Monday, April 10, 2006

Brick Wall

I said it could happen. Well, it definitely happened. I ran face-first into a brick wall.

On my first day of writing, I wrote two sentences and that was the end of it. I couldn't pen another word to save my life, at least not anything that anyone would want to read.

For the next two days, I was grumpy. Sometimes I was mad. Sometimes I was depressed. For sure I was hard to live with.

This is when the writer goes into crisis mode. He cancels appointments, foreswears sleep, tells his loved ones to make themselves scarce or maybe find a job to do outside for a few days, and engages in very vocal and highly dramatic conversations with himself. It's not pretty.

All of this antisocial behavior serves a purpose. In my case, I think it's a way of buckling down and getting deadly serious about my work, kind of like locking the door and telling yourself that you can't leave the room until you solve some dilemma.

For all of the emotions, though, my crisis days were mostly spent reading through my notes, consulting other novels and various guides to writing, and writing loads of essays on voice, characters, plot, and so on. I probably produced more content on the art of writing as it relates to my project in the last few days than I've written over the last several months combined.

My story has changed. I like it better now. It might actually be ready this time, but I suppose I won't know that for sure until I try penning those first words again.