Is it just me, or do all writers experience writer’s block? Oh, I’m not talking about lack of ideas or words, I’m talking about something much more insidious to the writing process…discouragement.
I likened writing my first novel and then having it published as a “birthing process” and for half a year, truly I was on this emotional high and all my attention was centered on my first book “baby”. People were reading and commenting and reviewing my book with great enthusiasm. I was in full-marketing mode and the Amazon numbers were in my favour. My efforts were being rewarded with accolades and awards. I thought, my first “baby” was doing so well, I should think about birthing another one. Then the post-natal depression hit. No matter how hard I tried, twittered, facebooked, emailed, blogged, promoted, book-signed etc. people were virtually ignoring my first “baby”…and me. I was starting to develop a complex. To me, my “baby” was perfect…couldn’t others see that? The story was captivating, the characters were so believable, the setting…rural. (Okay, the setting may have been less than perfect…but still…)
Then my second “baby” was born and being new to the world and needing more marketing attention to be noticed, my first “baby” was starting to feel neglected. It was still good…great even, but like an older child, it was relegated to stand in the shadows for a while while its younger sibling preened and posed in all its cuteness and glory. Truly have I taken this analogy as far as it can go? I wonder.
Some of my author friends have told me that every book they write is special and holds a little piece of their heart. (There’s that baby analogy again.) I have certainly discovered I was equally excited about Heal the Wounded’s release as that of Shoot the Wounded’s. My husband confidently stated that he was sure that if readers read one of my books they would want to read the other one. I hoped so.
My third book Love the Wounded, was my third “baby”. Truly a gift from God. It was undoubtedly the most difficult book to write and took me the longest to “birth”. I suppose since I spent so much time on it, praying over it, and then watching it grow up, I shouldn’t have been surprised when it garnered more attention and honours than the other two books.
It also left me totally exhausted. So exhausted in the writing process and then the extended marketing of the entire book trilogy that I decided to put any other book projects on hold for awhile so I could recover. I was burned out.
I am astounded by those prolific writers who manage to write a huge number of books in their lifetime. I am awed by their stamina. I don’t know how they are able to write their books and then also have the energy to market, book sign, attend public speaking engagements and still manage to keep writing! I wonder how they manage their families…or do they?
Anyway, for me I have “writer’s block”…at least when it comes to writing another novel. It is purposeful writer’s block. I have a ton of ideas for a new book but I have to take a break. My blog is my only writing project for now. I’m okay with that.
“…being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Phil. 1:6
I feel your pain. My one self published novel – technically the fourth I have written – is being dragged across the internet like you would not believe. Guess what? Crickets. Not one sale. So I understand where you are coming from. Thanks for the post. Nice to know other writer’s who feel like me. I am also on a self forced writer’s block – tons of ideas, just can’t work on a new novel without any success. Stay at home dad duties take up most of my time, can’t squeeze a novel into that as well.