Saturday, August 30, 2008

Writer's Block

By Christine Thackeray

It has been a long summer filled with a missionary farewell, a funeral, a move, EFY, scout camp, girl's camp, an eagle project and a huge project at my husband's work that has left echoes reverberating in our home. The lazy days of barbeques, day trips and swimming in the sun until the sunscreen gives up on you have passed us by and I think all my children and I feel like it is too soon to go back.

So many plans never even got off the drawing board and writing got stuck behind the dryer with the unmatched socks. The one thing I have accomplished was lots of reading. I tried to read as a writer and glean what I really liked about different authors. I tried to see where the balance between exposition and dialogue fell and when it was effect to use one or just annoying.

So I had recently picked up a quick read called "The Last Centurion" and got sucked in on the first page when my thirteen year old son walked in the room and asked, "I thought you were supposed to be writing not reading- you must have writer's block."

I looked at him and shrugged. Sort of, actually I have writer's fear. Although the reviews of my first book were very sweet and most said they looked forward to the second, many also said they saw flaws or it wasn't extremely well written or they looked forward to me growing as a writer. OUCH!

So with the next book I want to grow. I want to look at form as well as plot. I want to write better and I figured the way to do that was to read and decide what I did like. Sadly, I discovered that I'm not that deep. I can force myself to plough through the literary stuff and find it fascinating but I gobble up escapism especially if it has a dash of truth mixed in.

On Tuesday the kids go back to school and I'm committed to four hours a day on the keyboard. With any luck my reading will have not simply been due to writer's block, but will have helped nudge my prose forward- at least a little.

4 comments:

  1. I can relate to the long summer that seems to end too soon...and the plans that never got off the ground. You've gotta love the wisdom of youth. They certainly know how to speak the truth. I think it's great that you recognize your challenge and that you are committed to doing something about it. You rock, Christine!

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  2. Awesome post, Christine ~

    I especially loved the plans that "got stuck behind the dryer with the unmatched socks." Great imagery. That's pretty much how our summer went and I can hardly remember what happened except that I took a college course and was consumed by it. Oh well.

    I think every LDS writer I have ever read, has grown with each book and I love watching the progress. So, don't let any comments get you down. You have done a remarkable thing... YOU HAVE A PUBLISHED BOOK!!!

    Blessings,
    Stephanie

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  3. Christine,

    The Lord expects us to grow in the gospel so why not in our writing as well. Positive humble growth is a good thing. Thank you for your awesome personal story.

    Charlie

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  4. Pretty much been the same for me this summer and I don't even have all the good excuses you have. I just switched off the old writer in me and sailed through the days. Sometimes that's necessary.

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