The blinking cursor is a taunting meanie. She flashes back and forth on my screen to a mocking beat that seems to say, “You. Suck. You. Suck. You. Suck…” The only way to keep her quiet is to write something. Now, you don’t have to be a writer to know that some days you’re hot and other days You. Suck. You. Suck. You. Suck and today is one of those days. Actually, so was yesterday. I searched my brain for something worth sharing and all I saw was darkness. Many of you would diagnose me with Writer’s Block–a condition that attacks the creativity hubs of motivated writers and renders them useless. But I don’t believe in writer’s block. There. I …Read More
There are two things that some authors do–and do well–that have always eluded me.
- They write under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
- They write without an outline or plan.
In all my fifteen years of authoring I have never done either. Until right now. Right now I am doing both. That’s probably why I just used the word “authoring.”
You see, two weeks ago I had knee replacement surgery.
That’s why I haven’t blogged. I thought I’d keep it up from the hospital so I brought my laptop and a Marc Jacobs bag filled with good intentions. This coming from the girl who packs gym clothes on book tour, but never works out. The same girl who …Read More
I try to be positive. I really do. But here’s the thing about acceptance, optimism, and half-full glasses: they’re no fun. It’s the challenges, mishaps, and wipeouts that made life dramatic and hilarious. So when it comes to writing, looking on the dark side is my attitude of choice.
As many of you know, I’ve started tinkering around with a new idea. And with that comes a ton of character development. So this morning I made a Bug List. Why? Because my fictional friends need flaws and quirks and petty irritations. It’s those details that make them memorable. So don’t be surprised if you come across the any of these annoying-to-me traits in my next novel.
- The term “awesome sauce.”
I finished my final manuscript for The Dirty Book Club in January 2017 ready for a break. After thirty-two novels and a grey-green complexion all I wanted to do was tend to my hair–the wanted and the unwanted–and re-enter society, tragic as it has become. At that point I could only imagine what life was like outside my head and I was so over imagining. I wanted reality. So much so that I spoke to a local shop owner about working at her boutique. Dressing living people instead of fictional characters seemed like a positive first step.
But my work on the Dirty Book Club was far from over. Proofs needed proofing. My dying social media sites needed defibrillators. Then …Read More
When I heard an author say that it took years to complete their latest book, I assumed they were lazy. I mean, I wrote thirty-one YA novels in ten years. During that time I also got a puppy, moved across country, had two kids, went for (and failed) my California Driver’s license, went for it again (cheated) and passed, leased cars, bought a house, decorated said house, and did all the other things adult humans do to thrive and stay out of prison.
Then, in 2011, I had an idea for a novel. An adult novel inspired by my own dirty book club and I would call it, of course, The Dirty Book Club. Thanks to my track record, …Read More
I’ve always heard authors say it took years to complete a novel and assumed they were lazy. I mean, I wrote 31 books in ten years and I wrote them quickly!
Well, call me Judy because I was super judgy.
I have written half of The Dirty Book Club about nine times in the past four years. It’s an ambitious project that spans generations, includes secret rituals, funny conversations about dirty books, and great characters in their early 30s with lives that need some serious fixing. And it’s HARD!
My latest start-over was this January. Among other things I changed it from a novel with multiple points of view to a novel with one main voice. Now, seven months later …Read More
You know when you hit the fridge over an over again hoping something new will magically appear, and it doesn’t? Those wilted spinach leaves and that hairy-lipped carton of orange juice are still the only things in there! Well, that’s what trying to find words feels like today: a maddening cycle of hope and futility.
My brainwaves have short-circuited. Reduced to a blinking cursor; an anxious heartbeat flipping the bird at my lack of creativity.
Flip… flip… flip…
As a professional writer it’s a terrifying place to be. All I’m good for are words and ideas. What am I supposed to do when I run out??
And yet, I am at my favorite sushi restaurant typing away. When I sat …Read More
A few years ago, I was having one of my many panic attacks while trying to finish one of my many books before one of my many deadlines. Not one to wallow in my own suffering, I looked for help and found Candice. I’m sure I’ve written about her before. She is a life coach and really helped me look at my stresses in a new way so I could manage them. One of my biggest issues was Life vs. Work. As a writer, you really need to enter what I call The Cone Of Silence and stay there for many straight hours.
There are no texts inside the cone. No phone calls. No e-mails. No paying bills. No online …Read More
I’m receiving a number of comments and messages from readers looking for help becoming writers. Some of them lead me to believe you haven’t been keeping up with the Writing Process section here on the blah-g. Check this out first in case any of your questions have already been answered in depth: Blah Blah Blah Writing Process
And a few of you have asked me for some tips and tricks. Tips and tricks for writing, huh? I wish, sisters. I’ve said this before, but there aren’t any tricks. You have to write every day. It’s that simple. Read books in the genre you are writing so you can see how other people do it. Stephen King says if you don’t …Read More
“Before you diagnose yourself with depression or low self-esteem, first make sure you are not, in fact, just surrounded by a**holes.” – William Gibson.
Have you ever shared your life’s grand plan with someone and in an instant your dreams were dashed with negativity? We all encounter discouraging naysayers on our path, but it’s particularly difficult to stay focused in reaching our goals when those closest to us can’t or won’t be our support system along the way. Danielle is experiencing this right now and commented about it on my Facebook page. Here’s her story: I’ve wanted to become a writer for quite some time. The only problem is my family doesn’t support me in my decision. They say things …Read More