As I sat here contemplating how I was going to tackle a reader’s question, I wandered off to think about whether I liked my hair curly or straight, should I go and clean out five litter boxes (and no, I am NOT a cat lady.), why does my Buddhist meditation teacher not like me (I can never sit in the right chair - it’s not like I am blocking the sun from the Buddha), or if I eat this dark chocolate incredibly fast will it not register with my brain that I cheated on Weight Watchers and thus the weight will not show up on my hips?
And now that my mother ship has landed safely back on earth, an answer came. I am going to call my heroine – Lost in the Blank Pages. Okay, you do better! She sent me an email asking for my help. Silly rabbit.
Lost in the Blank Pages is stuck. She followed a guidebook on how to create the outline for her first novel. It took her almost a year to finish. She didn't proceed to the next step which was to write her first novel.
First of all, congratulations on writing your first novel’s outline. But I read that the actual writing of the novel is not working out for you. I feel your pain because my first book still has not materialized before my eyes. I would like to take this time to thank Facebook and Twitter for allowing me to squander all my waking hours on cute puppy videos. But you wrote an outline. Bravo. That shows incredible commitment on your part.
What I am thinking here is that maybe the actual writing of the novel is not coming because your passion for the characters or plot has waned. You mentioned that you have another guidebook on how to write the novel and you are feeling a little put off. Write on. You should be because all these guidebooks have left you reading and not writing.
I love guidebooks (and we writers do need them) but sometimes one just has to put them in a pile and just write. Total and complete crap. Stuff you would never want anyone to see after you go to that glorious wiring clinic in the sky.
Just write and don’t edit yourself. Just write. Leave room for creativity and your passion to walk in holding hands. Write.
Can you commit to writing for 20 to 30 minutes a day? Forget the outline. See what you can do on your own. Work a dialogue, paint the scene of the crime, have the lovers meet for the first time and realize that if it sucks – it’s a start. And it could be a start of your first novel.
And finally Lost in the Blank Pages wanted to know if she should join a writers group. I joined a small group of writer/friends on Facebook and they have been so supportive and are just a great group of writers that I am so grateful to have in my life. So my answer is a yes. And if you can’t find out that works for you - please go and start your own.
Every man loves two women; the one is the creation of his imagination and the other is not yet born. Kahill Gibran I put this in because I think Kahill is so cool.
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elizabeth cassidy is a humorist, artist, creativity coach for artists and writers and a faculty member of the Art League of Long Island. She is an award-wining blogger for skirt, a featured columnist for Here Women Talk and has seen her writings published in GalTime, ShareWIK, More and Huffington Post.
She is the founder of My Views from the Edge and Coaching for the Creative Soul and is a former stand up comedienne and comedy writer for WNBC Radio. She was once compared to a young Woody Allen. Her family and friends were relieved to hear that she did not actually morph into a short Jewish man. She has also been published in The Renaissance Writers Anthology and is a published poet.
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