Book Progress: Slow.

4 Feb

Well, as most of you know, I’m attempting to write an inspirational nonfiction book. I started writing it on Monday, and I ended up getting 3 pages done. However, since then, my writing has been stagnant. I’ve never been one to say that I need to be inspired to write. Normally things just come to me, and then I know that I have to write them done in order to just get the feelings out. However, over the past few days, nothing’s really been coming to me. I’ve just had moments of staring at my computer screen just not knowing what to write. I’ve just stared, not even being able to type anything.

I know that all writers experience this type of thing, but it’s just aggravating since I’m not sure what to do in the interim. Do I just take some time away from it and let it sit? Do I try to formulate chapters….to try and see to imagine the final pages? I’m just not sure. I have some general chapter ideas, but at this point, I can’t visualize what those chapters will ultimately say.

Though this blog was a starting off point for hopefully developing a book, writing this blog has been way easier. I think that’s been because with my blog I haven’t had to make connections. Every day has been a new post, and I haven’t needed to create links between certain posts. Granted, there have been links, but not intentional ones. With a book, you’ve got to have everything connect. Everything has to fit together perfectly. It’s just how it goes. I guess at this point it’s just hard for me to imagine having everything fit together. I know that this while take time. It’s not like I’m going to write a book in a night. I guess I just wish I could see where this was all going.

At the same time, this post goes against what all of you have been telling me, but it’s what I’ve been dealing with for the past few days, and so I wanted to share what I was facing with all of you. I mean, that’s what this blog as a whole is for: for writers to come together and get support and feedback. I mean, all of us (or those of you who are also trying to write a book) are in the same boat, so it makes sense for us to turn to each other.

So: Any advice? I just don’t know where to go from here. 

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22 Responses to “Book Progress: Slow.”

  1. Katrina February 4, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

    I also have had writers block on my blogs, my books, everything. However, in admitting to others (namely my faithful blog readers) that I have writers block and was just posting a favorite music video instead, I have now come up with 3 ideas for blogs next week. So, I suggest, now that you’ve stated the problem, take a walk, watch a movie, or take a nap, when you least expect it ideas will come to you.

  2. kzackuslheureux February 4, 2012 at 4:52 pm #

    Ask yourself, why you want to write an inspirational manuscript? What is inspirational to you? Who are inspirational characters in your life, and what about them makes them so? Hope it can give you a dive into a deeper pool, however, if your first question comes up invalid ~ if you haven’t the desire to write an inspiring script, that what do you want to write. I too am writing a book, with inspiration (I hope) within the pages I put a sample chapter into my blog. Best of Luck! Kreta

  3. abcaldwell February 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Don’t worry about it. I know from experience as this has happened me before. Some days it seems like a chore and I write very little, if at all, other days I write lots. . The build-up to the “big event”, even in non-fiction books, you have in your book can take ages and become annoying, but once you get there you find yourself writing a lot quicker as you know exactly what is happening as you had planned it for so long.

    Hope this helps 🙂

  4. Dave Shockley February 4, 2012 at 5:08 pm #

    I wouldn’t know where to start writing a book. However, my son has and he always jumps to something different for a while. He may even start another book then go back to the real book. He is constantly writing ideas and thoughts in a notebook and goes back and reviews them. Good luck and I will be looking for your finished book. Do you have a title yet?

  5. Pete Denton February 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm #

    I think Katrina’s advice is good. We have all been there before and you mention not really needing to link when writing your blog posts. You don’t have to link in a first draft either. If you have sections you want to include, write them. You’ll probably come up with the links and exact running order when you’ve finished the whole book.

    Good luck in breaking through.

  6. lattegirl February 4, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

    I have also been experiencing a writers block – writing a non fiction book as well and came to a realisationn that making deliberate time and space to write helps. Even if I don’t write per se but doddle on ideas. Sometimes we cant write because there is something else going on in our lives and just being honest with where we are. Contemplation, relaxation, do anything you truly enjoy. It shall work out – you’ll see 🙂

  7. awarewriter February 4, 2012 at 5:32 pm #

    Forget the connect part Amelia, just keep writing. You will connect the dots later as part of the editing process. If you can’t think of something to write, then start with “I can’t think of something to write….” and keep going. The key is to open the gates and let it out.

    John

  8. Laura February 4, 2012 at 5:58 pm #

    I’ve never been one to jump around in chapters or something but it might help you to forget about any sort of flow and just write things down whether they connect or not, and worry about the editing and the rewriting later.

    • ameliaclaire92 February 4, 2012 at 6:02 pm #

      Yeah…I think I may just kinda jump around. Thanks for your advice Laura!

  9. Glynis J. Jolly February 4, 2012 at 6:04 pm #

    If I were you, I’d keep on trying to write something for the book every day but I won’t dwell on it too long if ideas weren’t formulating. Another thing you could in the meantime is write short story. It might inspire you.

  10. M. Hatzel February 4, 2012 at 6:09 pm #

    I know where you are; I’ve been there, too. I think all creative/artistic people face the question of blocks, and face anxieties about their work. I started reading Anne Lamott’s book, bird by bird, and laughed at her chapter called “Shitty First Drafts” where Lamott describes all first drafts as crap; second drafts are better; third drafts are the connected, choerent ones. As John commented earlier, let yourself go and play with the text. When we start to write seriously we tend to hold ourselves to the unrealistic standard of knowing everything about our stories before we even begin our writing relationship with them… too much pressure! Another good book is Jack Hodgins’s A Passion for Narrative. He also reminds us that first drafts are meant to be messy, disconnected places where all sorts of odd things turn up. Think of the first draft as a newly broken plot of land–you never know what you’ll find in the soil. Some of it will be useless garbage, but some of it might be treasure. Start digging! Have fun. All the right words will come to you… fortunately for your health and sanity, they won’t all come at once.

    • ameliaclaire92 February 4, 2012 at 6:20 pm #

      Thank you so much for reminding me of this Michelle. 🙂

  11. opticopy February 4, 2012 at 6:31 pm #

    Hello there – I agree with John on this – nothing really needs to connect at first – it will all mould into shape as you progress with your writing – one part you may think fits in one place might suddenly fall into another. That’s the beauty of writing a book, think of it as a jigsaw puzzle, each little piece just needs to put in the right place to build up the complete picture.

    Kindest regards

  12. buddhafulkat February 5, 2012 at 12:18 am #

    I’m not sure if this will help, but I really like Elizabeth Gilbert’s talk on TED.

    She talks about creative minds and muses. My favorite part was when she addresses her manuscript directly:
    So I just lifted my face up from the manuscript and I directed my comments to an empty corner of the room. And I said aloud, “Listen you, thing, you and I both know that if this book isn’t brilliant that is not entirely my fault, right? Because you can see that I am putting everything I have into this, I don’t have any more than this. So if you want it to be better, then you’ve got to show up and do your part of the deal. O.K. But if you don’t do that, you know what, the hell with it. I’m going to keep writing anyway because that’s my job. And I would please like the record to reflect today that I showed up for my part of the job.”

  13. jilllurie February 5, 2012 at 12:55 am #

    Above everything, I say have faith in the process and in yourself. If there is an initial struggle, allow it to unfold, maybe that’s an important part of the story…..overcoming challenges….

  14. Robin Hawke February 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm #

    Try and forget your expectations. They only help when editing. Good luck!

  15. chaconrafa February 6, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    This is very natural and healthy; the light switch is there keep looking for it.
    Great work

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