No Such Thing

Vermont in the FallI do not believe in Writers Block.
I do not believe in The Muse.

Writers who reference these things frustrate me.

I believe in the power of sitting my lazy butt in the chair in front of my computer and forcing myself to work, however much I don’t feel like it. I believe in Momentum.

Princess Alethea’s First Law of Writing Momentum: A writer at rest stays at rest. A writer in motion stays in motion, unless acted upon by an outside force.

And boy, can the Universe dole out some forces.

In the last nine months, I have dealt with a lion’s share of this crap–literally nine months from the posting of this blog–it started with driving my sister to Baltimore on Christmas Day so that she could have emergency spinal surgery at Johns Hopkins. Since then I have dealt with the illness and recovery of both my parents, and the death of my significant other’s grandmother. I then broke up with that significant other (when you are told enough times that you are a selfish freeloader and that you should get out, eventually you do) and moved from DC to Florida…but not before having my fairly successful YA series dumped by my publisher. Not long after that came the death of my dear friend and inspiration Jay Lake…and just when I finally felt like I was getting my life back in order, my nephew Josh died. He was 25. We still have no idea what happened. We may never learn all that we wish to know.

I explain this not to garner sorrys or sympathy–I don’t want them. I am beyond tired of all that. I would like my life to go on, please. I’m still in Vermont; I accompanied my big sister (Josh’s mom) to her workplace today and sat down at my computer. We thought that by working together we might encourage each other to accomplish more. Cherie is catching up on paperwork. I’m revising a novel my agent is very excited about.

I’m on Chapter One.

I’ve been on Chapter One for a week.

But I still open my computer screen and stare at the words, willing myself to work on just one more sentence. Just one more sentence.

Ten minutes ago, we got a call that my nephew Caleb was in lockdown at his school most of the day. Some lunatic walked into the gas station in the middle of Morrisville, shot the clerk four times, and is now loose in town. With a gun. Caleb is safely at home. We will not be opening the Bijou Cineplex tonight. Cherie and I are still in Burlington, with a lot of work to do.

Like Chapter One. And this blog.

The Chaos of the Universe has followed me around for a large chunk of my life, and I’ve been a good sport about it so far…but you have to admit, this is a little ridiculous.

Yes, I am grief-sick. Yes, I am tired. But I got out of bed and dyed my hair this morning. I took pictures of the leaves on the trees so that my friends might witness the beauty of Vermont when she moves into Autumn with all her magnificence. Inside I quietly hope that my Universe gets less chaotic, but I’m not counting on it.

What I’m counting on is me and my butt, in this chair, reviewing one more sentence of Chapter One. And then one more sentence. And then one more. And if it’s too late to do one after that, then I will go to sleep and get up in the morning and do one more.

I am a writer. Futile or not, insane or otherwise, it is my decision to fight this good fight. And it is me fighting, not The Muse or Divine Intervention or anything else. I am the one sitting here clad in my armor of words, pen brandished mightier than any sword, prepared to write stories that move mountains. And  if they don’t move mountains, they will at least move me….one more sentence forward. One more sentence forward. All the way to the end.

And then I shall open another document and do the same thing all over again, Universe bedamned.

I do not believe in Writers Block.
I do not believe in The Muse.
I believe in me.

21 thoughts on “No Such Thing

      1. Yes, yes, you do!

        I’ve never had writer’s block, per se. There are times I have to put a project on the back burner until just the right plot idea coalesces, and sometimes writing has to be delayed b/c of day job and children.
        That aside, I’m with you. Writing is sitting down and DOING it.

  1. LOVEEEEEEEEEE this and LOVEEEEEEEEE you!!!!! Remember, Nora Roberts said at Nationals that she didn’t believe in writer’s block either. You just have to sit in the chair and write the book.

    You can do it! BIG HUG!!!!!!! And smoochies!

  2. Alethea, I love this post and I love you, and I will join you in the good fight to work on just one more sentence today. Because you are right, so right, and you have given me another mantra to add to my arsenal: I do not believe in Writers Block. I do not believe in The Muse. I believe in me. Thank you, dear Princess. You are amazing.

  3. Amen, Alethea! So real! With everything that we are thrown in life, we are the ones who must create the fantasy for others to enjoy. We are the source of happiness and joy for those who take moments out of hectic days to get lost in a better world for just a few moments. If we don’t B.I.C.H.O.K to write the next great novel…who will?

    Sending many hugs and well wishes to you as you face life and your WIP. 🙂

    Love you, sis!

  4. We Believe in you too! I can spout all kinds of sayings… “Our Higher Power doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle, and if she does, she gives us friends” “This too shall Pass” But the best saying, I hate to say, comes from a sneaker manufacturer… Nike! “Just Do It” Just write… even if it is garbage and you toss the whole kit and kaboodle away, Just write. *mainly I am being selfish here, cus I like what you write*

    1. You know, I’ve always subscribed to that Nike saying myself.
      Because, sometimes, “this too” does not pass. It just dovetails right into the next horrible thing. *hugs* <3

  5. Alethea. You’re a brave one, and only the brave have a chance. The universe may keep trying bur they can’t knock you down.

    1. If anyone can speak with wisdom on this, it’s you, Jedi Master Ku. You have been with me Since the Beginning…and because of that, ours is a friendship I especially treasure. xox

  6. I believe in “the muse,” per se, in terms of creative inspiration, an initial spark. But the work of actually getting the story out? 100% ass in chair. Keep your head up, Alethea.

  7. Alethea, you are chock full of awesome. Sometimes, the world sucks buckets of suck. Thinking of you and your family and sending positive vibes and prayers. Big hugs, my friend.

  8. I adore this post! I am truly sorry for all the awful things in the past months and in the midst of that I ADORE your strength and determination. That you still take time to see the beauty in the world around you and continue to work diligently in every manner you are capable of is inspiring. Thank you.

  9. On the writing advice subject: I need that reminder . . . a lot.
    On the your-life-subject: I’m sorry that so much is going so wrong for you, but your determination is inspiring. You’ve got my prayers. <3

  10. Lee, so sorry I’m late to this post. You are fierce and you are fragile and that’s what make you an unbelievable human and an even better writer. Life sucks.. sometimes so much that it hurts to write that next word. But you will. Here with you in life and in spirit.

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