- R. T. Coleman
Updated: Jul 24, 2022
I’ve been struggling lately.
I’ve sat here on my sofa most of the day today, staring at an immense amount of white space, re-reading what I’ve already written in my WIP…but not actually writing anything new. Even as I write this blog piece, the first in many weeks, I keep deleting lines, pressing my finger on that backspace key (probably with a little too much pressure), realizing that the words I’m putting on paper aren’t expressing what I want, aren’t saying what I want, aren’t getting me where I want to be.
And sounding whiny and privileged to boot. Who am I to complain that I feel like an imposter, a liar? People are struggling to keep their families fed. To stay warm or safe. To just get through the day without dealing with one more thing.
And I’m worried that I’m not really a writer?
Whatever, girl. Keep worrying about that. The rest of us will take care of the things that really matter.
I completed my first novel, Vagabonder, a couple of years ago, and I had the good fortune of finding someone who believed it in in Stephanie Hansen of Metamorphosis Literary Agency. Stephanie is an amazing agent. She's positive and supportive, and she's building a fantastic client list of aspiring writers who are adding their voices to the writing world. Not a day goes by that I don’t feel badly that she hasn’t been able to find a home for it. Or that I haven’t given her something new to shop.
I’m a one-hit wonder, only I didn’t really deliver a hit either.
I’ve created outlines for about three additional novels since, and I’ve worked on all three at various stages, including a follow up to Vagabonder. But I cannot get any of them to “go.” My space cop won’t tell me why she’s out there in the middle of the Jupiter system hunting down a notorious hacker. My scientist doesn’t have a reason for falling in love with the post-human. My chosen one won’t evolve beyond the typical Mary Sue.
All I see is cliché after cliché, poorly written sentence after poorly written sentence.
I like to blame the fact that I have to work for a living. I put in around 50-60 hours a week, which probably isn't all that unusual, but it should be.
Let's be honest, we're all working more than we should, and for less and less.
And while I’ve tried getting up early in the morning to write (which always fails because apparently I'm super lazy in the morning), or staying up late (which results in whiny blogs like this one), it’s just not going anywhere.
I stare at the blank page.
I read and re-read the terrible prose I’ve written so far and wonder what on Earth convinced me I could be a writer.
And I give up, do the work that actually brings me money, and hope for the best the next day.
I hate putting out such a negative blog. It has never been my intent to be anything but positive in dealing with what I always hoped would be a full-time writing career.
But I’m facing my 49th birthday in this next week, and I’m beginning to realize that I maybe I’m not cut out for this work.
Maybe I’m not a writer after all.
For all you writers out there who feel me, maybe it will help to know you aren’t alone.