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  • Writer’s Block vs. Fear vs. Me

    Okay, so I don’t really have writer’s block. But I do have a terrible case of I-can’t-seem-to-finish-my-series-proposal! Symptoms include watching incredible amounts of television (and/or movies), playing computer games, sleeping long hours, googling character names, brainstorming other book ideas, and in worst case scenarios, doing laundry.

    You see I have this book proposal that I’ve been telling my editor about since July of last year. Seven months ago I came up with an idea for a book–actually it was a three book series–and she loved it! She thought it sounded great and asked me to put my proposal together right away. I promised to do just that. And then I got derailed by a proposal for a Christmas novella and then writing said novella. But still I knew I needed to get the Love Inspired Suspense series proposal done. Mostly because my editor and agent continue peppering me with quesitons about when they’ll be able to see it.

    So what’s the hold up? Well, that’s a really good question. And one that I want an answer to. So between watching television and reading e-mails this weekend I thought about what has made me put this one off. And then it hit me.

    I’m a little bit scared. Seriously. This realization left me with that little knot in my stomach that took another four episodes of Life for me to unwind.

    All right. I’m joking a little bit here. So let’s get serious for a second.

    This fear thing is real. You know what I mean. It starts small. Just a little voice niggling in your mind. What if this book isn’t as good as your last one? What if your ideas copy a book that you read years ago? What if you’ve lost your talent? What if you never even had any talent?

    They start as questions. Start as quandries that you can answer. Can respond to. Until that voice in your head starts making statements. No way will your new book be as good as the last. Of course, that won’t take much, since the last one was crap anyway.

    And then the worst. You begin believing those statements and repeating them to yourself. The voice in your head becomes your own. And then it becomes the voices of the ones you trust and respect. It begins to sound like your editor and your agent and your mom and sister. And despite the reviews and kind words and encouragement, those words of fear become your truth. Became my truth.

    So that’s it. I’m afraid. But I have good news for myself and anyone else who struggles with this.

    So do not fear, for I am with you;
       do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
    I will strengthen you and help you;
       I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10, NIV)

    The truth is that me + fear=writer’s block. The great news is I don’t have to be afraid. And neither do you.

    I’m diving back into my proposal. What are you diving into?

    3 thoughts on “Writer’s Block vs. Fear vs. Me

    1. Kelly Long

      Aww Liz. I know it is scary, but you telling about your fear encourages others (me) and know we are not alone. Thanks, my friend.

    2. I’m car shopping for th heroine of my WIP. I thought I had it figured out—that she’d still be driving the BMW her parents gave her when she graduated from college twelve years ago. But then I re-read the first book in the series and the girls have a conversation about how she bought a new car—because she needed a car that could double as a phone. So not only do I need to find her a different car, but I need to make sure it comes with the hands-free phone feature as an option!

      Could I write the whole book without mentioning the specific kind of car she drives? Sure. But why should I do that when I can spend a couple of hours researching cars instead of writing? 🙂

    3. God is such a wonderful God! I just finished reading Code of Justice and came over here to see what other books you’ve written. I’ve been fighting that writer’s block thing. The only thing is, I’ve known for a long while that it’s fear holding me back. You see I don’t have a first contract or an agent. I’ve entered contests and have finaled, I’ve had requests, but never sent in the submissions because the ms wasn’t complete or polished enough. Today, I actually opened up a file and wrote. Only 300 words but I wrote. Thanks to you, I’ll reopen the file this evening and see if I can get another 300 hundred, maybe I’ll even meet 1k for the day.

      By the way, I enjoyed Code of Justice. I’m not a suspense writer (I prefer historicals), yet, although I do have a series in the wings. It’s nice to have a genre I can escape to when I’m not writing Western or Biblical romances.

      Thank you!


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