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thought recognition software

October 10, 2009

I don’t have writer’s block. This is the good news.

The bad news is that I have something that may actually be worse. Self-editing block. Self-editing block is a new and exciting way to keep yourself from getting anything accomplished, and for me it is so much more acute now that I have a book out and another on the way.

Isn’t that ironic? You’d think that having an agent and editors would free you up to work faster and better because you know you have a team behind you, encouraging you and offering guidance. Yet, when I sit down to write I find that I don’t just hear my own voice saying, “Wait, is that paragraph strong enough?” I hear my agent saying, “Can you make the character more complex/older/younger/a girl/a boy/not on a spaceship/not so regional.” I hear my editors saying, “Can you add more to that chapter? Can you shorten this section? Can we speed up this part? What can we do about this red herring/Dickensian character name/sub plot/cliffhanger?”

I am paralyzed by the voices in my head. Ridiculous, I know, but there you are. I am always so excited to sit down at my computer and get to work. Then, only a few minutes later, my head is in my hands, I’m re-working chapters, and I haven’t even made it to the middle of the manuscript yet.

Something has to shut my brain up. Loud music helps sometimes. A deadline. But I have no deadlines for the manuscript I’m writing right now. And I’m tired of all my music. Maybe I need an arbitrary deadline. A swift kick in the butt. I find myself daydreaming about thought recognition software. Something that can reach through the voices and pull out the ideas and impressions and dialogue I have for my story. Something that can sift them away from the muck so that I can piece together the puzzle.

Maybe I just need someone to yell at me in a blustery, chest-bumping kind of way. Is Will Muschamp available as a writing coach? If he got a sideline warning yelling at me to write, I would get.things.done.

Also, I could just work a little harder and write a little better. There’s always that.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 11, 2009 10:27 am

    When you figure out what works, let me know :)

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