Tag Archives: writers block

Embrace Rejection! Guest Post on Scarlett Van Dijk’s Writing Blog

Time to Get Back in the Saddle!

Time to Get Back in the Saddle!

Check out Scarlett Van Dijk’s wonderful and informative writing blog, where she spotlights writers and their tales of creativity, publishing, the creative process and much more.

I recently wrote a guest post for her titled ‘Embrace Failure’. Don’t let the rejections get you down, keep trying!

Scarlett is part of a strong writing community on Linkedin, where writers in all stages of their careers get together online to talk about their craft. Every month on her blog she features a guest writer and I look forward to these posts because, let’s face it; writing is a solitary profession and I enjoy being part of a community of like-minded people, who understand the challenges of turning words into stories.

For those of you who follow my blog, you’ll have noticed a distinct lack of content of late. When you’ve read my guest post, you’ll understand why. My thanks to Scarlett because that post has helped me to realized that it’s time to stop the self-pity party and start showing up at the page. And after all, isn’t that what writers do?

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No News is, Well, It’s No News. Deal With It

One of the most difficult things about being a writer, at least for me, is the time between sending out a new manuscript and waiting for a response from an agent or a publisher. It’s always the same level of anxiety for me and the longer it takes to hear back, the more insecure I become. Of course, I worry that the manuscript that I thought was so polished and readable was actually riddled with errors and dead boring. Or maybe it’s really good, but it somehow didn’t make it to its destination. Instead it is lost somewhere in the cyber world. Of course I know this is not possible, as I did receive an email confirming it arrived safely, but none the less….

I know I could work on my next book. I know I should be working on that manuscript, but for some reason I just can’t. That’s not exactly true. I just won’t. Not for a little while at least. Not until I can’t stop myself. Not until my computer pulls at me like a magnet and begs that I tap out those first few words, the easy ones: “Chapter One”.

The good thing is that I’ve had enough experience to know that this will eventually happen. It’s close. The characters that have been dancing about in my imagination want me to show up at the page and give them a chance at a life of their own.

Everyday I resist the urge to call my agent. I don’t want to be a pest. She will call me. I just have to be patient.

But it’s so hard.

Maybe if I just forget all about it and begin that new book; the one that’s taking up so much space in my imagination. Okay, here goes.

Chapter One

Feels good.

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Finding a Routine – At Home Writer’s Issues

Since May and the White Pine Awards in Ontario, I’ve been travelling – Quebec, Berlin and now home for a few weeks then off again for a lakeside ‘real’ non-working vacation. It’s wonderful and I feel very lucky, however, I am struggling to find a writing routine that works well. Part of the problem with being away is the return. For example, right now I am faced with a house and garden in need of attention, a cat who wants more than just a bowl of food and a pat on the head, and a mother-in-law who takes up more time than a toddler 😦

Add to this, the need for shopping, dinners, yoga (yes – I do count this as a need), and wedding planning (for my sweet Jen), editing, creating an amazing set of classes for Canadian Bookcamp, socializing, (yes, it’s important to see other humans now and again) and there isn’t much time left to write books. Or is there?

Yes! Even if it’s only for 30 minutes a day, it’s imperative that all writers, and that includes the winging me, sit down and write. Show up at the page. How many times have I offered this advice to students, and now I offer it back to myself. One of the most difficult things about working at home in any job is carving out a structure in a disjointed day. For me, this means getting up a little earlier (thank goodness I never get jet-lagged), and it also means having a concrete plan in mind the night before outlining how my day will look. Of course, there are times when plans go sideways, but I really believe that it is having a plan that counts.

I hope to get loads done today, starting with… ah hold on; phone’s ringing. Yikes; cat wants her ears tickled. Damn, plants are dying of thirst. Egad, mother-in-law can’t get her pickle jar open…

Now what was it I was trying to get down in words???

Has Anyone Seen the Time?

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Sometimes All it Takes is a Friend

With a new book about to be released and another one a quarter of the way through a first draft, I suddenly found myself stalled out in my writing. It’s called writer’s block and we all get it. When it arrives, it’s unwelcome and unexpected. There are lots of things I’ve learned to do over the years to move through this creative vacuum: A walk on the beach, reading, not allowing myself to read at all, listening to music, dancing, daydreaming and journaling to name a but a few. All have been effective, but last week I discovered that sometimes all it takes is talking to a friend.

Make sure it is someone you trust creatively, whose ideas you respect and then sit down and start to bounce ideas off him or her. Be honest about how you are feeling and ask for ideas. If it is someone who knows you well and knows your work well, the conversation will quickly enter the world of imagination.

The results of my doing this were incredible. Not only did I spend a few fun-filled few hours with someone I like, but I left feeling inspired. I bought a brand new note book and began to jot down ideas. I have faith that one of those will morph into a book. And if that doesn’t happen, at least I am writing again and feeling confident about my ability to create!

Try it!

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