I had a great topic picked for today, but I just can’t write it. It sounded like a great topic, felt like a great topic, but when I sat down at my computer I couldn’t push the right keys to compose such stimulating thoughts…because I’m a fraud. Really, I am.
I’ve been “playing writer” for a year now, but the truth is that I’m not really accomplishing much. I know what I should do, but the application of that escapes me. You can read a little bit about the emotional side of it here.
Here’s the truth: I’m easily overwhelmed and horrible at time management. That leads to a lot of wasted time that could (and should) be used to pursue writing ventures, but panic kicks in, the immensity of the situation engulfs me, and I’m back to being overwhelmed and unsure of where to go next.
I own Sally Stuart’s market guide, but I don’t use it. Whenever I try, I drown in the volume of markets. I don’t know where to start, and when I finally narrow it down, I don’t know what to write. I don’t have an area of expertise, so I can’t offer that. I’m not a published author, so there’s nothing there. So what do I write about? I don’t know, so I don’t write anything.
And then I tell people that I’m a freelance writer, but the truth is that I get paid pennies to write fluff stories for two free weekly papers that cover four counties. I don’t know where to resell any of those stories because I don’t know who would care about the local Art Center, or the two middle school teachers who were treated for breast cancer at the same time, or the four day village wide “Green Days” (yes, I live in a village).
All of my time goes into these local stories, so I barely have anything left for my novel, which no longer feels like my novel. I’m so disconnected from it that I don’t remember where the characters are or where they’re going. I don’t know if I’m rushing or dragging. All I know is that I started this project last June, and it will have taken me a year to not finish it.
I’ve already started to forget the things that I learned at conferences, so now I wonder – do I stop writing (again) to reread everything that I’ve already read about writing fiction, or do I push through and hope that I’m doing it right?
I don’t have any answers to this, and I don’t know what to do next. I know that I should spend researching new markets and composing essays about random stuff hoping that someday I might find a place to sell it, but I don’t know if that will happen.
I really hate ending a post on a negative note, but I’m struggling to be optimistic right now, so I’ll close with this: I’m going garage sale-ing tomorrow. For the first time in my life I own a house that needs some things, so I’m going to go find myself a lamp, a dresser, and a screen door tomorrow 🙂