thinking about heading over to our cafepress store and making a magnet that says: BEGINNING A NEW BOOK: This too shall pass  — because that reminder might make next time a little easier to get through.

Also, probably a  SYNOPSIS: This too shall pass magnet since I just remembered I need to do one for Secret Book 2. Bummer.

What’s your thing? What’s the writerly thing you need to reminder yourself you just need to get through to get to success? Maybe I can make you a magnet too!


Yes, I went and made them in magnets, mugs and notebooks! I see a reminder mug in my future.



7 Responses to “Writer, Know Thyself”

  1. Linda G. June 4, 2010 at 6:21 pm #

    I don’t mind beginnings so much–in fact, they are the most fun for me. Love sliding into home at the end, too. It’s the middle that is always crisis time for me. I’m terrified of sagging in the middle. (Hmmm. Much like real life.)

  2. briaq June 4, 2010 at 6:31 pm #

    LOL *glances at middle in mirror* I think I’m ok…. for now 🙂

  3. Katrina Williams June 4, 2010 at 8:27 pm #

    Oh man. I need to tell myself: “Self, almost EVERYONE sells something other than their first couple of books. It’s OK if you’re on book three and still figuring everything out.”

    Personally, I need an “Internal Editor-Free to a Good Home” magnet.

  4. Kimberly Farris June 4, 2010 at 8:59 pm #

    I have to remind myself to keep it simple. I have a tendency to make things more complex than they need to be.

  5. danieford June 4, 2010 at 9:46 pm #

    I need to remind myself to balance the complicated and complex with simple and fun moments to vary the pacing.

    I struggle with starting and then the middle. If I can get the first sentence down I usually go pretty good til the middle part and have to find the momentum again.

  6. briaq June 4, 2010 at 10:35 pm #

    These are all great – we all have our thing. I think that kind of goes to what Katrina was saying about craft books in ACers a few weeks ago – b/c we all need different help/guidance

  7. Sasha June 5, 2010 at 3:09 am #

    Great post. My magnet would probably say Editing: This Too Shall Pass. I find the editing process even worse than the drafting, but I’m going to keep going. And I’m not sure about my endings. Then again, they are relatively new to me….

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