Monday, May 2, 2016

The Blank Page and Writer's Block

I finally got around to setting up my Goodreads author page. Do you like how I made it sound like it was just one in a long list of things I haven't got around to yet? Well, it is part of a long list, but it is a list of things I didn't even know authors were supposed to create. This self-publishing thing is such a huge, uphill, learning curve. But, I digress. One of the questions that it asked (I assume of all authors) was "How do you deal with writer's block?" I figured I would wait until I was in the throes of such a block, and then respond. This is what it looks like.

"What is writer's block?" one might ask. It is described by some as the fear of the blank page, but I don't agree with that. I would describe it more as the dread of the blank page. Fear or foreboding might be accurate for some, but I see the blank page as a mire that I will have to trudge through more than a hidden trap, full of danger. Writer's block to me is not the lack of an idea, but the feeling that the ideas in my head are too mundane, too undeveloped, and not at all compelling. This dread took me down for almost three months in the middle of writing "Age of Mystics".

So, what do I do about it? It is often true that the answers to life's questions are the most simple responses. It sounds stupid, but the way that you get through writer's block is ... you write. Some use free-writing. Some work on something else. But, sitting at the computer and hammering out a story, an outline for a new book, or even a blog post, can drag me out of the muck of my own creative malaise. It is that simple, you find something to write, and you write. It doesn't have to be good. No one need ever see it. You just write.

I have many friends, who after hearing me talk or post about being an author, tell me that they have these ideas they have wanted to write for years. I would suggest to every one of you who feel that way, sit down and write it. The world needs your ideas, your creations, and your stories. Just write. There are not too many authors already, that is mere bullshit. Just write. It may be near to impossible to get readers, trust me, but it doesn't matter. Just write.

Finish that novel. Publish that book of short stories, or poems, or recipes for pot brownies. Who cares? Just write. And when you do, drop me a line and I will read it and review it for you. The greatest task of an author, in the current age of self-publishing, is not producing material. It is getting someone to read and review your work, So, if I can help. Please let me know.

I am going to try to review some books soon, and set up a regular schedule of releases here on the blog. I am not a professional reviewer, but I won't review something I don't like (most of the time). For instance, I picked up three free Kindle reads a little over a week ago. I began all three. One of them kept me interested, and was a pretty good read. It was enjoyable. The other two were, I am sure, fine books. They weren't for me. I only reviewed the first one,  I want to be giving, and help other authors, but I also want to be honest and not punk my readers. My non-reviews can't be assumed to be a bad review, but my good reviews will mean I actually like it. That is the best I can do for others. But while we are at it, please take a moment to pick up a copy of either Age of Mystics (2.99 on Kindle store), or And the Rain Fell (short for 99c), and throw a review on it for me in Amazon, Goodreads, or your own blog. Whatever works.

Age of Mystics:

And the Rain Fell (Short):

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