As you can probably gather from the subject line, I'm extremely frustrated. I got up at 4:30 this morning, and went over to my desk to work on the book. Then the dog woke up and whined to be let out. I let her out, brewed some coffee, and brought her back in. I'd just sat back down at the computer when the dog jumped on Emma's bed and woke her up. So after about 45 minutes of distractions and shananigans, I was finally able to get back to the book...and stare at the screen for twenty minutes.
I can complain all I want about family obligations, and responsibilities other than working on the book, but the truth is that my main opponent when it comes to finishing this damn thing is me. I freeze up wondering if what I'm writing is moving the book along or if it's going into a crazy direction that will leave an editor looking perplexed and saying (as a literary agent who was confused about the middle of the book said), "Huh? What the hell is all this about?" Ok, the agent didn't say that second part but she did write "Huh?" right before she told me that my book would never sell without the help of a professional editor. I know that that's only one person's opinion and everything, but it only feeds my nagging doubts.
This is a sampling of the dialogue in my head:
positive me: "Yay! I have time to write."
hellish me: "What are you going to write about? Do you have any idea where the plot is going now?"
positive me: "No, but I can feel it out. I've written books before, I know I can do it."
hellish me: "Sure, you've written books that didn't sell."
positive me (weakening): "Well...yeah. But that's not necessarily an indicator that they weren't any good. And I've learned a lot from writing them."
hellish me: "Who the hell are you trying to convince? What are you, like a motivational speaker? This is crap that you would tell another blocked writer."
positive me, growing less positive: "I am a blocked writer and I need to hear - wait no, I mean I'm not. I am not a blocked writer, I'm writing right now."
hellish me: "Yeah, you're writing about feelings. This is real original of you, to write about how you feel."
defensive me: "I write about how the characters feel. Not me."
hellish me: "Oh come on, look at them. They're all just enormous megaphones screaming about how you feel. You just write about the same things and the same kinds of characters over and over again because they're all you."
defensive me: "That's not...well, sometimes it's true, I guess...I...Shut up."
hellish me: "What's the matter? Did I hurt your feelings? Why don't you go write about it, Feelings Girl? Oh wait, you can't. Because you're blocked! Ha, ha!"
defeated me: "God, I can really be a tool."
So I'm having a rough morning. And while I'm blogging about it I could be writing. I think what I have to work on more so than the book, is that asshole voice that gives me a daily beating. Deep down I know that I'm creative enough to fix the manuscript. The beginning and the end are right, it's just the road in between that needs polishing. I can't write it with black eyes and knuckles that are swollen from exchanging blows with the hellish voice. I need a Stuart Smiley pep talk. I can do it because I'm good enough, I'm smart enough, and gosh darn it, people dig me. Or something to that effect.
Back to the fray.