July 19, 2012

Start Me Up

Before I begin writing a new story, I'm full of ideas. Bits of dialogue, scenes, and plotting craziness are scribbled on scraps of paper and Post-its, and stuffed into random text files and word docs on my desktop. There are so many of them that of course they'll easily make a Whole. New. Novel. Or, er, a couple of chapters.

While I agree with Twain that getting started is oh-so-important... getting started (for me) isn't usually the problem. Continuing is the problem.

I don't believe in writer's block the same way I don't believe in morning sickness. That is to say, I don't believe in it until I have it. And when I finally do get the comeuppance of having it, then it's all, "Well, shit," and scrambling to remember all that stuff I'm supposed to do to make it go away.

I know what causes my writer's block. Sure I do. It's my Inner Editor. She is a raving lunatic perfectionist, and she's never happy. Never. Happy. After I click publish, I will find errors in this post and wonder why I bothered writing it. The temptation is to freeze. I've done that before. I did that for years. The difference between the Tammara who never gets ahead and the Tammara who does is simple: I will click publish on this post, with all of its imperfections.

Then, I'll march back into my Writer's Cave and gag my Inner Editor, and/or hand her tequila shots until she shuts up. ;)

July 2, 2012

Rules of the Writing Cave

1st RULE: You do not talk about the Writing Cave. The Writing Cave is for writing. If you're talking - to other writers, to fans, to your cat - you aren't writing. Once you're in, you're in. Capisce?

2nd RULE: You DO NOT talk about the Writing Cave. You say you're a writer? Then write.

3rd RULE: If someone says "stop," goes limp, or taps out, Writing Cave time is over. While many of us spend hours of our "writing time" staring at the screen and that MF of a blinking cursor, at some point it's better to call it a day. And while in the Writing Cave - please - don't forget to eat. What? It happens. (Not to me, damn this ass to hell, but I know people. Trust me, it happens.)

4th RULE: Only one guy to a Writing Cave. Yes, I've met friends for "writing time" - at the coffee shop, the diner, one of our houses... what do we do? We talk. Talking does not equal writing.

5th RULE: One writing project at a time. Some people can break this rule... but probably not you or me.

6th RULE: No shirts, no shoes. Okay, I actually do wear a shirt. But no bra, dammit!

7th RULE: Writing will go on as long as it has to. Write til it's done, bitches. Can I get an amen?

8th RULE: If this is your first night in the Writing Cave, you HAVE to write. Yeah, that counts for "first morning" too. Write crap if you have to. Your first day of a new project - set a realistic goal and hit it. It sets the tone and gets the juices pumping.