Various crossings out

I seem to have the same problem after finishing a novel- I can’t write. I put a pen to paper and scribble down a few lines, only to sigh and cross out what I’ve written. Does anyone else experience this? I have to admit that I haven’t attempted to write another book, it’s far too soon, as I only finished “The Defeatist” just over a month ago. I normally enjoy writing poetry, but even that won’t come to me. It looks like I’ll have to stick to reading for the time being.

-What do you do in between writing novels?

The Defeatist

“Sometimes you don’t realise the mess you’ve made until you hit rock bottom. My life is a car crash, and the only person I can blame is myself. I was the reason that my parents broke up, and I ruined my own chances of happiness. I’m not proud of what I’ve done, and worst of all I hate the person I’ve become. My name is Jude Reed, and when I arrived, I was helpless and alone.
Then I met Tiffany and everything changed.”

It’s strange; my current attitude about my writing seems to be echoing that of my latest character, Jude (the protagonist in my novel, “The Defeatist.”) Jude has a negative outlook on life due to various reasons, until he finds Tiffany, a high-spirited young woman who seems to take each day in her stride. Initially, he finds her annoying, until he learns more about her difficult past. It’s a tale of relationships, friendship and second chances. You can buy it on Amazon for a small donation of £1. I’d really appreciate any reviews on Amazon.

So what now?

In the last month, I’ve read more than I have all year. One particular novel that caught my eye was ‘The Girl Inbetween’ by Laekan Zea Kemp. It’s one of the most fascinating things I have read. It follows the story of a KLS sufferer called Bryn. I won’t give too much away, because I plan to write an Amazon review once I’m finished. I will say that it’s superbly written, and well worth a read :

-Hopefully, in time my imaginary friends will start talking to me again.


©Sophie Bowns 2011-2015


23 thoughts on “The woes of writer’s block.

  1. I never could fathom how famous novelists can turn out novel after novel. I have never tried because it takes seems to take so much patients and is so tedious and also I always think; Everything has already been written.

    1. Oh I know! How is it that some people can write 2-3 novels in a year? For me, that would be impossible!
      I wouldn’t say that everything has already been written. I think it’s hard to be entirely original, but I certainly try to put my spin on things.
      -Thanks for the feedback! 🙂

  2. Very interesting! Oh before I go on – Yes I’ll check out the books you’ve mentioned – and I can see that you would need a break (having a blank page is ok at times for me!) – I can certainly identify with writing my blog posts – I need a break in between it seems to make them more real

  3. After the intense work that goes into writing a novel, a vacation is in order. I turn to other forms of expression if I have need to be creative. I write poetry if I am able. But I must say I find writing Haiku to be a way to write without an overwhelming commitment. Choose something you want to express. An idea, a word, a simple thought or concept and look for the best words that will give your Haiku its special meaning. I, also, love to paint, but even then I have to feel the flow. Getting past what puts up a wall is can be difficult. It is best to go the route of least resistance. Force only pushes the Muse further away.

    Presently, I am piecing together the structure of my new novel and filling it slowly with the core. I meditate on who the characters are and what is the story they want to have told. I am having a struggle with finding what exactly the story is going to be. I know what is going to happen and who everyone is to each of the other characters. I even know who is going to be the story teller. Images, words and phrases continually whisper and reveal pieces of the puzzle that is the novel. But something is missing. I need to figure that out.

    Reading “The Defeatist” is an amazing book and the way you tell the story is inspirational. I am learning so much from the way you write. It is fascinating how you are telling the story. Your writing is a teacher and the story holds the reader’s attention.

    It is all a puzzle carefully constructed. Constructing a story in the best order is the challenge. But there is still something missing that I am not understanding in what I will write. I will keep on working on it. You rest and enjoy reading until you feel ready to do something different. Also, try looking into writing Haiku. Once I understood it to the degree that I do, I find it very satisfying. I often write more than one verse with one Haiku. Something different. C’est la Vie! jk 🙂

    1. Hello! It’s always so lovely to hear from you & I’m always very interested in your writing. I’ve never really tried writing Haikus- I don’t think I’m very good at them to be honest! I might try writing some poetry.

      I like the sound of your new novel. I always think that the first 20,000 words are the hardest to write. Often, I just let my characters speak to me and they almost write the story themselves. It sounds crazy, but somehow it works.

      I’m delighted that you’re enjoying “The Defeatist”- I wrote it from the heart. It’s far from being perfect, but I certainly enjoyed writing it. How far through it are you on your Kindle? My writing is far from perfect, I think I’m still in the process of finding my ‘inner voice.’ I’m still trying to find people who’d be willing to read& review it for me on Amazon.

      Good luck with your writing/ Haiku’s!
      -Sophie. 😀

      1. Hi! I am trusting mu Muse will guide me. I just need to pay attention. I do believe my characters are slowly checking in by telling things about themselves. Things that have happened. How they feel about their lives and the people in it. The things that are happening in my story keep growing. More information keeps pouring through, just out of order. It really is like a jigsaw puzzle. I know the ending. The beginning, where to start is puzzling me. I thought I wanted to start in one of the characters past, like an introduction, then I would jump into the story. The introduction spreads across the entire novel. We’ll see.

        20,000 words. What does that work out to roughly in pages? My last novel ended in the 6 digits. With double spacing I estimate over 780+ pages. I have no idea how that breaks down in book form.

        Where am I in “The Defeatist?” I am not certain with Kindle page numbers. I intend to spend time today reading more after I do one project before hand. Let me send you another note after I finish up for today. I will have a better sense of where I am in the book. I know I have been jumping about in time. I am looking forward to reading more. My kindle is sitting next to me on the top of a stack of books. Miss holding and feeling the texture of the paper. I use to be a hardcover snob. Use to only buy books that way. I have your books in several locations but mostly I use my hand held Kindle to read. I like reading it on my tablet. It’s brighter.

        Anyway, let me get back to you on “The Defeatist.” And I promise once I am ready I will work on reviewing it. I’m so use to writing film reviews, I suppose they would work in similar ways.

        Till later and maybe a few Haikus after I read. I will write again.

        Jennifer 🙂

      2. Yeah, my characters do that too. When I’m writing, I tend to have dreams about them, or they’ll have conversations in my head- I sound a bit crazy! I always think that the beginning & the end are always the hardest part of a novel. I re-wrote my beginning for ‘The Defeatist’ a few times, because I just wasn’t happy.
        Ah 20,000 words is excellent. I’m not sure about ebook size pages, but ‘The Defeatist’ was about 98,000 words&158 pages of typed A4 paper, but 300 (ish) Ebook pages. It might be roughly double what you have typed in A4.
        -I never bother putting in kindle page numbers, it automatically keeps your place when you’re reading, anyway.
        🙂 I quite like Ebooks, at least their pages don’t get creased/ bent!
        -Thank you so much for your support Jennifer, it means so much to me. I’ll look forward to reading your review in the near future!

      3. “The Defeatist” is so extremely ambitious and creative. Your imagination shines with unexpected surprises and the abilities of Jude and Tiffany gives one hope. I stayed up last night reading until almost 3am. Then I watched 2 episodes of Veep with Julia Louis Dreyfus just to unwind from the intensity of the subject matter I had just read. I am floored by how you are able to create from inside your mind the dimensions of your story telling playing field. It is perfectly flowing and impossible to put down. I kept saying, “After this section, I will stop and go to sleep.” But that section went by and so did the next. That is how compelling your writing is. I left off around the section with the “heart.” How awesome was that. You were right, Tiffany is a profound addition to Jude’s story. They work in their roles. Sorry, but I am trying to be a touch vague. Don’t want to give anything away. I can see the blood bleeding from your brow as Ernest Hemingway and several other writers describe what it is to write. To be a writer isn’t chosen, it is a gift from birth. You definitely were born to carry that burden and elation. When I am finished I hope my review does the utmost justice to your book. You are a story teller. Words like the way you use them or you wouldn’t produce such exceptional pieces of art.

        Till later. Hope your rest is coming along well. If you like films, maybe pop into one you have wanted to watch for awhile. There are so many great one to choose from.

        You are welcome. I feel honored to give my support.

        Hang in there.

        One last thing, when I woke up today I came up with an added twist to my novel. Now I have to do research so that it will fit in with the time period of my book. Things are getting wild and weird in Weston, CT. That is the location of my novel. The genre is going through a changeover the deeper I get inside the story. Where I am going, no one has ever tread. Originality is possible when it comes out of the impossibilities of the possible. One just needs to create the most extreme impossibilities to challenge and make them happen.

        Bye for now. jk 🙂

      4. Gosh, thank you so much! I actually free- wrote a lot of The Defeatist, before leaving it for a while and then going through and making suitable edits. I don’t like to make my initial plan too detailed. I mean, I’ll write a very rough plot outline, and jot down a list of characters & a brief description but that’s about it!
        I’m so glad that you like both Jude and Tiffany& I’ll look forward to your review. How far through “The Defeatist” are you now?
        I like the sound of your novel. Have you come up with a title.
        RE a film- I’m trying to think of a good one to watch.
        Bye jk & thanks!

      5. Life got complicated. Now I have returned to a more level plateau. My novel was calling me. Lots of revelations. Wrote the first sentence and the scene that followed. The beginning came out of a source my Muse had waiting for me to see. Very intense. It put me in a state of absorption. I am still reading “The Defeatist” as my time allows. I took it with me to my Doctor’s appt this past week. I steal moments in time to keep up with the story. It is a driving force & I am engrossed in the story. It is very intense & somewhat triggering. I am trying not to let your writing influence mine in the story telling path. We have similar sensibilities but different ideas of what we write as the way the other side exists. For your story it is different than the way I approach the spirits. So I am have a confluence gathering in my mind. I need to keep my spirits clear from the way Jude and Tiffany relate.

        I am past the half way point of “The Defeatist.” Did I tell you I am a slow and methodical reader? Plus the rest of my obligations keep calling. Being Bipolar makes one extremely active and many projects pop up needing attention. So my juggling act is to give time to everything in as fair a way as possible.

        Using Scrivener has made developing a story completely different & makes it easier for me. I can work on any part of my novel when I feel a certain area needs or wants my attention. I need to know as much of everything as possible. New material rises to the surface on a continual basis. I like to know how my novel begins and how it ends and what comes in between, I like a sense of what that might be but all of it keeps changing until I am finished. This looks like a complicated & long story. Many layers. I do like having spirits floating around interacting with my protagonist. She is empathic and has many experiences in her young life and now it continues as she enters the hall of higher learning.

        I do have a title but it is locked up and top secret for the moment. Feel it’s a jinx to reveal the title esp. on the internet. I will tell you secretly someday. It’s a damned fine title.

        Did you ever find a film? We watched “Paddington” and found it to be exceptionally funny & serious and hysterical at times. Wonderful for any age. Shawn also rented “The Theory of Everything.” Going to watch this weekend. Need to write a review of it for Expats Post. Weird when I was thinking of what I wanted to say in the review I started writing it in my head & for some reason I thought it was about John Nash who recently was killed with his wife in New Jersey by being throw from a taxi cab on the thru-way. For some reason I got the film confused with “A Beautiful Mind.” Now I do know the difference so I was so surprised when I realized what I had done. So Odd.

        Well, better get going. Just wanted you to be reassured I haven’t forgotten “The Defeatist.” You baby is in good hands. Once I am finished, I will hope tp write as brilliant a book review as I am able. Keep the faith. 🙂 jk

      6. Aha! Life always gets complicated, just as you think you’ve found a nice balance!
        RE your novel : that’s good though. If lots of ideas are popping into your head, just go for it! Sometimes I get too many when I’m in the middle of a novel. I just tend to write them down in lists. 🙂
        -I really reading your analysis of my writing. It’s fascinating!
        Oh umm I think I just ended up watching an episode of “White Collar” in the end. I’m fussy when it comes to films & 8/10, I just feel like I’ve wasted 2 hours! I really need to see “The Theory Of Everything” and I’d quite like to see the new “Far From The Madding Crowd” film. 🙂
        -Aha! I’ll look forward to your review! Thanks jk.

  4. You need to take a short break to rejoice and celebrate finishing such a huge project, but also to mourn the loss of your characters who were your best friends from so long. Clear your mind, relax. It will come when the right story enters your imagination.

      1. Sophie, if you have trouble getting started, which is where I see most authors struggling, including myself, because the opening has to pull the reader into the book, I’ll look at your first chapter gratis as a content and development editor to get you on track or make suggestions to help you find the pizzazz you need to attract readers. Let me know.

      2. I can’t think of any initial ideas at the moment. It’s too soon, so I’m just taking some time out and having a break.
        -Thanks for your help!

  5. Reblogged this on ' Ace Friends & Followers News ' and commented:
    Maybe this share and a little care will help l added you to this mag link as well

    My only thought on writers block is that l was a really successful business man in finance and l tried too hard and ended up with a breakdown l was 36 at the time.

    I am now 61 and l realise why l failed and had this block until now – l was doing to please other people not myself .

    Hope that helped because your great post helped me a lot., you have to go back to go forward remember God moves in mysterious ways, well l have great faith now but before my block l had none.

    Let me know how you get on Ian ❤️

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