Writer’s Curse

Why is it so easy to begin writing a novel and so difficult to finish the story? I can be so inspired by a phrase or by a moment, sit down to write and the first paragraph just opens up this new world that for a moment is the only one that exists. That paragraph is the genesis to new life. It is the inspiration for my main character’s traits, looks, and backstory. It is their life, their friends, and their mission. That first paragraph is the stem cell to the rest of the novel; a collection of letters and words ready to mold and shape as they are needed. And then it ends.
As suddenly as it began, the right words cease to flow through my pen. My characters flounder in dead space, questions left unanswered, to be picked apart by my mind when I’m getting ready in the morning or driving any sort of distance. If I could pin down the exact moment I lose my inspiration I could move on to the next chapter. Even just the next paragraph sometimes. I don’t know if it’s a bottleneck of ideas, to much going through my mind to get it all down, or if it’s the other thing. The Writer’s Curse.
Have you ever been afflicted by the cringeworthy anguish of reading what your younger self had written? Having been a creative writer since I was in grade school I have experienced this phenomenon in multiple genres, including poetry, song writing, and even romantic letters. I still recoil when I think about my naïve self professing her idea of love to whoever would listen. The crippling embarrassment of reading those words, knowing they exist in the memory of someone else, is something that I cannot escape from. Is it the curse that keeps me from finishing my story? In another ten years, will I read these words and disdainfully call myself melodramatic and pretentious? Even if my words were never seen by another person, my eyes reading the pages would be too many. What is it that keeps an author laying words on paper, stacking them up like bricks, knowing that they could be wrong at the end of it all?

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I love my hideous photo room

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It has lime green laminate tile floors, pipes from what used to be a sink and drain, a secondhand desk and file cabinet, and is cluttered with products I need to take pictures of for our business. There are two Lowel lights on either side of the prop space – despite the fact that the room is too narrow to practically use more lights, I have a talent for breaking bulbs so I incidentally only have two light bulbs left. The prop floor is a piece of white laminate covered particle board that has a line in it where someone had used a razor blade to cut out a project. I neurotically scrub the surface with Lysol wipes after and before every shoot because the dust and dirt from the shop are demons I cannot escape from. I can smell the lemon cleaning solution every time I bring my hands up to my face to adjust camera settings and take the pictures. It’s not pleasant.

But when I turn on the lights and listen to the crackle of the umbrellas stretching with the warmth of the beams I am her. I am that girl that has natural light filtering through walls of windows into my own studio space. I am that girl that has pictures and portraits on the walls of my own creation, a testament to my talent and business success. I have appointment times, repeat customers, and the confidence to say yes, I am a photographer.

Every click of the shutter brings me closer to that goal. Every time I adjust the lights and break a bulb, I am learning how I can be better. Learning how to see the finished photo before I even look through the viewfinder. And when I do finally get my dream studio space I’ll look back to this tiny, hideous photo room with gratitude. It may not be much, but it’ll do well enough for now.

Stand up, stretch, get to writing.

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Does every avid reader believe they have a novel in them that needs to be written? Is there a story that needs to be told; characters that need to be written into existence? Is that reader ultimately inclined to have a talent for writing?

I have read so many books I have lost count. I finished a 7 book series already this year….in February…. Getting iBooks on my phone is a serious hindrance to my actual work productivity, but an inspiration to start sharing my voice and my ideas.

My strength as a reader is identifying with the characters, what they’re going through, and emotionally involving myself in the story. When I read through the Hunger Games trilogy, that weekend I was Katniss Everdeen. I was unstoppable, rebellious, and prepared to overthrow a nation. When I read The Fault in Our Stars, I cried for Hazel, Gus, and Isaac. Tears of sadness at their respective losses; heartache at their perpetual naïveté, subject to the intensity of young love never to feel the calming waters of a lasting passion. I felt the deep chasm of Hazel’s life as if it were a loss of my own friend.

But my strength as a reader also inhibits my ability as a writer. My impatience to experience the story means I skip over the details that really bring the story to life. I pore over the details and get so lost in description that I lose my direction and connection with the characters. That is why I have at least 10 notebooks lying around with opening chapters and no story ends (or middles for that matter).

That personal handicap doesn’t prevent me from indulging in a beautiful notebook when I see one.
This may be the notebook to inspired next masterpiece, but for right now, I am resigned to carry it with me, blank pages and all.

Password Keeper Printable

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I recently discovered I no longer have the memory for maintaining the plethora of website logins that are now required in daily life.  Honestly I have reset my login passwords so many times I’m having a hard time coming up with new ones.  (Believe me, the irony of having to reset my password for wordpress in order to post a “password keeper printable” is not lost on me!) This on has all the good stuff- chevron pattern, aqua, yellow, and gray, with a little bit of pretty font mixed in.  Hope you find it useful.