The internal writer paradox

For a few years, I was on a tight publishing schedule. One short or novella every month, with the occasional month off in between series.

This was a lot work. I don’t think anybody who isn’t a writer can truly understand how much work it was. I was writing stories 12 to 18 months before publishing them. Workshopping them for months, and then polishing and publishing. This includes making covers, formatting, and so, so much more.

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Then I stopped. I wanted to get back to my novels. I wanted less deadlines and more creativity.

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One year later, and I have written anything over a week. But I have been writing.

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None of it is being typed, but I’m writing and rewriting scenes in my head, like constantly. On the plus side, I’m still working. On the downside, no words on paper.

Also, I keep burning dinner, because my brain is in the Haven, not in the kitchen.

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So while I know, intellectually, that I’m writing, emotionally… that number counter isn’t going up and that chapter is still in pieces. Keeping up morale for the job is hard when I don’t have tangible things to focus on, yet I don’t see the point of writing the damn chapter until I’m sure of where it’s going.

I’m getting caught in my own paradox of working, but not writing.

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That endlessly blinking cursor can be a such a burden some days. And even though I know that when I get back to work I will likely have two or three chapters properly arranged and ready to go, I’m still not writing.

And there really isn’t anything to do, except keep working that dialogue and working through the brick walls of “but character A wouldn’t do that” and “Character B wouldn’t be there.”

Maybe tomorrow I’ll have every little thing worked out and can get some words on paper.

At very least, maybe that means I won’t burn dinner.

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Kate Whitaker writes for fun and profit from the woods of the Olympic Peninsula. You can most likely find her sitting at her kitchen table yelling at kids as she tries to figure out a new way to kill made up monsters. She has a newsletter and a comic, and you can follow her on twitter.