Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Elephant

There's an elephant in the room--or in my blog, rather. It's writing. I haven't said much about my WIP lately because truthfully, I haven't written any new words for quite some time. I do a lot of writing each day, both here and on other sites, but I haven't been able to bring myself to work on my project. I've stalled.

My reluctance to work on my book stems from the fact that fiction is starting to be too much like fact. Goethe once said, "Every author in some way portrays himself in his works, even if it be against his will." I think that's exactly where I am. My book has become too real. I'm drawing from my life and my experiences, which I do think is valuable in creating believable prose, but this time, I feel exposed. This time, I'm portraying myself against my will.

What will I do? I'll write through it; I have no choice. I have to tell the story, and the only way to do that is to write. But I think that leaving this project alone for several weeks was important; I think that it may have given me some clarity. My step back will help me to move forward.

And I will.

Writing is intensely personal. I agree with Goethe that the writer can't divorce himself from his writing; something of him--an experience, a trait, an emotion, a glimpse of his soul--will always be present in whatever he creates. It can't not be there.

What about you? Have you ever come to a point where your writing became too real, perhaps revealing things you didn't want or weren't prepared to reveal? What did you do?


  1. Sorry to hear that you find yourself in this spot, Dana, but it's probably a good decision to step back (for a bit).

    Ironically, I just posted "Strengthen Your Novel by Distancing Yourself" and one of my commentors noted how she would step back from her WIP, and come back to it. And since she's finished it.

    As far as personal aspects, I discuss that in there too, so I can completely understand where you're coming from.

    Sending you good writing vibes.

  2. Carolyn: Your comment seems to have gotten lost due to all the Blogger issues. I'm working off the copy that was sent to my email.

    I appreciate the good writing vibes. Your blog post sounds like exactly what I'm going through with this "not being able to work on my WIP" business. I'll definitely check it out. Thanks!