Wednesday, December 13, 2006

That Point

Let's see here, nothing much new going on here. I haven't done much writing (ok, I haven't done any writing) since the addition of Daphne to the family. Before we got her I was pulling down a solid 2k words per night - every night no problem. Right now I'm about 20k into a new project (started during NaNo but not my NaNo project) and I've hit what I now dub "That Point."

That Point is the place where you 're chugging along, feeling your way through a new idea, testing the waters, just writing for yourself because you have no idea if it will work and then BAM! you realize "hey, I like this!" Then all of the sudden you start to worry about where things are going, are you going to be able to keep up the pace, the tone, the conflict, the voice. All of those pressures begin to push in. For me there's also this fear of choosing the wrong path - of loving where I've been but not knowing where I'm going and the fear of foreclosing ideas. What if I ruin the whole thing? What if I build the reader up only to disappoint? What if I can't follow through on the promises I've given the reader so far in the book?

The Boy said that he thinks that in That Point in the writing I start to become obsessed with the idea of selling the book rather than writing it. And to a certain degree I think he's correct. I think that this is where my writer's block often comes from - the fear of failure. It's when I stop writing the book for myself and start to write it for the hypothetical reader. It's when I start to really second guess myself and worry that I'm making the wrong decisions for my characters.

So it's not such a bad thing that I have an excuse not to write. I've sent what I have so far to a reader that I trust to see if I have a viable idea (boy was that scary to do!). I'm spending my free time working, reading, helping the dog heal, etc. And thinking. Lots and lots of time trying to figure out how to overcome That Point.


Nancy said...

I really know what you mean about That Point. My cure is to decide temporarily that this is not a serious project, it's just going to be something fun to show my friends, etc. But it's hard to balance taking it lightly enough not to freeze with taking it seriously enough to keep on writing!

Diana Peterfreund said...

So easier said that done, but put your butt int he chair, turn off the editors, and write. Write write write!