Hello? Book?

Official Begin Writing Again Month is turning into Official Writer’s Block Month. I just can’t seem to get going with the book. This is probably a good lesson in reasons not to have Official No Writing Month. I completely lost my writing rhythm and my writing schedule. Note to self: Official No Writing Month is counter-productive.

Today, to try to get going again, I made a list of things that I have yet to write about in the book. I thought if I listed them, I could just work my way down the list, writing about each one. Instead, I feel overwhelmed by the list of people and events. When I try to think about how some of them might be combined into a chapter, I get even more overwhelmed.

I am still thinking of going back to the beginning and rewriting. But when I look at the list of files in my computer, that overwhelms me too. There are 10 complete chapter-like sections in my Korea folder, all 12-20 pages long. These have all been workshopped, meaning I have comments on them to implement, and some of them have already been through one post-workshop revision. There are a ton of other Word files filled with incomplete scenes, scenes without a home in the manuscript, ideas for scenes, and so on. I have a binder filled with research about Korea, news from the time I was in Korea, etc. I have a Ziploc bag filled with letters I wrote when I was in Korea and with letters written to me. I have 4 guidebooks on Korea of various sorts on my desk, along with two travel memoirs that I have been using as models, Iron and Silk and Beyond the Sky and the Earth.

How will all of this material possibly come together?

Alas, writing is hard.

Strangely, I don’t seem to have a problem writing here on the blog. Perhaps I should start writing scenes here to get going again?


2 thoughts on “Hello? Book?

  1. What got you going again, if anything? I am having a terrible time on my memoir I’ve been slaving on for 4.5 years. What needs to be done seems so big, and I did a little and petered out. I vacillate between thinking my problem is simple laziness (it is such hard work, and so much of it!) or the fear I’m not up to it, can’t do it.

    I remember good and even bad days with nostalgia! I think this is my first real episode of writer’s block.I rewrote the book last summer and it was really hard but I was really pleased every day. But now I feel burned out. Maybe that’s it, burnout. And it’s a luxury I shouldn’t be able to afford. I am signed up for an on line Stanford writing class in April. But I’d like to get going before then. I have been reading like crazy and sometimes for the first time really seeing what makes a book good. Still, I avoid the keyboard like the plague. And I am giving a reading tomorrow! An essay quarried from the book.

  2. That’s a really good question!! I’m no expert on the topic, but I think I’ll make my answer a blog post, since it’s kind of a long list. Good luck with the reading.

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