So this month we are gonna turn the tables a bit because as it turns out, I need the advice.
You see, I have hit a proverbial wall. I’m out of gas. I’ve drained myself dry.
I got, in short, nothin’.
I am officially…blocked.
Not the kind you can solve with a few mornings of bran cereal either.
Mind you, I am taking a new path with my 2018 projects per my agent’s request. I am veering off the sexy romance superhighway and pulling onto a slightly less congested but no less vital thoroughfare of chicklit aimed at the book club crowd. I’m seeking an Oprah stamp of approval on this thing for a wider audience of readers who’re seeking, well, not a romance.
**CAVEAT BEFORE YOU START EMAILING ME YOUR ISSUES WITH THIS**
I am not dissing romance. In fact, I have sold two more romance novels to one of my existing publishers and am waiting word on a trilogy of them as well. I’m just ready to try something else, creatively speaking, as part of my own personal goal for myself.
That said, that whole “creatively speaking” thing has sort of abandoned me so far this year so me being “ready to try something else” could simply be me talking too soon.
I hope not because I have two great concepts (neither of which involves “girls” or “trains” but which will explore the complex relationships involving grown women all facing various adult-style life dramas of varying intensity and how said relationships either strengthen or weaken them), plus one more that I was going to write as a memoir but have decided to fictionalize to spare myself the headaches memoir-writing involves vis a vis my personal relationships. I’ve started one and am, oh, about 4000 words in. But those few words took way longer than usual and I could sense my mental capacities dragging even as I wrote them. And I’ve been utterly stymied by what to do or where to go with it next.
Like I said: blocked.
So, here’s how this month’s Pro Rookie column will proceed: I will lay out my plans to jar loose the muse and you will add your advice at the end, in that space normally reserved for comments. Yes, this is me, encouraging, nay welcoming your input!
- Repeat the phrase: “My agent cannot sell a book that is not written,” at least 100 times per day.
- Print the phrase (above) in 50-point red type and post it on the wall above my work space.
- Write the phrase (above) onto 25 stickie notes every morning, longhand, and post them in the kitchen, bathroom, car, my nose, etc.
- Set aside small chunks of time wherein I will write words, or I will deny myself goodies, like food and water.
- Install a mechanical hand-slapping device set to emerge from laptop every time I veer off the WIP and over to social media.
I know all the other tried-and-true rituals like getting away from my computer and into the great outdoors for fresh air, exercising regularly, that sort of thing. I’ve done that. The problem is, now that I am circling the laptop and eyeballing as if it were a ticking time bomb, avoiding it with every ounce of my (admittedly somewhat busy) energy, that’s kind of all I’m doing. My dog is even giving me the “will you please get back to work and stop dragging me outside” side eye lately.
I’m guessing I’ll get past it.
I have even toyed with the idea of just starting on “concept #2” to see if that one will work for me which I’ve never had to do before and I’ve been known to crank out ten books in one calendar year. Plus (bonus announcement) I will be starting on a co-writing project with Desiree Holt later this month which might help. But, yeah this is a totally new sensation for me and I am not liking it one bit.
So here’s your chance all you long-suffering Pro Rookie Minions and Acolytes! Lay it on me…give me YOUR solutions to your writer’s block and let me give them a try. I’ll be sure to let you know how things are, um, moving, in next month’s post.
Now if you will excuse me, I’ve got a dog to walk, some laundry to fold, meals to prepare, snow to shovel, carpets to clean…you get the idea I think.
Please, get commenting and help me already!
Amazon best-selling author, mom of three, Realtor, beer blogger, brewery marketing expert, and soccer fan, Liz Crowe is a Kentucky native and graduate of the University of Louisville currently living in Ann Arbor. She has decades of experience in sales and fund raising, plus an eight-year stint as a three-continent, ex-pat trailing spouse.
With stories set in the not-so-common worlds of breweries, on the soccer pitch, in successful real estate offices and at times in exotic locales like Istanbul, Turkey, her books are unique and told with a fresh voice. The Liz Crowe backlist has something for any reader seeking complex storylines with humor and complete casts of characters that will delight, frustrate and linger in the imagination long after the book is finished.
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By way of a reminder, my series ‘Brewing Passion’ from Totally Bound is a fun way to jump into the Liz-style of realistic, funny, and very hot romance, all set in the trending world of craft breweries. Check out TAPPED, LIGHTSTRUCK, CONDITIONED, GRAVITY and the novella “Adjunct Lovers” which was written in conjunction with an actual brewed beer at the Fiction Brewing Company in Denver, Colorado and see what you’ve been missing in your romance reading life. Book Five: INFUSION releases in September of this year.