The Tyranny of the Blank Page

Hi Pals, No big long post this week, just a little thing I'm struggling with, one that I'm sure the writer folks in the audience will get. The above mentioned tyranny. Some of you might remember that my current novel, The Long Walk Home, is out on submission. While I waited for news I thought the best thing to do was to get back to work on the new novel, currently called Magisterium.

The problem? I'll tell ya the problem...

I just can't seem to get myself moving on it again. Before I left it to do pre-submission rewrites on Long Walk Home I got about 50 pages done, so the page is not entirely blank. Maybe the problem is I got it to the end of a major section of the book, a nice clean stopping point. I've read about other writers who, when they stop for the day, make a point to stop right in the middle of a scene, or even in the middle of a sentence, so that when they come back to it they can just pick that train of thought up and keep going. That seems like a great idea about now, since in some way I feel like I'm starting all over again. I'm fighting some serious inertia here.

There's also some fear I think. Ok, to be honest it's probably mostly fear. Fear that it's no good. Fear of diving into a new project. I mean, I've got some people's attention now. Is this the right project to be working on to capitalize on that attention? Am I sure?  What if it's not and I spend a year plus writing it without realizing it and then have nothing to follow up the first book with?  I know. I know. I'm totally over thinking it. I like the main character alot, (she's this sort of brainy, pain in the ass that's fun to write)  I like the world and the writing I've done on it so far so I should just go back to setting the old alarm clock for 6am and getting some stuff done. There's no way to know if it's a workable idea until I write it. I've tried some other ideas out without any of them clicking like this one has so that's probably the best sign I've got. The only way to get over inertia is to push and push until you slowly get moving again and inertia starts working for you, making it hard to stop.

I also have to remember that a new book is going to be bad before it gets good. No way around that. Long Walk Home was definitely worked into being good, it didn't just happen. So if this book is bad for awhile, that's just how it it.

Ok. I think I just needed to give myself that little pep talk. Monday morning! The alarm shall be set to 6!  I shall be bleary and cranky but what're you gonna do? Got to get moving!

Happy Saturday!