January 25, 2010

Death by a Thousand Paper Cuts

Ever have one of those days when nothing seems to go right on paper? Well, I've been having one of those months.

I don't know what it is, but it's like I've been jinxed. This is most definitely not the way I wanted to start off the new year. I've been working on a couple of short stories this month and nothing is coming together.

I subscribe to the idea that all first drafts are allowed to be terrible. But, even with that mantra, the first draft should still reveal some semblance of the finished product. The diamond in the rough should be glinting somewhere in all those words. So far, however, I've found nothing but fuel for disgruntlement.

It's not writer's block. I've had that. This is like watching your idea die once it's exposed to air.

Gargh. I'm over-thinking the process probably. But, I can't help but wonder if I should just let these stories die. I like the ideas, but I'm at a loss to get something cohesive from them as of yet.

I need catharsis.

But enough about me, how are you this week?


  1. I hear you. I've had several ideas die on me lately. Roll on 2011 :D

  2. Sometimes, I let those half-formed ideas swim in the same pool together, and they merge into something new. Some ideas never make friends, though.

    Ideas will come.

  3. Sometimes I bribe mine with cheese. Otherwise, distance and some cheesy horror movies can work wonders!

  4. You just described twenty-nine years of my life.

    I know what you're saying. The only answer is


  5. Maybe they need to pickle in their own brine for a while. Do you have another project idea you can work on for a couple weeks - something of a different format than a short story? Even just outlining something else may help. Maybe something visual to get you away from words for a bit.

  6. Just thought that now would be a good time to mention this...

    You = AWESOME.

    p.s. better luck next story!

  7. Cate - 2011. Is it just me or do the odd years go by lightning fast?

    Aaron - Oh, the ideas are there alright. I have writing journals stacked, polluted with ideas. That is my environment--dust bunnies and ideas. :)

    Natalie - Sadly, I've only seen bad horror movies this past week or so. A good one would be nice for a change.

    Jeremy - I have something very similar to that last bit stickied to the top of my monitor.

    Shan - Oh, there are always more projects on the horizon. I have two more open calls with deadlines in late March that I'm working on very soon. I may just take those outlines and jump in head first.

    Celia - Again. I am convinced you are a peach. How's D.C. treating you?