I really don’t get writer’s block often. When I’m coming up with nothing I let it go and just let my subconscious work on it. Take a walk. Take a bath. Take a nap. Chances are by the next day something good will surface.
When my mother, Marguerite McClain, a prolific romance writer, was stuck, she’d soak in the tub. And when she got out, she was unstuck. Don’t try to force it. It will come.
I just got around to reading an article about Samuel Beckett from an old issue (March 2012) of The New York Review. Beckett’s the author of the famous play Waiting for Godot..
Apparently Beckett wasn’t an immediate success. Here’s a quote from his publisher about an earlier work. “Seventeen copies sold, of which eleven at trade price to free circulating libraries beyond the seas.”
Also from Beckett himself: ”Ever tried. Ever failed. No matter. Try again. Fail again. Fail better.”
It’s a new year and time to start tapping on those keys. Somewhere I’ve read that procrastination is either fear of failure or fear of success. So if it’s fear of rejection slips that’s stopping you, just remember one of my favorite writing stories.
In 1977 a frustrated writer by the name of Chuck Ross decided to conduct an experiment. Choosing author Jerzy Kosinski’s award winning novel Steps, he typed up the manuscript and began submitting it to publishers. All fourteen of them turned him down, among them Random House, the novel’s original publisher.
I’m happy to announce the sale of my YA novel Double Take to Fire and Ice, a division of Melange Publishing. It is scheduled to be released in March 2014.
Tip: Never read reviews of your work at night. If you’re like me, by evening I’m usually exhausted and unprepared for unkind words. One of the most unsettling reviews of my novel See Mommy Run began “Four reasons why I hate this book.” Another began ”Why did I ever waste my time reading this?”, which led me to wonder why I’d ever wasted my time writing it.
Thank God I’ve received enough positive comments to keep me tapping on the keys.
Remember, a less than stellar review from a stranger is better than a rosy review from your mother. Learn from them and become a better writer.