The story ideas haven’t been a problem. Ideas come and go. Unfortunately, they far too often go and don’t come back. I’ve tried to make a habit of jotting them down rather than relying on my porous short term memory. Half the time I can’t even remember to do that.
The bigger problem that has been holding me back is writer’s block. For some crazy reason I seem to struggle transferring the stories from my head onto the printed page. When I can get the process started it is as if the stories just write themselves. Getting it started though? Lately it’s been a pain in the ass.
I shifted gears and tried something different. With a good idea of what the structure of the stories would look like and which of my family and friends would be in them, I tried writing an outline for the stories and character studies for those who might play a role in them. Story outlines have never been my thing so that stopped as quickly as it started. The character studies proved more difficult than they should have as I was adding information that had no bearing on anything. Nothing was working the way I thought it would.
One thought kept coming to mind: It was supposed to be easier than this.
Compounding matters was the most common question being asked of me these days: “How’s the writing going?” My answer is always the same. “Slowly.” I would add that I was working on character studies to try to get the juices flowing. For some folks that was enough. Others gave advice. While I appreciated the concern, I was growing tired of only having the one answer to give.
Frustration was quickly settling in. Frustration, for me, leads to doubt. And doubt is the most crippling emotion I experience. I had to do something and do it quickly before I gave up all hope.
I sent a text message to one of my friends: “What was the name of those blog sites you recommended?”