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  • September 5th, 2006 | 5:10 PM
I can't

I can't write. 

I can't write a crummy first draft. I can't write an outline or a scene or a character sketch. I simply can't write. Nothing comes out.  I have tried writing junk and ended up writing my own name over and over again. Words don't get caught in my throat, tripping over themselves in a hurry to arrange themselves on my page. Characters hide in the shadows of broad daylight, taunting me with nightmares instead of daydreams. There are no voices in my head. When there are no voices, there are no words. 

I have had down time. I have read. I have worked in the garden and walked the dog and eaten way too much junk food in search of my words. 

And yet I can't write and worse, 
I can't NOT write.

I can't.
(Tags: )
There are so many stories only you can tell.Tell them, please.


( 58 comments — Leave comment )
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(Deleted comment)
September 7th, 2006 11:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Kristy.

I love this line:

"when you'd even forgotten
you were breathing. "

I mean, wow! That is SO it.
September 6th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
It must be the planets or something. I have a first draft, and I'm plowing through rewriting, hating much of it, because I haven't connected to the story yet, and it's frustrating.

That and my DSL connection keeps timing out. I don't know why.

I should feel better soon. House is on. Hugh is yummy.
September 7th, 2006 11:47 pm (UTC)
oh you have a first draft? (She says so nicely while all the time she is green with envy, drool pouring down the side of her face.)

Seriously, congrats on the first draft. That's the hardest for me. I love the rewriting. It's this darn create out of nothing that has me going insane.
September 6th, 2006 12:22 am (UTC)
I'm sorry, Susan! I've been there and it stinks. :(

September 7th, 2006 11:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Shelly. It helps to be able to whine to people who know just what I'm talking about. My husband tries, but it's not the same as whining to another writer.
September 6th, 2006 12:37 am (UTC)
Guess what?

That post sounded like WRITING to me.
September 6th, 2006 08:47 am (UTC)
Yes, T. Me, too. Could have sworn I heard some writing going on in here. {}

Extra love hugs to Susan. Just because.

(no subject) - tamra_wight - September 6th, 2006 03:30 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - susanwrites - September 7th, 2006 11:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
September 6th, 2006 12:41 am (UTC)
This may sound like I'm being sarcastic, or silly, but I'm not as it's worked for me: if you're having trouble with prose, have you tried experimenting with a poem? Sometimes it doesn't matter if the words make no sense whatsoever in the first draft. :)
September 8th, 2006 12:06 am (UTC)
No, it doesn't sound silly at all because that exact advice is how Hugging the Rock came to be. I never planned to write it in verse but I did, just playing around trying to get to know the characters, and then the whole book came out that way.

I think I need to figure out how to get out of my own way - anyone have a crane?
(Deleted comment)
September 6th, 2006 09:19 am (UTC)
Re: block
Tracie gives great advice. {{{}}}'s to you Susan.
Re: block - susanwrites - September 8th, 2006 12:11 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: block - susanwrites - September 8th, 2006 12:10 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - susanwrites - September 8th, 2006 12:12 am (UTC) - Expand
September 6th, 2006 01:18 am (UTC)
Have you tried opening up a fresh word processing file and set the font size to something outrageous, like 24 or even 36? Then select a really fun font, like Sand or Skia or some zany complex script. in that font, I'd write a letter or a story conecpt or a description or whatever. If a given paragraph wasn't working, I'd move to the next until I found just one thing that resonated with a deep part of my psyche. If this sounds insane, I apologize. Everyone has different rituals that work for them. :-)
September 8th, 2006 12:13 am (UTC)
I've never done anything like that before butI think it sounds like a fun idea, and I could use some fun! Thanks. I love hearing everyone's different ideas. At least I know I am not alone.
September 6th, 2006 01:25 am (UTC)
I was ON FIRE for June and July--August came and nothing! I took a break--got a tattoo, and tomorrow I'm back at it. If the tattoo isn't too sore that is.

It happens--the voices will come back.
September 8th, 2006 12:14 am (UTC)
Maybe you were smarter and actually CALLED it a break where I've just wallowing around not writing. And I know the voices do come back, usually, but this in-between time just plain stinks. :-)
(no subject) - amanda_marrone - September 8th, 2006 12:21 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
September 8th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC)
Re: Lots of good suggestions
Thanks so much for adding to the list of suggestions. I am trying to read outside my norm (though woman's magazines - shudder) LOL.
September 6th, 2006 01:51 am (UTC)
You crack me up.

Your book is on its way to me.

Proof that you have written, and will write again.

September 8th, 2006 12:17 am (UTC)
and your icon cracks me up.

Thanks for ordering my book!

I stink at the waiting for the "will write again" part.
September 6th, 2006 01:52 am (UTC)
Everyone has given great advice so I won't try to add any more, just some encouragement. :) I've been there too and it always comes back eventually. You may have to force it on some days and not get out more than 10 words, but eventually the voices will start to whisper again and words will flow. Look at that icon of your book, you CAN write and I know you WILL again. :)
September 8th, 2006 12:18 am (UTC)
10 words a day, now that might be a goal I could handle.

Thanks for understanding and sharing with me in my time of pain. Okay..not pain, great big pity party, but still, I love the company.
September 6th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
Welcome to the club.

I've said to people, "I'm afraid that I'm all out of words."

Even though, sometimes, they can truthfully say back, "But you wrote something last week."

It's a special kind of hell, I think, to be that kind of stuck. If it helps to hear that it usually gets better or at least deal-with-able: it does. And if it doesn't, then...sympathy?
September 6th, 2006 02:33 am (UTC)
If it doesn't help, that is.
(no subject) - susanwrites - September 8th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
September 8th, 2006 12:20 am (UTC)
Thanks for commiserating with me. Love the company. I hope I can channel the frustration to DC but he's being pretty darn frustrating himself.
September 6th, 2006 03:39 am (UTC)
Sigh. Me too. I had about a 1 month hiatus where I really could not get into it, and now am having a HORRIBLE time getting restarted. :(

Good luck getting unblocked. I know it doesn't last, for anyone, forever.
September 8th, 2006 12:24 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing. Hope you are able to get restarted again yourself without too much more frustration.
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( 58 comments — Leave comment )

Who am I?I was born on the Cancer/Leo cusp and share a birthday with Ernest Hemingway and Robin Williams. The similarities don't stop there as I can go from depressed to ecstatic without ever passing go. I feel scared most of the time though my friends call me brave and I find it easier to believe in my friends than to believe in my own abilities to make what I want out of my life.

Who am I? A wife, a mother, a daughter, and even, gulp, a grandmother.

Who am I? A writer who never gets tired of playing with words, even when the words are hard to find. A writer of books for children and articles for grown-ups and many things in-between.

Who am I? A motivational speaker, writing instructor, workshop leader and full-time follower of dreams.

Who am I? Read and find out.

Susan Taylor Brown

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