Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Writer's Block? Or Fear?

Okay, so you're racing toward the end of your novel, Muse on full throttle (for me, at least, my Muse is a fast, black, exotic.....sports car), and then suddenly, without warning, you....slow.....down. The Muse refuses to go faster than 30 MPH. What happened?

Is it writer's block? And what is writer's block? As a writer, I've never acknowledged that phrase. I've had periods where the writing has been sparse and not because of lack of ideas (those are always populating my head like super-fertilized clinging vines), but more because of other, less clear reasons. Could it be writer laziness? Maybe something more like fear or insecurity?

I've thought long and hard on the subject and read the many varied debates on it's existence or reasons for being and have come to my own, personal illumination on what causes my slow down in penning words to empty space. Fear. Yes, I had an epiphany, of sorts. No matter that I've written four entire novels (the fifth Brenda Strange, XIMORA, is nearly done, if only that black sports car that is my Muse will pick up speed.), had nominated short stories and edited an anthology of horror flash fiction, fear and uncertainty still rear their ugly heads. I'm leaning to the belief that there really is no "writer's block" per se. Allow me to explain, if you'll indulge me.

Let's say you have the entire scenario for one bang up of an ending. All the bits and pieces are neatly in place. You have the clear visuals as if the ending is a film winding down to an exciting ending. And then you falter when it comes down to writing them. It happens to me. Not often, than God. My epiphanic conculsion is that deep down in my writer's psyche, I am afraid that my writing skills will not match my creative skills. Will the language I use to describe the powerful scenes to end the novel make the reader see the picture I have in my brain? Am I a good enough writer? This is what caused my Muse to sputter and slow. I also know that once I add more fuel and gas her up, I'll be back at full speed, leaving all my doubts behind like so much exhaust fumes. I guess being able to overcome the fear and insecurity of writing is what makes us authors. Is it writer's block? Nah, I don't believe it for one minute. It just is what it is. The more we give power to the phrase "writer's block," the more we struggle with it.

Does this happen to you? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Monday, December 22, 2008

How to cope when you are no longer employed?

I was laid off from my job of thirteen and a half years this past Friday, December 19th. I was in shock first and that gave way to disbelief, followed by bitterness and then resignation that I was no longer part of the productive throng of the world. I currently run the gamut of emotions from depression, anxiety, hopefulness, despair, and back to hopefulness. As a diabetic that is insulin dependent and also take medication, a big concern is the cost of my meds. I no longer have insurance. I can't see my doctor because just her office fee is seventy dollars. I believe un-employment funds are only a third of your paycheck. That won't cover my meds, the mortgage, health insurance, etc. I did have a bit of money saved and that will help. And I am Blessed to have my Faith that keeps me strong and my family and friends that are the life-line to much needed support.

It's a strange, disconnected feeling....not being employed. It would have been nice if this had come closer to my retirement age. But it didn't. I suppose the ideal word for the feeling is...... Surreal. I think a good description is being pushed off the firm, earthy footing of a hill and suddenly be suspended in air, with nothing underneath you. Nothing. What lies below?

I'm living in surreal days and surreal nights. I hope to get much writing done. Don't they say that starving artists are the most creative? Don't they say that strife and hard times bring out the creativity? Does that mean that rich people can't be artists?