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Thursday, May 24, 2012

Breaking a Break

So let's talk about trying to start writing again after a long break. This is where I'm at right now and it seems like a topic worth blogging about.

A little background. In June 2011, I was told my day job was being relocated from Minneapolis to Atlanta--1100 miles away. I opted to take the relocation. I'd agreed to write a story for Crave the Night shortly before the work announcement, so I wrote and wrote until September. After that came edits, which is writing, but not really--if that makes sense.

For me, revision of words already written is much different than writing new words/new scenes. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it's more sharpening the blade then rather than creating the knife. If that makes sense.

My move to Atlanta happened in January and by the time things settled down and I tried to start writing again, it was March. And then I went back to Minnesota in April and spent three weeks working on my house to get it ready to sell. That meant I lost the small (very small) bit of momentum I was building to start writing again, and right now, it's simply torturous to try.

It's always tough to start writing again after time off. This is one of the reasons why I've only taken a very brief periods off between books, but there was nothing I could do about the move.

Now the question becomes how do I restart?

The obvious answer (for me at least) is writing and writing until it starts coming back to me. I've been trying this, but the words I get, no matter how hard-fought they are, have to be cut. Everything that's coming out is just plain bad right now. Which makes it hard to keep writing because I get so discouraged. How can it be this difficult?

I've been burnt out before. I've dealt with a total creative numbness during that period, but this is nothing like that. This time the characters are there. The general stories are there. I can even see and hear the scenes in my head, but when it comes to putting them down in pixels, it's like they're blown away and I have no words. None.

I tell myself just to write anything, to not worry about setups or transitions. The important thing is simply to find words again and get them down. It's easier said than done.

I'm thinking I might try writing only dialogue since I still hear conversations...when I'm away from my computer and there's no chance of my getting them down. That's the only idea I have right now to try to bust through this wall. If you have any suggestions, please share them. I need all the help I can get.