Friday, 7 January 2011

2010, The Year That Blew (Or Dragging Myself Out of Writer's Block Hell)

Jan: Make grand plans to begin strict writing schedule. No TV. No wine. Rigid word count goals.

Feb: Half-pissed watching Law and Order with zero words to my name. That went well.

March: Seriously contemplated chucking writing in altogether. Why couldn't I have taken up something easy, like rocket science? Took the month off.

April: Bought a house. Much organisation required, no time for writing. One month reprieve becomes two.

May: Ready to begin writing again—thank God I actually missed it. Spend many hours alternating between half-baked manuscripts without making much progress, but am happy to be writing anything.

June: RWA conference in two months. In crazy optimism I’ve requested an agent pitch. Ah… best write something pitch-worthy.

July: Pitch-worthy? Who said pitch-worthy? Shopping lists prove challenging at this point.

Aug: Have a partial ready for pitch. It has all the hallmarks of a funny, sexy Blaze type novel. It says so right there in the pitch. Misplaced confidence comes across as veneer of capable authorship to very nice NY agent type. Partial requested.

Sept: Oh shit, shit, shit. Caught in web of plot problems of my own making. Who wrote this dreck? Seek second opinion of the Divas who coin the phrase ‘Sami Sparkle’. As in ‘this book does not have the Sami Sparkle’.

How disappointing.

Oct: Email agent with heartfelt apology. I do not want to send the sparkleless book to her. Insanity? Possibly. My gut says no. Now it’s time to work out through copious navel gazing what the eff the Sami Sparkle is and where the effing hell it’s flown off to. Make the rather radical decision to write first draft of a fun, fluffy ménage novella in a notebook, with a Bic. This is totally old school, but writer friend Kiss Carson does this so why not try? Drafting goes surprisingly well. I’m having fun with the story. Fun! A novel concept (I can even pun now!).

Nov: Retype my draft as a quasi nanowrite task. 40,000wds of no longer light fluffy ménage written. Who decided to make this a deep and meaningful study of themes of sex and death, unrequited love and loneliness? Bloody subconscious.

Dec: Okay, so it wants to be a serious story, not fluff. It wants to include mm content, which I’ve never written before. Must I always make things difficult for myself? Probably. I’m starting to think the Sami Sparkle is the rebellious instinct coming out to play, forcing me to swim against the tide.

Ah, so that’s where the year went. I spent it dragging myself gradually out of writer’s block hell. I don’t feel blocked now, just the ordinary level of neurotic that writers are. That’s an improvement.

How was your year?



  1. Um, Sami. I'm really glad 2011 is squeaky clean for you. Looks like you need a fresh start. LOL My 2010 was full of half hope, but eventual rejection. I am hoping this year is better for both of us.

  2. Cheers to that Heather. Sorry about the dreaded R.

  3. Oh dear... I fear already that 2011 for me is gonna be your 2010. Am moving and buying new business. And my 2010 was like Heather's half spent waiting in hope for a big far R!
    So here's to better years ALL round! xo

  4. Sounds like a busy year ahead Rach! Remember powering down is not the same as giving up.

  5. Hi Sami,
    I feel the year was okay, afterall, I had one book published. This year I feel is going to be heaps better. Well I hope so for all of us. :)
    Suz :)

  6. Powering down... I LIKE that Sami!