This post is exciting to me for a couple of reasons.
- It’s my 100th post.
- I’m coming off of a month-long dose of writer’s block.
- I’m celebrating 11 months on the blogosphere.
Holy wow! I never thought I would be 100 posts deep. Generally, any time I’ve made an attempt to write a blog or start a website or do whatever involves me sharing my writing, I get over it. Partially because I’m shy. Partially because I’m lazy. Partially because I lack motivation. If you’re a writer, you get it. Regardless, some of you have been around since the beginning, some of you have been around for a while, and some of you are still new. No matter who you are, thank you for taking the time to read my stuff:)
On this large dose of writer’s block I was unfortunately slapped with, I was able to reflect on some of my writing experiences and further gauge both my talent and my time management. I started a writing group with one of my best friends, because he and I share the bond of loving to write. His problem, though, is he is far too shy to share his work with anyone (which is silly because 100% real it’s good stuff) for a long list of reasons (because we all have them), and we get together now as an encouragement toward each other.
Been there, done that as far as the fear aspect.
As I said, it’s partially the reason I never thought I would last this long on this blog. I’ve posted story after story after story on here. Some have gotten good feedback. Some have gotten no feedback. I’ve posted rants, reviews, thoughts, advice — all sorts of stuff. And the reason I finally do it is because I have enough confidence in myself to not particularly care about those who don’t enjoy my work.
In this business, thick skin is a must. If you’re going to bleed out with the prick of a thumb, you’re not going to get very far. You always have to remember not everyone is going to like your work, but you should worry more about those who do. If you’re writing a novel, seeking representation and publication will more than likely be the most stressful thing you will ever do. But that’s okay. You have to prepare yourself for haters. They exist. And knowing someone out there will not like what you have to say is a very daunting feeling.
Hence the importance of loving your own work.
That’s pretty much what I told my best friend. You have to love your own work, or no one else will. If you never share it, no one will have the chance. And if you share it when you hate it, your own distaste will show. On top of all of that, you must remember books will never be perfect. You will always read back on a book you’ve written and want to fix something. I still believe J.K. Rowling has updated versions of all of the Harry Potter books. I’m just saying.
So now we love our work. Yay, how exciting. You’re going and going and going and going and then — nothing comes to you. You’ve just busted out 20,000 words in a week and now you’re staring at a blank page. What happened? Where did all of your excitement go? More importantly, how the hell are you supposed to get it back?
Every writer has their own reasons for writer’s block, and their own way of overcoming it. For me, when I bust out too much I get tired. I need to take a small break away from my novel to make sure when I come back, I produce good stuff. Not an easy task, especially when you’re hoping your book will save you from your corporate job and the faster it gets handled the better — but I digress.
I’ve discovered the importance of extraneous writing (or writing that no one will ever read), and really applied it to this wave of writer’s block. Backstory is extremely important, and while every writer knows that, writing the backstory of a character could be extremely beneficial. I’ve done a character sketch for my main character already. Not only did I write one for every other character (daunting), I wrote a couple of stories on how characters met each other, and I really delved into creating the mythical world I created. I made a calendar, created months, how many days in a year, what kind of connection your birth has with your personality (like a zodiac), all of that.
And then, when my writer’s block finally decided to subside, it was like a tsunami full of information flooding through the gates of my brain cells and pouring down into my fingers like a magical substance of life!
That was deeper than it was supposed to be.
I busted out 4400 words yesterday. 4400 words! That’s a personal record for me, and I couldn’t be happier about it. And I essentially got all of this information by writing fanfiction for my own stuff. Something I didn’t particularly think of, but still equally as important to remember: Your characters don’t start on page one. Page one is only where we come into their lives. Depending on their age, they have that many years before we come into page one, and as the writer you need to know what they did. Thus why it’s all extraneous. It’s obnoxious, it’s annoying, and no one will ever read it (unless you get a die hard fan group) but it’s necessary.
Lastly, remember to get to know you’re characters. I talk to mine all of the time. Am I ashamed? Pish posh. Absolutely not. My characters are awesome, and the more I get to know them, the better I can make them look on page.
So there you have it. Love your work, know your characters thoroughly, and put yourself out there. And above all, once more, thank you for reading 🙂