Tuesday, September 06, 2005

As requested

I was talking on the phone with Dadio who does my webdesign (and it's fabulous! Check it out!! And he's available!!!) and bemoaning my lack of writing lately, including on the blog. It's so sweet, really, the amount of people trying to help me break through with what my problem with this may be. I'm indebted forever.

One of the things I mentioned to him was that I had written my only completed novel on the laptop, not on the PC. It's a wicked cheap laptop, can't get online or do ANYTHING really but type on it, but the problem with it is the keys. You have to literally PUNCH down each letter. It's not a fast thing to type on by any stretch of the imagination.

Then a dear friend of mine GAVE me a 17" monitor. And I got back my super comfy, super cool leather office chair. I had transferred all of my writing stuff to the PC so I could sit here and type it all out - big screen, cool chair, all comfy and easier to mail out to critiquers since I don't have to save to disk then send, etc.

But now I don't know. Maybe being away from the computer area is what's holding me back. I sure don't intend to use that laptop anymore - talk about carpal tunnel with shoving those keys down. I tried my alpha smart, but with the tiny window it was kind of driving me nuts. Maybe I need to get that out again and see. Maybe just moving away from this area of my house, where I spend SO much time as it is, would help me break through this wicked stage.

It's not writer's block. My brain is still going a billion miles an hour with that stupid first chapter revision and with the other stories I've started. It's just that there's no DESIRE. I know I have to write anyway - at all costs, I MUST WRITE. Even if it's crap, I need to write. But just the idea of opening up WORD to write right now makes tears form.

As you know, I don't get any support here at home regarding my writing. If anything, I think it bugs the crap outta him that I have this "little hobby" at all. Thankfully, I don't give a rat's ass what he thinks, but still, it doesn't make for a happy writing environment, especially if he's on his off days (3 days at a time.)

Everyone I talk to (and trust me, it's a lot, apparently, that are concerned over this) says I'm making up excuses. Yes, I am. I know I am. But that doesn't change the desire to start writing. I can't even get through craft books I so desperately wanted to read. I can't hardly BLOG anymore, as you all know. Dadio thought maybe I was burned out. I laughed and said, "Hell, I'm CRISPY!"

Like Chris said in an email to me, I was the one that wouldn't be satisfied. I'd read and re-read, changing constantly even though she and Shari would say it was good to go out. You all know the fear of putting yourself out there for possible rejection, but so do I. This isn't a new thing for me - I've been rejected a thousand times. (SLIGHT exaggeration, but you know what I mean.) Maybe it's perfectionism. When I wrote the other day, and it was so, so SO bad, maybe because it wasn't clicking and it sucked I decided to just let it die away. If it can't be perfect, then maybe I don't want it. Which would be incredibly stupid thinking - no one sits down and writes a final draft out of the gate - of COURSE it's not going to be perfect. So maybe that's not it.

Maybe I'll just sit down and write nothingness. That's what started my last novel. It originally opened with, "She sat down at the keyboard and let her fingers fly over the keys, her brain flooded with ideas that needed to break free. She had no idea where to start, so she just let her brain tell her where she needed to go." And from that, I ended up with a 100K word novel. Of course, I later went in and took all that crap out. But that IS how it started. Maybe that's my thing - I have to type that jibberish before I find the substance.

So here's another rambling blog entry. I'm sure I wouldn't have bothered if Dadio hadn't practically threatened me to do it. (grin) I'm teasing you, John! But he's right - at least I'm writing SOMETHING.

Tomorrow is a brand new day. Maybe I can approach it with a brand new mentality. Maybe I just need to cry until there are no more tears to wring from my body. Maybe I need to run away, where I don't have to worry about money, or kids, or marriage, or laundry or dishes or anything else under the sun. Maybe it's time to just...escape.

At least into a good book from my own mind.


Theresa said...


Are you reading at all? Not for craft, but for enjoyment. Try picking up a favorite author, one you love, hopefully a book that you haven't read before. And Just forget about writing. Just read. Go back to the origins.

Sometimes I think we can totally drain the creative well. The creativity, the urge to write is just gone. Vanished. It's impossible to force it when the well is dry, because the effort simply doesn't seem worth it.

I've had this happen. And I'd turn to reading then. For pleasure. Totally devouring book after book. After a couple of weeks of reading the well refills, the creativity returns. The effort seems worth it again.

Maybe this will work for you too.


D said...

Hmmm, this really doesn't sound like the Brenda I know. I've never known you to give up on the goal you ahve in mind. If your waiting for the perfect novel, there will be a long wait. Write a crappy short story, heck turn a grocery list into a mystery. But the more you avoid doing anything, even badly, the more likely you'll begin to believe your own excuses.

time to shit or get off the pot.

D who felt you needed a good poke with a sharp stick.

Kelly said...

I hate laptop keyboards, but I like the mobility of being able to write somewhere other than my writing room if I need to, so I take my computer keyboard and plug it into my laptop and use it instead. Are you able to do that?

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Theresa, yes, I'm reading for entertainment - and of course, as I read, I point out the writing parts of it: conflict, character development, and all that jazz. Don't think I could read another book again without doing that.

Kelly, I don't know if I could do that or not, but I do know I can't get down on the floor under this computer desk and unplug and replug this keyboard all the time. But it IS something to consider if I can run across an extra keyboard. Heck, we may HAVE an extra keyboard around here. I'll have to give that a shot. Thanks for the suggestion.

D - you want to make my day?? Give me one less thing to ponder and tell me who you are. I thought you'd disappeared, but apparently you're still around and reading the blog. So after reading your entry in my email, I was driving the kids to school and trying to figure it out again. On top of everything else I have going on, now I'm adding trying to figure out your identity.

kacey said...

well, did you write anything yesterday? At all?

Hang in there. And sorry about the non support at home. That sucks and makes it so much harder.

But you know, I like to read blog entries about other writers struggling with all of this. It makes it seem like I'm not the only psychotic aspiring writer out there...

Shannon McKelden said...

Do you have a link to your fabulous website, dearie?! I'd love to go check it out, but I can't FIND it. :-)

Also, make sure you've given yourself permission to write crap. Crap can be cleaned up. Also, try writing long-hand for a while (usually takes only a short while in my case, because I can't read my frickin' handwriting, so I give up and go back to the computer). :-)

Brenda Bradshaw said...

Oh. Right. It's BrendaBradshaw.net. Dot com wasn't available. Grrr.

I did write yesterday - on the blog. That was the extent of it, although my email is being flooded out with "challenges".

Last night while cooking dinner, of course this topic was haunting me. I found myself listening to two voices, much like a protagonist and antagonist, and I thought, "I should write this down." If I do, I may write it on the blog. I may write it on Word then print it off then burn it. Or I may go and lay down on the couch and THINK about writing it. I do a lot of thinking lately.