Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Writer's Block

I haven't been able to write fiction lately. At first, I thought that if I got all my work out of the way, then I'd be able to concentrate on my stories. Unfortunately, being a freelancer means that I'm continuously working. Not that it's a bad thing. I count myself blessed to be overworked. In fact, I don't think I'm overworked yet, so if anyone has any writing rakets out there, do let me know!

No writer wants to admit to having writer's block. Some will even go so far as to say it's a figment of one's imagination, a monster invented by writers too lazy to practice their craft. Normally, that is the school of thought I subscribe to. Unfortunately, I've learned firsthand that this is not always the case.

The last story I wrote would have to be "Seek Ye Whore," which was published in Rogue Magazine's Anniversary issue last July 2008. Before that, I had just finished "Her Room was Her Temple," the original story the mag was going to print, before I sent Erwin Romulo the unfinished "Seek Ye Whore" and he demanded I finish it in two days to make the deadline for the mag. Before that, "Seek Ye Whore" had been languishing in my hard drive for a couple of years simply because I didn't know how to end it. I guess the adrenalin of having to finish something fast helped. I stayed up two nights writing it while juggling being EIC of the now defunct Metro Post and writing for Project Runway Philippines. "The Bridge," another of my stories, also took years to write. It was in my head for at least 10 years before I was finally able to put it doen on paper.

I admire writers who can churn out a story a month. I would love to be able to do that. Unfortunately, I can't put finger to keyboard unless the words come, and sometimes, it takes years before they do.


Budjette said...

It's somewhat nice to know that SEEK YE WHORE was one of those stories that gave you a difficult time, because you made it look so easy.

I've been meaning to write a TRESE story about aswang / manananggal becoming an OFW, but you're angle for the "mail order bride" was fantastic!

And it was just a spot on insight that men will be more than happy to have half a woman and if they did get boobs in a box, they'll gladly play with that as well and to hell with waiting for the rest of the body.

I also loved your SIR, X / cyberpunk / pirated DVD story in ROGUE.

Looking forward to more, more, more wonderful, sick, punch you in the gut stories from you.

May you recover from your writer's block soon.


p.s. Gaiman said:

First of all, I'm not convinced that there's any such thing as Writer's Block -- or at least, that calling it that does anyone any favours. I wrote a whole story once (Sandman #17, Calliope, it's in the Dream Country collection) which was in many ways a reaction against being stuck on a story.

I do think sometimes a story won't start, or once started, you can get very stuck on it and not know what happens next.

There's a wonderful essay by the great Daniel Pinkwater (in, I think, Fish Whistle) where he talks about his own cure for Writer's Block. He goes down to his study, and sits down in front of the computer, and he has to be there for a certain amount of time. He can either write, or he can do nothing, but he can't do anything else. No reading books, no doodling, no browsing the internet or making phone calls. He can write, or he can just sit there. Pretty soon, he gets bored of just sitting there, so he writes.

It works for me, too, mostly, although I also make cups of tea.

Yvette Tan said...

Hi Budjette!

Thanks for the kind words.

I liked your Trese series. Luis had a bunch and I think I read them all in one sitting. :)