Actually, I’m pretty sure it’s not writer’s block. I don’t get that very much. I do, however, suffer tremendously from The Lazies, and from The Stupids. (The Lazies are pretty much self-explanatory. The Stupids–that’s where your characters are stupid, the dialogue is stupid, the narrative is Stupid, the Plot is STupid, and EVERYTHING IS JUST STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!) (Have you ever noticed how stupid-sounding the word “stupid” is? Especially when you say it three times fast?)
There is also another category of “not writing,” however. It’s the “I don’t know exactly where the story needs to go next, and I need to not-think about it,” category.
Yeah. I know. That doesn’t sound real…professional. It sounds all Procrastination-y, and Making-Excuses-ish. But…
I have found that sometimes I need to back off and let the swamp–er, the subconscious–(okay, yeah, the swamp. My subconscious is a swamp, okay?) have the story for a while and chew on it. (My swamp has alligators. They chew things.) Sometimes, I need to consciously not-think about a story, let the swamp have its way with it, and then when I go back, the story is there and ready to go, and if I try to force it when it needs to go to the swamp and ferment a while, it’s worse than if I ignore the story and don’t think about it and don’t write it. If I let it go a day or two, then I get farther when I come back than if I sat at the desk and Made myself write. Makes no sense, but there it is.
And yet… maybe I AM just being lazy, and avoiding the work. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference. Do I need to be castigating myself for laziness, or am I actually accomplishing something, even if it might not look like it?
This is where I’ve been the last day or two. I got a whole 2.5 pages written yesterday. That’s it. Wrote nothing at all on Monday. Today, I didn’t even go sit down at the desk–except to put on my socks. Because I’m not really sure where the story needs to go next. Do I need to write a time passage-transition scene? Do I need some other scene? The book is too dang long already. I need to have a villain scene in here somewhere soon–some kind of adventure/danger-type scene. But I have no idea what it ought to be, or whether it ought to be the real villain or the red-herring villain. Or maybe the real villain manipulating the red-herring villain. Or the RH villain doing something, and the real villain gloating. Or something completely out of left field. This is one of the things that my swamp does really well–come up with ideas for this sort of thing, so I kind of think this isn’t just the Lazies–though they probably do play in here a little…
I have discovered some things my hero needs to realize, and one thing my heroine needs to learn, so that’s been good. It’s just time to figure out some specifics, and now that the swamp has had time to chomp on things a bit, I may need to do some free-writing to figure out what exactly needs to happen next. Maybe the writing will come faster.
Since Gustav turned out to be a non-event here–no evacuation order for the island or anything–I went swimming with the guys Sunday. It was fun. Didn’t even have big waves. It was the kind of ocean swimming I love best. The older son came down for a visit, and the two boys went out to try to ride the skim board on Saturday. We have scraped knees–sand will really take the hide off you–and sore ankles. There were some pretty spectacular falls. I laughed. We sent the older son home to Dallas Sunday a.m., though, just in case Gustav decided to skim along the coast. He did help clear out the garage so the new car could fit in. But as it turned out, we didn’t even get any rain. (pout) We’re still low on rainfall for the year.
We did get some big shells. I found my biggest clump of rose-colored barnacles yet. Big as my fist. I was out walking with Dolly the granddog–let her off the leash so she could run fast–and had fun trying to hang onto my shells and get her back on the leash. She did come back and hold still for me to do it–but she played “can’t catch me” at least once, first.
My internet is out at home. I have to take the computer in somewhere to get it fixed. Grr. And I’m not even sure where to take it. Haven’t been happy with the 2 places we’ve taken the boy’s computer so far. Best Buy may be next on the list.
And I have to go to the dentist tomorrow morning. Had a dumb filling come out. Maybe I’ll have time to take the computer somewhere after that. May as well “waste” the whole morning. Maybe I can get LOTS written on Friday. I can only try. Maybe by then, I’ll know what I need to be writing…