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Saturday, January 12, 2013


Most authors write because it's what we love to do. Most of us have been doing so from a very young age, or at the very least, have been telling stories throughout most our lifetimes. If you've ever sat down and actually talked to one of us, even a group of us together, you'd swear we were destined for a sanitarium at some point and probably wonder why we weren't already there. You might wonder what kind of medications we were taking and then wonder why they weren't working. Unless you've ever sat down in front of a blank page and had at least one voice tell you what to write, (this voice being in your head), there's really no way of understanding the how of what we do. The why of what we do, is because we are driven to it by a love for the characters that speak to us out of, literally nowhere.

Our inspirations come from many different places. For some of us, it's a favorite restaurant where we go each week to get coffee and or lunch or a favorite treat, for others, it's sitting in a crowded mall on a Saturday afternoon and watching the many people come and go. Sometimes, a line in a song can inspire an entire novel or a single painting, or color in that painting, a series of novels. Many of us tend to dream in full technicolor with digital Dolby surround sound. One single dream can turn into an epic series. The muse as we like to call it, comes from anything, place, sound, sight, touch or smell. Perhaps, even the even cadence of a pleasant voice.  That's the easy part.

The hard part, and it doesn't happen often, is when that muse freezes. When you end up staring at the page, whether it be a blank one or at the last sentence where you left off a few days ago and can't write another word. You know how the story ends, your characters are screaming at you to finish because most of us are working on more than one thing at a time and they don't want to be left hanging, and yet there you are, hands ready to type, and there is nothing flowing through you. It goes by another name, too. Writer's Block. When this occurs, it's physically painful, causing heart palpitations because time is moving on and you know you have to get the work done.  That's called a deadline. For me, a deadline often means a flat line, as in heart monitor flat line.  Once I figured out what was happening, I discovered a simple solution.

As writer's we all deal with this at one point or other. For me, and for others I suspect as well, freelance work is my "Waiting tables until my big Hollywood Star Break."  Sometimes these projects require a deadline, some don't. Recently, my biggest one asked for a deadline and then it happened. I was in pure writer's block.  I couldn't write word one on any project, mine or anyone else's.  I ended up talking to my client and we came to an understanding that caused the jump start to my heart monitor flat line. I have normal sinus rhythm again, but have to take it easy for a day or two to recover completely. 

The solution? Remove the deadline! By doing that, I am able to finish everything I am working on without further worry. That's not to say that I won't still have to face deadlines again. That's a hazard of this job. Hopefully, when that time comes again, I will be working on only one project; mine.

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