a different kind of block

Remember how I began this blog to document my journey of turning my manuscript into a real, tangible, hold-in-your-hands-and-stare-at-the-awesome-book-cover book? Sorry if I’ve strayed off topic lately and that instead you now know how I didn’t inherit the mom gene, I’m the farthest thing from a morning person, some other bits & pieces and the fact that the eye doctor has bled me dry over something not too serious. But I know you found all those posts very informative and necessary. So, we’re cool? I’m glad that’s settled.

I have a few close friends that I’ve promised the lovely privilege of serving as my first group of readers for Jaded. Once my final edits to this current draft are complete, I’ll pass it out for their feedback as my first step towards readying it for agent queries and submissions. Only three pairs of eyes have seen it in its entirety thus far and despite the fact it has received a full face lift since then, not to mention a few minor character cuts/name-changes, an alternate ending and numerous other additions/subtractions, I feel this is a big step for me. It will be the first time I really open myself up for criticism (to someone other than my best friend and sister) and I’m not going to lie—it scares the shit out of me. And with those friends breathing down my neck to hurry up and finish so they can get their hands on it (don’t worry Christine, it’s not just you), I feel it’s sort of building up this resistance to writing. Because the truth is, I’ve been struggling a little lately. And yes, I have had a lot going on, but I’ve also been undisciplined and full of excuses as to why the deadline I set for myself is fast approaching and I’m far from finished.

And it’s not writer’s block, because when I actually sit down in front of my computer and open up the file, I find myself flying thru the words and pages. I enjoy myself. I enjoy writing. I borrowed my mother’s macbook the other day and stole away to Republic Coffee, one of my favorite Midtown spots, in order to force myself to get some writing done. And, guess what? I wrote, undistracted, for hours. I didn’t leave until closing time. So, no. It’s not writer’s block. It’s actually sitting down in front of my computer with my manuscript open block. ASDIFOMCWMMO for short. Which is why, when I came across this tweet from Kathryn Schulz, I had to share:

I never stop being amazed at how much of the effort of writing is the effort of wearing down my resistance to writing. Ninety percent, easy.

She’s so completely right. Now I just need to stop with the excuses so I’ll be finished by the start of football season. I’ll need plenty of time to ogle the tv while I watch Peyton Manning, Dallas Clark, Pierre Garçon, Austin Collie and the rest of the Indianapolis Colts kick some ass this year.

– lindsey archer

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