So now instead or writers block I have blog block, which doesn’t sound as professional or mysterious as writers block, in fact, it sounds a little creepy, but apparently it is just as real. I was afraid this would happen. What’s the point of blogging to overcome writers block if you just contract another version of the disease? I wonder if there is a pill I can take, or if I missed out on some immunization or if my diet is wrong. I read an interview in Poets & Writers some time ago with a popular author (whose name I shall withhold for no reason other than it makes me sound like a journalist) and she said she didn’t understand writers block. She went to a writers colony (which sounds too close to a lepers colony for my taste, I mean, don’t we already feel enough like lepers just telling people we write?) for a month and she pounded out a best seller. Now, I happened to read this best seller and thought the writing was uninteresting, the plot predictable and the characters flat. Nonetheless, her book made it into mini-bookstores in airports and was turned into a movie and she made a lot of money. I have a couple of dear friends who keep telling me I should write a smutty romance novel to make money and then I can write what I want (I used to teach sex education and somehow they think this qualifies me). I have scoffed at this idea for years, but now I think, well, why not? I want to be able to make enough money so I can quit my day job, I want to get something in print, what’s stopping me?
What’s stopping me is I think it would be just as hard to write a smutty romance as it would be to write literary fiction. I would have to live with icky characters and write about heaving bosoms and God knows what. And then I would try to make it perfect. I would do research (hmmm…I guess that could be fun) and edit and rewrite and second guess and hate myself and if I’m going to go through all that, I should really write something I’m in love with. Or something that keeps calling out to me or something I can let my mother read. It might be a good strategy for some people–I wish you well–but I am far too neurotic and insanely attached to language and driven by the desire to write something slightly remarkable, even if I can’t sell the movie rights.
I know. I’m screwed.