While I was querying, I wanted to read stories of others’ journeys. I was trying to divine by comparison whether I would succeed or fail. On the other side, I can tell you that it felt like failing, right up to the moment I succeeded.
Here’s my story:
People say “writer’s block doesn’t exist; could a cab-driver refuse to drive, saying she had driver’s block?” Well, no, but if her passengers were simultaneously shouting at her—turn LEFT, NO, turn RIGHT—she might slam on her brakes, and/or get herself into an accident.
So it’s not a block—not a thing in the road preventing your progress. It’s an internal paralysis, when the voices in your head as you write give opposite advice, so you don’t know which way to turn.
Which of those voices is right? How can you tell?
Well, yours truly took a trippy, er, trip into her own brain to find out just who is in charge at the (metaphorical, obviously) Writer, Incorporated. What follows is a series of interviews with the various voices in my head, like any perfectly normal person might conduct. It’s kind of like Are You My Mother? but for creative types.
In a year, this kitchen table will be covered in boxes of fentanyl patches, probiotic pills and laxatives — the balloon-patterned tablecloth from my dad’s 59th birthday still spread out underneath. In a year, my father will weigh less than I did when I was sixteen, and I will be grateful just to have him answer, groggily, from his gurney-bed when I call out, “Hi, Dad!” But, for now, all is well. He may know he has cancer, but I don’t. He’s sipping his coffee, leaning against a cutting-board-topped cabinet, in blue jeans and a t-shirt. It’s 2017.
…Which means, it’s time to talk about NOT ALL MONSTERS, an anthology of horror by women writers compiled by the wonderful, Stoker Award-winning Sara Tantlinger (with cover and interior art by Don Noble). Every week in February, Sara’s hosting a round-table on her blog —… Read More
I have never been good with my hands. It’s the cerebral palsy. There is no middle ground, for me, between the over-hard, stress-red clench of a pen and a tentative, trembling touch. So that I do not shake, I type too loud, and draw too… Read More
This week, I shared a writing exercise with my writer’s group. It’s called “Starting from Solitude,” and it was developed by Richard Hoffman. It’s intended for memoir writing, and it’s unique in that it organically gets the writer back into her own head at a… Read More
(IMAGE CREDIT: Marco Michelini via FREEIMAGES.COM) At a red light, once upon an icy evening, Mom and I watched as a woman on a motorcycle tipped over. The immediate fear, of course, was that she was hurt – if not from the bike falling on… Read More
By Briana McGuckin Divorce divided my childhood Into two Christmases, two Easters, two birthdays and, later, When I’d moved out of my mom’s, two phone calls To catch both parents up on what my father termed “what’s new, what’s hip, what’s happenin’”
On Wednesday, I started reading The Fall by Diogo Mainardi, a memoir about fathering a boy who falls down a lot because he has cerebral palsy. I have cerebral palsy, too. That’s why it’s on my reading list. On that same Wednesday, I fell. And… Read More
I’m glad I read Before the Door Closes (by Judith Hall Simon) directly after Keeping My Balance. This, after that, reminds me that good writing is not so simple as replacing summary with scene, always; rather, good writing has both in moderation. If writing were as simple… Read More