Come play inside a writer's brain, scary!

One of the most-read posts on this blog was when I wrote about the difficulty I was having putting words together. Not getting ideas, I have plenty of those, but lacking motivation when I sat down to write.  At one point I was boring myself, and that’s never good. The many comments and suggestions told me the one thing writers most need to hear – that we’re not alone.  Other jobs can be equally lonely – train drivers for instance, except that they don’t have to first invent the train.

The publishing industry has never been more turbulent. As well as what to write, we’re faced with where to submit the work – to a traditional publisher,  a digital imprint, or even to publish it ourselves. Self publishing used to be considered “vanity” and not to be compared with “real” publishing. These days, writers are zooming up the bestseller lists with work they’ve published themselves. The process even has a new name – indie publishing.

One of my friends, Tori Scott, had plenty of encouragement from editors. She was nominated for a prestige Golden Heart unpublished manuscript award by Romance Writers of America. She kept hearing how terrific her writing was, and how she should keep submitting. All while doing soul-destroying day jobs that kept her away from the work she most wanted to do – writing books.

Deciding to self publish was the smartest thing Tori could have done. She knew she could write – editors and contest judges kept telling her so. Still, the learning curve was steep. She had to teach herself to edit, format and upload her books to the various ebook websites. Find the best ways to market her work. And keep on writing new books.  Read part of her inspiring journey here And she’s been able to give up her day job.

Reading stories like these and all your thoughts on dealing with writers’ block kept me inspired too. The idea that resonated most was to try something new. I’m pleased to report that’s exactly what I’m doing. I’m currently working on a movie script with a romantic theme, to be produced in Australia. I’ve written documentaries and a feature film before, but it’s exciting and energising to be scripting a story  of my own, knowing I’ll be able to see my words come to life on screen. My dining table is disappearing under notes, scene cards and sticky notes and it feels good.

Thanks to all of you who posted encouragement and personal experiences. How’s it going for you? What sharp turn do you see your writing taking now or in future? Have you dived in or are you standing on the edge of the pool, as I was doing for a while?  Writer’s Block is an occupational hazard and will no doubt loom again at some time. For now I’m writing and loving it. Hope you are, too. I welcome your comments.


Proud Friend of the National Year of Reading 2012

Established Writer in Residence 2012, Katharine Susannah Prichard Writing Centre, Perth

On Twitter @valerieparv

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Comments on: "Still chipping away at the writer’s block" (7)

  1. Thank you, Valerie! I’m so excited about your new project. I cannot wait to see the end result!


  2. I hope you get to choose Huge as your leading man if you want him. It’s an exciting project. Nice to know there is a romance in the wings for Aussi film. Lately seems to be all dark sordid stuff. Interesting story about your friend Tori. It is hard to know what to do. It seems a lot of people are self publishing but the quality is way variable. While it’s wonderful to be published, no-one wants to be the ones who get sneered at for self publishing. It seems like you need some kind of validation from competitions or an established publisher to ensure you aren’t just chucking garbage on the pile.

    • I made this point when I reviewed one of Tori’s books on Amazon, that first and foremost the book must be good, however it is published. With some of the top writers in the world taking the indie route, it’s becoming a question of how the author can be assured of the best deal for their work.

  3. Judy Neumann said:

    Don’t faint – but I’m writing again. I’ve picked up an old novel which was marinating in my drawer and am attempting to give it new life, in Frankenstein fashion. Crossing all appendages (and eyes) that I can keep going. Thanks for being my comrade in the struggle!

    • Yay Judy! I can tell you from my recent experience that trying something new is a great boost. I hope that having new ideas and thoughts on your “Frankenstein” project will have the same effect for you.

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