THE BLOG
08/10/2016 09:58 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

It's Not You Book, It's Me

There are days when I wish the book I was working on had a face, so I could punch it.

It's true. And it's just part of the strange dance between love and hate that is being a writer. Much like any real relationship, there are ups and downs: days we get along just fine and hold hands walking through a field of flowers. Then there are others- like today, where we sulk at each other like cats who maintain eye contact while shredding the pant legs that are still on you.

If writing is a relationship, it's a volatile one. Just yesterday I was in the blessed flow, that roll that comes when the words come faster than you can get them out and you ride them like a cool surfer chick. Today I'm more of a wet rat, plodding around in the muck that is clunky exposition.

Or worse just plain wanting to set my whole book on fire.

It mocks me with its blinking cursor. And I'm like what the heck happened to you, manuscript? You were cool just five minutes ago!

There are stages of writer's block, much like the grief.

Stage 1 Questioning- Why did I write this? What was I thinking? Who on earth told me I could be a writer? What sound does the fox make really? Did I eat breakfast?

Stage 2 Denial- This chapter isn't so bad. People will love reading about how my main character checks her email and trims her toenails.

Stage 3 Over Editing- I'm just going to go back and rewrite everything I wrote yesterday with shinier, more sparkly words.

Stage 4 Distraction- This is where anything happening anywhere but in the story is the most interesting thing to happen to it. (i.e. that board in the treat game I can't clear. The weather patterns of Brazil. The mating dance of the greater prairie chicken...a blog about writer's block.)

Stage 5 Acceptance- Writer says to herself, "Self, it ain't happening today."

At this point I give myself one of three choices.

1. More coffee- this life fuel has been known to work miracles.

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Update- Crud, it didn't work. I guzzled two giant cups and now I just have heartburn.

2. Reread what I've got and hope I get inspired.

Update- Nope.

3. Hit the playlist- I set the mood for everything I write using a playlist. I have playlists called "Grrr" for fights and "Meoooooow" for lovescenes and even "Dishes" for doing dishes. In this case I will put on the one entitled "Husk" for the book I'm working on with the same name.

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Last time I did this "Moonlight Sonata" inspired the perfect way to disembowel bad guys using farm tools and an intricate system of pulleys. (Did I mention I write horror?) Hoping for the same outcome today.

Update- YASSSSSSS! The Smiths gave me the perfect segue to move from one murder to the next and now I can say I feel all lovey dovey about the book again.

Like in any relationship, we had our John Cusack holding the boombox over his head moment I guess.

Never underestimate the power of the perfect song.

I'd blog more but my schmoopie calls.