I’m having Blank Page Syndrome right now. I’m sitting here thinking about what to write instead of just writing. That’s where most writers get BPS – they think too much. When I sat down to try to write a novel, I thought of my favorite author. I thought how I’d wanted to write like her, in her genre, and be as successful as she is. The problem: I’m not her; I’m me. I’ve come to grips with that fact and the fact that I’ll never be like her, because I’ll be me. Our writing voices and styles are completely different, and in fact, when I sat down to seriously write a novel, the story that came out was actually a murder mystery, and not the romance novel I thought I’d write. So I went with it. I figured that this was what I was supposed to write, so I continued writing.
I should first say that this novel is not an idea from scratch. With the recommendation of my writers’ critique group, I began expanding on a story I wrote for a Writer’s Digest short story competition. But I didn’t know just how it would expand. It’s interesting to say the least. I’m stuck on it right now, but that’s a whole other post. Since I’m participating in NaNoWriMo this year, I’ve decided to start fresh, again, under the guidance of an experienced NaNoWriMo competitor. I have a main character, and a basic plot that surrounds him, but since it’s against the rules of NaNoWriMo to start writing the story before November 1, I’m stuck, because normally I would come up with a main character and his world and start writing from there.
How do you approach your creative writing (or creative anything: art, music, whatever)? That seems like a silly question based on what I’ve spent the last 280-some words telling you. But still, writing is about stealing (or so I’ve heard). There are only so many topics in the world, someone’s bound to cover most if not all of them at some point. But remember: I’m me and you’re you, and that’s what will make my take and your take on the project different (and if you tell me your idea is completely original and has never, ever been done before, I will hand you a bucket of water to put that fire in your pants out!). Maybe one day when I’m published and making millions off the books I keep cranking out, you’ll want to be like me too, but remember: I’m me and you’re you; you need to make your own success.