Tag Archives: writer’s block

Top 10 Ways to tell if a Writer’s Spouse is needing Attention

The writing journey is hard on writers. Can I get an “AMEN!”? Pressure…hard work…did I mention pressure?

But being married to a writer can also be stressful. With that in mind, I present to you the Top 10 Ways to tell if a Writer’s Spouse is needing Attention:

 

#10:  They’re making prank phone calls just so they can have someone real to talk to. And if the person is normal, that’s a bonus.

# 9:  They come to a book signing just so they can have some face-to-face time with their writer spouse. And they keep getting in line because they’ve “got a lot on their mind.”

# 8:  They walk around the house naked just to see if their spouse will notice.

# 7:  They get in trouble with the IRS because they tried to claim the characters of their spouse’s current writing project as dependents since “they’re sooooooooo important!”

# 6:  They picket their spouse’s writers group meeting and chant, “Watch more TV! Watch more TV!”

# 5:  They call the county courthouse and offer to “Track Change” their marriage license.

# 4:  They have a shirt made that says, I got your inciting incident right here!

# 3:  They refer to their children as “precious consequences of writer’s block.”

# 2:  After planning the family vacation, they dance around the house and giggle profusely because they managed to find a spot in the desert that is hundreds of miles from a Barnes & Noble or a Starbucks.

# 1:  They call 9-1-1 and claim that an unfinished manuscript is holding their spouse hostage, and add, “the office is in the apartment above the garage…bring tear gas and those things that flash and go BOOM!

How about we just be sure to take care of the wonderful spouses that support us, so we avoid any of the above?

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Filed under books, Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life, editing, family, Larry W. Timm, reading, Top 10 List, Top Ten list, Uncategorized, Writing

“Top 10 Signs A Writer Has Passed Their Breaking Point”

Okay, so most writers are willing to admit that we’re a few steps (or miles) closer to insanity than people who are not writers…you know, the “normals.” And writers will readily confess that the writing profession provides ample opportunities for a wordsmith to earn a ride to the loony bin. Here are the Top 10 Signs A Writer Has Passed Their Breaking Point” so that those who love them can prepare for an intervention.

#10:  They send out a ransom note, claiming they’re holding themselves hostage until they get a contract.

#  9:  They start pushing their thesaurus around in a baby carriage.

# 8:  They call their Senator and demand to begin receiving unemployment benefits because “Writer’s Block is the disease that no one wants to talk about…but it’s out there,” and they have it.

# 7:  They try to marry their laptop.

# 6:  They haven’t moved from their desk chair in two days. All they do is slobber and say, “Syn…opsis…synop…sis…SIN…opsis…”

# 5:  They’re arrested for showering in the sink at the public library.

# 4:  When you ask them is they’re okay, they giggle and say, “I’m crazy…no…insane, mad, demented, deranged, maniacal, daft, berserk, unbalanced, unhinged…or maybe I’m cracked, nuts, nutty, out of my head, mad as a March hare…but you must think I’m bizarre, or perhaps weird, odd, unusual, peculiar, strange, uncommon, silly, absurd or…what was the question?”

# 3:  They’re dressed in burlap and standing in the middle of a bust intersection, throwing their books at passing cars while screaming, “Thus saith the Lord, ‘You shalt read these books, you illiterate generation!'”

# 2:  They go up to complete strangers and say, “Do you have any idea how many people I’ve killed this week?”

# 1:  Stunned patrons watch in horror as the writer publicly goes through every stage of grief when they notice that someone is seated in their usual spot at Starbucks:  1: Denial–They shack their head furiously and shout, “No, no, NO! This is NOT happening!” 2: Anger–expressed by flinging their scone at the shocked man and growling. 3: Bargaining–“If you’ll move from MY spot I won’t kill you in my next book.” 4: Depression–They start weeping and singing, “You picked a fine time to leave me, Lucille.” 5: Acceptance–They hug their coffee cup, and walk out the door, muttering, “It’s okay…We’ll find a new happy place.”

Help them…help them if you can.

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Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life, Larry W. Timm, reading, Top 10 List, Top Ten list, Writing

“Ode to Writer’s Block” or “How I almost became a Romance Writer”

After reading today’s “offering”, you may think I should be fitted for one of those wrap-around sweaters that tie in the back. Enjoy! Have a good laugh even.

“Ode to Writer’s Block” or “How I almost became a Romance Writer.”

I opened my laptop, and stared at the screen.

I glared at the cursor as it blinked back at me.

I swallowed some coffee and peered at the clock,

determined to get through this writer’s block.

I paced round the table, ran my hand through my hair,

rubbed hard on my temples, then plopped down in my chair.

“Eureka!” I hollered, “now I am on it…

I think all my heroine needs is a bonnet!”

But a rude awakening then smashed my glee

I don’t write Amish…and my book’s buggy-free.

I slapped my forehead, slumped back in my chair

as the “boys in the basement” chose to play solitaire.

“No! I won’t play…okay, maybe one round.”

Then back to the book, and that keyboard I’d pound.

Two hours later, I snapped out of my trance

and decided to switch from suspense to romance.

Yes…an epic love story sounded just like the ticket.

I’ll make readers swoon, and Oprah will pick it.

A hunky pen name–that’s what I need,

so from now on “Suede Beefcake” I’ll be.

I giggled profusely, pumped my fist in the air,

leapt to my feet, then jumped up on the chair.

I danced on the table, on my chest started drumming,

sure a best-seller soon would be coming.

I ripped off my shirt, then crowed like a rooster,

until someone said, “Can I help you, mister?”

Wouldn’t you know it…it was just my luck…

I’d completely forgotten I’d come to Starbucks!

People were staring…wide-eyed, mouths a gaping,

one had a camera and I’m sure she was taping.

Others were frozen…mid-sip or mid-scone…

I decided it was time for me to go home.

I cleared my throat, hopped down to the floor,

snatched up my laptop, and ran for the door,

yelling, “I know what you’re thinking, but I can explain.

I am writer…Suede Beefcake is my name!”

My career writing romance was brief and quite tense.

And now I have returned to writing suspense.

The highs and the lows…the struggles and fighting…

Oh, how I love this thing they call “writing!”

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Filed under Christian Fiction, Christian Growth, Christian Life, editing, reading, Writing

“Just Keep Pulling The Cord!”

A preacher was making his visitation rounds on his trusty old bicycle one day when he came across a boy who was trying to sell a lawnmower. “How much do you want for it?” the preacher asked.

“I want enough to buy a bicycle,” the boy said.

The preacher, who just happened to need a lawnmower, thought for a minute and then said, “I’ve been looking for a mower, so lets trade. I’ll give you this bike for your mower.”

“Great!” The boy grinned from ear to ear.

The preacher got off his bike and walked over to the mower. He pulled the cord a few times, but the engine refused to start. “This thing seems hard to start. Is there a trick to get it to fire up?”

“My dad says you have to cuss at it.”

“I’m a preacher! I’ve been saved so long I don’t even remember how to cuss.”

A twinkle danced in the young boy’s eyes. “Just keep pulling the cord, and it will come back to ya.”

There are days that I wonder if I remember how to write. And the only thing I can do is “keep pulling the cord”, believing that it will come back to me, (writing, that is…not cussing…that’s a different post).

If you are struggling with blank screen syndrome, let me encourage you to write one paragraph at a time. Don’t think in novel-length chunks. Make your goal more manageable. When you’re driving in thick fog, you very seldom speed up. The wise thing to do is slow down, handle the immediate chunk of road in front of you. Eventually you’ll get to your destination, even if it’s later than you originally planned.

You CAN finish that novel. But you won’t do it by reading about writing. And since the novel won’t write itself, you’ll need to bang out the words with your own fingers…sentence by sentence. In other words, you’ll need to just keep pulling the cord.

How do you keep writing when the writing comes slow?

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Filed under Christian Fiction, editing, reading, Writing

The Fog

Some call it “being in a funk”, but the more I’ve thought about it, I think it feels more like driving in a fog. I’m still doing things as a writer, but as I bang out the words to this post I simply can’t see very far down the road. I stare ahead, trying to stay alert so I don’t miss anything. This is how I feel right now as I’m pushing ahead on my writing journey. I’m in a fog.

I’m still brainstorming some ideas for my next book, and I’m trying to get up the emotional energy to send out proposals on my last one. In fact, my last book is one that I am very excited about…if I can just get it in the hands of readers. And while I enjoyed the many blessings of the writer’s convention I attended in September, a discouraging fog has settled in around me.

No…I’m not ready to quit. I am just being real with you: if you want to be a writer, expect to have to fight your way through the fog every so often. The way you deal with the fog may be different than how another writers tackles it. Some drink enormous amounts of coffee (I’ll leave the drink of choice as coffee since I’m talking about Christian Fiction), others go on retreats and attempt to ignite their creativity, some master solitaire, and others go shopping. And some of us blog. Whatever works.

There are many things I don’t know about this fog–like how long it will last–but there are a few things that I DO know:

  • God is bigger than the fog & that will never change.
  • I’m his child, so He never loses sight of me…not even in the thickest fog.
  • I’m blessed to have a wife and family that believes in me unconditionally.
  • I’m still moving forward…even if I can’t see very far down the road.

Have you ever been in the fog as a writer? How did you handle it? What did you learn?

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