Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I walk alone

I walk a lonely road
The only one that I have ever known
Don't know where it goes
But it's home to me and I walk alone...
Green Day, "Boulevard of Broken Dreams"

Writing is a lonely job. Writers spend most of their time in an internal world, trying to come up with new stories (or having new stories materialize inside their skulls and pound on the doors to the mind, frantically demanding to get out). We spend much of the rest of our time with our fingers on the keyboard and our butt in an office chair, trying to get those stories transferred over to the computer without losing too much of our imaginings in the transference.

There's really no one you can turn to when a story won't cooperate. You can whine to writer friends, or try to work through the plot problems with your critique partners, but if the story doesn't want to transfer from brain to computer, sometimes there's nothing you can do about it. I don't like the term "writer's block," but there are certainly many things that can interfere with the orderly transfer of words from mind to keyboard. Kids that won't take naps at the right time of the day, other stories that need attention, the fear of failure, the fear of success... all these things can make it difficult or impossible to get a story written.

I've been having a bit of a hard time getting my partial for the interested agent finished. There are a number of reasons why, some of which are listed above. The baby isn't napping as regularly and reliably as he once was, I've been working on edits for The Shadows of Night, and I'm slightly paralyzed by the trauma of actually having my dream agent interested in my work. (Yeah, I know, we should all have such traumas.) Anyway, I've been a little stuck on this thing. But today I suddenly got a vision of where I'm going, and I sat down and started cranking it out. If I keep it up, I think I can easily be finished by the end of the week. Then DH can look it over and tell me what needs fixing (something always needs fixing!), and then it can go off to the agent again. Hopefully the agent won't think I'm too slow to bother with. But I'd rather hand in a well-written partial slowly than a poorly written one quickly.

Anyway... writing is a lonely road, and sometimes you get stuck on the road with a flat tire or other mechanical difficulties. But with patience, you usually get rolling again!


  1. "The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of meeting the schedule has been forgotten." - Unknown

    The great thing about this quote is its applicability to almost any aspect of life.

  2. Why are you hanging out on my blog? Aren't you supposed to be working or something?

  3. Hang in there Ellen!! I'm volunteer my eyes for your work -- anytime you need them!