Dear Friday,

I haven’t written one word this week. Not. One. Word. For many reasons, most of which are excuses masking the real problem. Fear.

Yes, the good old trap of comparing myself to others and finding myself wanting. Will that ever go away? Maybe with time and a good therapist, lol.

I’m reading Daughter of Smoke and Bone right now. So incredibly fabulous! It’s taking me longer than usual, but I think that has more to do with her beautiful writing that I’m trying to savor like a seven course meal of exotic food, than it does anything else. Delectable bites such as “languages crowded the air like exotic birds” or “the medina of Marrakesh was labyrinthine, some three thousand blind alleys intertwined like a drawer full of snakes”. I’m in love. Can one be in love with words spun like sugar silk into savory treats? And do I need to tell my husband?

Maybe.

But as I read Laini Taylor‘s novel I can’t help but shudder at my own writing and wonder if the dribble I call my novel is good enough. This is fear. My almost constant companion that I wish I could successfully throw out the second story window. Yet, like the clichéd undesirable cat, it keeps coming back. Maybe I should try a higher window.

Of course when I’m completely sane, having slept the necessary hours at the right times, then I know my novel is good enough… for someone. It’s different than Smoke and Bone but good in its own right.

However, when I’m not feeling at the top of my game, I get bogged down in the muck of self doubt and find myself skulking in the corner like Tamaki Suoh from Ouran High School Host Club–all dark shadows and vertical blue lines. I thought I left teenage angst and emotion behind me a long time ago. Le sigh.

So, action items. Yes, Friday, action items. I know they’re on the bottom of your list as usually you’re a great segue into the weekend, but what good would talking to you be if I wasn’t ready to figure out a solution for the future. So…

Writing Through Fear

  1. Get some sleep. Good sleep. We both know what that means–a decent and consistent bedtime!
  2. Eat the right foods. (Bet you didn’t see that one coming!). I can’t last on chocolate chip cookies. Sugar does strange things to my head.
  3. Exercise. Feel like we’re on a diet plan yet? Maybe, but moving the body is important to clearing the mind. I definitely feel better after a mini walk and I need to make more time for those.
  4. Reserve judgements. A day with cotton in the brain is not a day for decisions (especially if one of those might be erasing a hard drive!) Wait for a good day and a clear head.
  5. Write. Yes, even when I’m feeling crappy and mourning that I’m manure shoveler rather than a silk spinner. I need to write. My goal–at least one sentence every day. It doesn’t even have to be a sentence for my novel. But I need to keep writing, even through the muck.
  6. Experiment with words. (I was going to stop at five… oh well). If I love the unique comparisons Laini uses, I need to practice creating my own. This could go along with my “write” goal–keeping a running list of new phrases. I promise not to delete any of them, even the sucky ones.
  7. Have faith. I have to believe in me, right? I can’t keep waiting for everyone else to do it (even though I know many of my friends already do). I must have faith in my ability to write and to write really well. Hmm… a little abstract. Maybe if I make a little sign that says “I am a hot, brilliant writer who is made of win!” (thanks for the note, Annie!) and say it every day before I write… maybe that will help.

Okay, Friday. There’s the plan. Thanks for listening to me prattle on! Maybe next week we can chat dangling participles (what does that even mean?!?). We’ll see what the week brings. Have a wonderful weekend!