Tuesday, September 13, 2016

the start of something new

Help! I've forgotten how to write!

Or so it feels. Having been at college for a year as well as living out a lazy, crazy summer, I've hardly typed out a single creative word. Oh, of course, I've written a couple short stories, a handful of papers, and even a full program on the making of a short film, but that is the full extent of it.

I've started working on a new novel. It's absolutely darling, especially as I adore the era in which it's set. I love the idea behind the story, I love the setting, and I'm learning to love the characters. The heroine and I have similar flaws and tastes, and there's also a typical big brother figure that I love to write. Somehow, however, I've managed to hit that road block only thirteen pages in. It's not quite writer's block. I think I'd label it writer's discouragement, stemmed from rereading previous paragraphs too much.

Whenever I finish a novel or novella, I'm always struck with a fear that I will never write another novel again. That haunting fear that... well, that this is it. There's no more creativity left in me. Or at least, not enough talent to be able to pound out the ideas that seem so grand in my head.

I've resorted to my usual remedies. Chocolate. (Sorry, Em, haven't actually tried the coffee trick yet.) I've listened to dozens and dozens of inspiring songs. I've surfed Pinterest. Somehow they only stamp me deeper into this rut. Seeing so many astonishingly beautiful creations of other people only makes me long to make something beautiful even more, and it slams lies into my head that I cannot and will not ever make something as beautiful as they have. And perhaps I won't. Perhaps I can't.

I think I've stumbled across the answer I need. I think the answer is the exact verse Nike keeps repeating to us. Just do it. Just write. Keep writing and don't look back. Editing will happen later. Polishing will happen later. Rough cuts are specifically rough cuts. Write and enjoy it. It doesn't have to be perfect. It never will be. But it can be beautiful anyway.

So I think I'll just keep swimming. Just keep writing. Someday, Little Red Kites will be a completed novel. And on that note, I'll leave you with this darling clip. Pretty sure I've unashamedly developed a crush on Fred Astaire.

If you have any tips for overcoming this familiar writer's block, 
I'm more than eager to hear them!


  1. I know exactly how you feel, Emily! Though I've yet to complete a full-fledged novel (frankly, plot is not my strong suit) I keep dreaming about one day completing the story that's been in my head for several years. It just seems like every time I look at authors I admire, movies that strike a chord in me, even songs that I adore - any form of story telling that I love, really - I first think "I want to create something like that!" ... with the follow-up of "Surely I'll never be able to write anything as good."

    But like you (Nike?) said, we've just got to do it. It's so encouraging to me to hear fellow writers talk about their own fear of "not creating something as beautiful as... blank." I guess the fact that we all have faith in one another to write beautiful stories counts for something, even if we don't have faith in ourselves to do it. :)

    - Emily @ forthebookish.com

    1. Plot is actually what I am struggling with right now, too! I have characters and dialogue completely covered, but description is not coming very easily and plot refuses to show his face at all. I think I need to sit down and sketch up an outline if I am to get anywhere at all.

      Like you said, sometimes it's encouraging even to hear you're not alone in a fear! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Oooh, this is a hard one. I always get this after finishing a project. I guess one of my best tricks is allowing myself to write really badly without looking back, and once I get back into the flow of writing again, I can be a little more particular. My first drafts are usually horrendous looking though...

    1. I think I need to sit myself down and do just that! AWGF came along so easily and beautifully that I sort of forgot most books don't work like that. They generally take a lot of blood, sweat, and tears!

  3. "Whenever I finish a novel or novella, I'm always struck with a fear that I will never write another novel again." I have the same exact problem ... but I have to just keep creating and embrace my messy attempts. But seriously, YOU CAN DO THIS!! I love your work, Em. Keep writing and never stop.


    1. I can always count on you to encourage my writing endeavors! :) Thank you thank you thank you!!

      P.S. OK FINE GI

  4. {Hey, this is me reading your blog. XD}
    Fred Astaire is boyfriend goals. And yes, press on! I've found it's the only way to ever make it through a rut. :)

    1. I'm so proud. :')

      Oh, whew, glad you approve of Fred. And yes, I think I've settled on the right method of getting through the rut. Just keep moving! Thanks, friend. :)