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Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Day 120: How is your writing going?

My Project: 365 Creative Writing Prompts

Day 120: How is your writing going?

Someone posted the question the other day “How is your writing going?” Some people said it was going great, that they wrote like the wind, others admitted that it wasn’t going well or not at all. I find myself in the latter category. Which is strange, because, up until now, I never really experienced writer’s block.

Take ‘Waiting for Silverbird’ for instance ...

I worked for a military company at the time, typing up a maintenance manual for a tank, when the sentence ‘The audience rose to their feet in a standing ovation’ drifted into my head. I didn’t pay much attention to it, but a few minutes later that same sentence came back to me, so I wrote it down. After that, another sentence came, and another one and by the end of the day I had the first chapter.

Unfortunately, about a year later my muse took a leave of absence and the manuscript was gathering dust. When someone asked me what Waiting for Silverbird was about I told her the storyline. She said “This is good. You have to finish this.” So, I did. I worked evenings and weekends and eventually brought the story to an end.

Two more novels and two children’s books followed. All written within a reasonable time frame. After two years of writing nothing (except articles and emails), I started a new story and this time my inspiration is like a faucet … that drips. I don’t know what the problem is but it’s just not working.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve seen too much bad writing and started doubting myself. Perhaps it’s because this time I’m writing a fantasy story, which is a first for me. Actually, it’s a ghost story (based on true events) mixed with fantasy.

So maybe that’s what the problem is. Some of the things in the story really happened, but for the sake of entertainment, I’m going to stretch the truth a little (or a lot).

It also doesn’t help that a number of things get in the way of writing the story. As a freelance writer, being part of a team, I have to write two 500-word articles per day. Since that work is paid and writing the manuscript isn’t, freelance work takes precedence.

When I do get to work on the manuscript, I sit there … staring at a blank page, my fingers resting on the keyboard, or a pen hovering over the paper.

So, to cut a long story short, how is my writing going … it’s going nowhere.

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