Join my email book club. Over 350,000 people read 5-minutes a day. To see what books I'm featuring this week, go to: http://www.dearreader.com/
Telling a story is easy when you're sitting across from a friend, "You won't believe the funny thing that happened to my Aunt Nellie last weekend." But sometimes when you sit down to write that same story--suddenly facing a blank computer screen makes it feel frightening and the words get all jumbled up.
Today's column is made up of notes I wrote to myself on a day when I was thinking, 'Suzanne, you'll never be able to write again.' I'm sharing this glimpse of a writer's bad day, in case you haven't entered this year's "Write a Dear Reader Contest." Perhaps you haven't entered yet because you're experiencing writer's block, or maybe you're just plain scared to even try? But don't worry. If that's what you've been feeling your fears are completely normal, and after you finish reading "Notes from a bad writing day," you'll be inspired to begin. Because even though I write for a living there are days when that blank computer screen frightens the bejeebers out of me, too.
Notes from a bad writing day...
Can't seem to write anything. I start writing, running with an idea and then I fall off the cliff. Can't remember what I intended to do with it. Maybe it just sounded better when I first thought of it, like the dress that looked so cute on the hanger, but when I tried it on, what a mess!
Usually when I sort through things I recognize the difficult part I'm facing, but I always face that part, that's nothing new. I wade through the hard part of writing, but today I can't find my way. I want to write, want to feel the high of being in the groove, but it's just not anywhere that I can grab a hold of it.
There isn't any other option but to continue on until something becomes clear to me. I have a daily column that's due, so unless I want to post a sign, "Writer Temporarily Out to Lunch" or "Writer Temporarily Lost her Mind" I'm going to have to churn out a column. I used to tell myself if I sit in the chair long enough "IT" will come. And IT always does show up eventually, but right now my Mojo isn't within reach.
What do you do when IT won't come to you? Well if IT isn't going to come to me, then maybe I'm going to have to go looking for it. Maybe it's hiding out down by the water, I could walk down there and take a look. Maybe it's hiding out in my cookbook? Instead of "Where's Waldo?" Where's Suzanne's IT that allows her to write? Perhaps I'd find IT in the fingertips of a massage therapist, or shopping for shoes?
Those notes (and I confess, a new pair of shoes) helped me find my missing Mojo. So if you've been having problems getting started on your Write a Dear Reader Story, you've now been given permission to get a massage or buy some new shoes. What a deal! But don't forget about the actual writing part--because there's only 13 days left to send your entry and I'm looking forward to reading your story.
To see the prizes, read last year's winning entries and to get the details about the "Write a Dear Reader Contest," go to: http://tinyurl.com/55n995
Thanks for reading with me. It's so good to read with friends.
AUTHORBUZZ: New authors, old favorites--all wonderful books you can win: John Shors, Dragon House; Michelle Moran, The Heretic Queen: A Novel; Jane Velez-Mitchell, iWant: My Journey from Addiction and Overconsumption to a Simpler, Honest Life; James R. Benn, Evil for Evil; Maureen Lang, Look to the East. Go to: http://authorbuzz.com/dearreader