Monday, October 11, 2010


I haven't been writing very much lately, and in a therapeutic email to a writing buddy, I sort of figured out why.

I'm thinking about it too much. I'm obsessing too much. As I'm drafting I'm worrying that I'm using too many adjectives. I write a paragraph and I start editing it and changing it because I'm so paranoid that reviewers are going to hate my first chapter. I don't know what to name my characters because I'm worried about following trends, or breaking trends, or choosing a name that a particular editor just really hates for some reason.

So I gave some of this advice to my friend, and now I think I need to follow it as well.

I need to step back. I need to write something actually for me, not "for me" and secretly I'm compiling a list of agent names in my head. Not "for me" and I'm thinking about how awesome my crit partners will think it is. Actually FOR ME.

See, the problem is, I know too much. I know the first chapter is the most important. I know that agents are sick of certain paranormal creatures. I know that a debut novel needs to be followed by something similar. These things are all affecting my writing, and if I didn't know any of this, I would write my drafts with far less stress, and with far more happiness.

But I know all these things and I can't un-know them. I can't go back to when I first started and wrote freely because I loved it and I didn't know it was bad to have a prologue that didn't move the plot along, and I didn't care that I abused adjectives, and I didn't care that my fantasy characters had crazy unpronounceable names.

And I've got to get back to that point.

(I think I sounded much wiser and more eloquent in the email to my friend.)

But anyway. I'm going to take a short break from blogging, and unfortunately I'm also going to take a short break from reading all of your blogs. I can't exaclty un-know all of the writing advice and information in my head, but I can stop myself from reading and refreshing it every single day.

I'll be back in November, clear-minded and ready for NaNoWriMo (I still haven't decided on a story.)

See you all in a couple weeks!


  1. Dude, that email rocked. You totally inspired me, so I'm glad you inspired yourself too.

    I was actually going to write a blog post based on your advice, but now I don't have to.

    I hope you're not taking a break from your email because my sainity is in trouble if you are.

  2. A reboot! Sound advice, just make sure you come back! :)

  3. Stepping back can be a useful strategy.

    I hope things go well for you during your time away.