What’s your excuse?

images“Writer’s block” adds a lovely sense of entitlement and specialness to the malaise. After all, nobody sanctions “pediatrician’s block” or “fireman’s block,” as in: “You know, I just don’t feel like taking care of your kid, or putting out your house fire today. I’m just not into it.” Other professionals just cowboy up and do their work.

Yet writing is so much about walking off a cliff. The time lapse between the first idea and the book/digital copy in your hand is so long, and the vagaries of “success” are so many. It’s just so hard, and so difficult to know when you’ve got it right. So one thinks . . .

I’m too old/young to do this.
My life has been too easy/hard to write.
Who cares about my idea?
My idea is great but XYZ did it better.
My style is too risky/mainstream.
The opening was OK, but it’s falling apart in the middle.
I can’t end this thing.
Other people have more important jobs.
I should do one of those other jobs.
Look, the garden needs weeding. The clothes need washing.
Someone has to watch the paint dry.
Something’s not working but I don’t know what.
I know what the fix is but I don’t know if I can do it.
Look at the trash that’s gobbled up. Who wants what I do?
Just a little more research . . . just a lot more research . . . and then I’ll write.
My life is difficult enough. I don’t want to feel my character’s pain too.
I thought I had “it” but maybe I lost “it.”

And so on. Yet we go on.

Pamela Schoenewaldt, historical novels of immigration and the search for self in new worlds: WHEN WE WERE STRANGERS, SWIMMING IN THE MOON, and UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY (all HarperCollins).

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Workshop on Point of View for the Knoxville Writers Guild, Sat. Feb. 18, 2017, 10am to noon

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Recent Review
“Absorbing and layered with rich historical details, in Under the Same Blue Sky, Schoenewaldt weaves a tender and at times, heartbreaking story about German-Americans during World War I. With remarkable compassion, the author skillfully portrays conflicted loyalties, the search for belonging, the cruelty of war, and the resilience of the human spirit.”—Ann Weisgarber, author of The Promise and The Personal History of Rachel Dupree

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