Who hasn’t been there? The blank page. The blinking cursor. The author’s horrifically empty torture chamber: writer’s block.
Neil Gaiman in a snuggly sweater
Well, according to Neil Gaiman, best-selling author of the Sandman comic book series, Coraline and many more super-imaginative works of fiction, writer’s block is just as much a fiction as anything else that pours out of an author’s mind. In this fascinating interview on the Goodreads website, he talks about how his ambition as a writer has evolved over the years and offers these pearls of wisdom about the dreaded you-know-what (shhhh… don’t say it out loud or it might come true!):
Writer’s block is this thing that is sent from the gods—you’ve offended them. You’ve trod on a crack on the pavement, and you’re through. The gods have decided. It’s not true. What is really true is you can have a bad day. You can have a bad week. You can get stuck. But what I learned when I was under deadline is that if you write on the bad days, even if you’re sure everything you’ve written is terrible, when you come to it tomorrow and you reread it, most of it’s fixable. It may not be the greatest thing you’ve ever written, but you fix it, and actually it’s a lot better than you remember it being. And the weird thing is a year later when you’re copyediting and reading the galleys through for the first time in months, you can remember that some of it was written on bad days. And you can remember that some of it was written on terrific days. But it all reads like you. Fantastic stuff doesn’t necessarily read better than the stuff written on the bad days. Writers have to be like sharks. We keep moving forward, or we die.
So on that note, here’s a toast to all the other authors out there: have lots of fun over the holiday season and then sit at your desk and work. Cheers!
Photo credit: Lvovsky via Foter.com / CC BY-NC-ND
Goodreads interviewed author/designer Zachary Thomas Dodson about his debut book, Bats of the Republic: An Illuminated Novel. It looks and sounds like a stunningly crafted multi-layered adventure set in the past and the future.
As the Goodreads article says,
With hand-drawn illustrations, meticulously detailed maps, a novel-within-a-novel, and even a sealed envelope the reader must not open until the final moment, Zachary Thomas Dodson’s debut novel is a feast for the imagination.
Read the article for some fascinating insight into Dodson’s process.
Time’s running out to win an autographed copy of Starley’s Rust. Panic!! Or click on the ad:
That headline is well worth an exclamation point. Goodreads is giving away ten signed copies of my new urban fantasy novel Starley’s Rust (book 2 of the Embodied trilogy) and to enter all you have to do is click on the image below then follow the instructions. The contest is open until April 8th and it’s a random draw, so good luck!
Only 14 hours to go in the Goodreads giveaway to win 1 of 25 signed copies of Silent Symmetry, book 1 in the Embodied trilogy.
(I’m rewriting the sequel, Starley’s Rust, right now. Like, right at this minute, as soon as I hit send.)
Here’s the answer to Tuesday’s mystery video featuring the lovely Lily! You could win a signed copy of Silent Symmetry, book 1 in the sci-fi fantasy Embodied trilogy (contest open to residents of USA and Canada only from now until November 10).
Just click on this link ‒ entry is free and easy. Good luck! Now here’s a further example of the best and brightest in child labor:
The answer will be posted soon on my professional Facebook page! Maybe it’s worth going over there and Liking it now so you get the notification when it appears…