Uuuuggghhh. Waaaahhhhh. Meeeeeehhhh.

That’s pretty much what my brain sounds like right now. On repeat.

Maybe it’s because I just started reading my first zombie novel ever, The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. No, you don’t think so? Okay, fine, probably not.

(But is her title awesome or what?!)

The truth is that I don’t know why my internal soundtrack sounds like a moody, sleep-deprived toddler. Also, it doesn’t really matter. I’ve let myself wallow in the inexplicable funk for a couple days now, and I’m done. I got sh*t to do, books to read, and most importantly, books to write!

(PS: This is totally not how I thought this post was going to go. I had planned to whine and vent and then go eat some chocolate. Oh well.)

While I get my butt back into gear, here are a few fantastic insights into writing and the creative process/life:

Listen: novels are beasts. Especially in the revision stages, they metamorphose into creatures their final shape will likely hardly hint at. The trick is trusting that the detail work, those microscopic changes made with your nose to the grindstone—that all of it, really, the heartbreak and the bruises, translates into something that ultimately succeeds.

“Behold the Beast” by Aria Sloss, via Glimmertrain

“Hey, this isn’t singing in the shower.” There were a few baffled giggles. A couple of slouchers sat up straight. Figuring that I had nothing to lose, I continued: “If you’re only writing for fun, then stay home and write a million pages. Nobody is going to read them, so who cares how good they are? I assumed you signed up for this conference because you want to have readers, because you want to come out of the shower and onto the stage, and start singing for someone other than yourself. You’re right, it is hard. And more fun than you can imagine.”

“On Singing in the Shower” by Paul Michel, via Glimmertrain

It’s called a plateau, and if you achieve any level of success in your life you will become familiar with this deadly geography.

The plateau happens to everyone. We can’t know when it will end, but there are things you can do to climb the mountain. I could have made an effort to form a band, learn jazz guitar, do something completely different for a concert. Instead, I panicked and shut down. Ninety-nine percent of creative people give up. There’s no shortage of musicians, artists, writers in this world, but there are only a few who can live up to their dreams. My advice: let go of the pride and get to work. There is one reward for failure, but there are multiple outcomes when you try.

“Music and Me” by blog-friend and screenwriter Jon

16 responses to “Get ya head in the game”

  1. Simon Avatar


    i hear ya, though. i’m in a total rut with my photography at the moment, just gotta find a way to get through it. keep on keepin’ on.
    .-= • Recent post by Simon: 52 weeks: Week 13 wrapup =-.

  2. Sarah Avatar

    oooh, I want to read that book too. Have already added it to my summer reads.

    those are great quotes! love the “singing in the shower” bit and Jon’s words, “There is one reward for failure, but there are multiple outcomes if you try.” Nice!
    .-= • Recent post by Sarah: putting my best foot forward =-.

  3. Kristan Avatar

    Yeah, the funk isn’t related to my writing, but it’s definitely affecting it. Which is no good.


    It’s got a very different voice for a YA book, which I think is neat. I’m only about 20 pages in though, so it’s hard for me to come to any sort of conclusions beyond that.

    And yeah, I think Jon’s stuff was my fave of the three. Go, Jon! :D

  4. Les Avatar

    Yeah I’m draggin’ ass all over the place with the stuff I have to do… I’m with you on the whiny 2 year old part.
    .-= • Recent post by Les: Favorite Fonts =-.

  5. Sonja Avatar

    I’m not wallowing or procrastinating about writing at the moment, but I certainly am about another major thing that needs to get done. On the upside, I know what I’m putting off, and once it’s done, I’ll feel better. Is your funk about anything that you’ve identified? Or just a general malaise?
    .-= • Recent post by Sonja: In which my feelings about the dentist speak volumes about my feelings about my life =-.

  6. Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist Avatar

    You know what is so strange (and wonderful)? I have been considering taking (rather, applying to and praying to get into) a novel writing class with Aria Sloss. Small writing world!
    .-= • Recent post by Rebecca @ Diary of a Virgin Novelist: Five Things I Learned from Rejection =-.

  7. Kristan Avatar

    LOL I dunno why but your phrase (“draggin’ ass”) cracked me up!

    Nope, can’t even identify the source. It’s definitely NOT about my writing, but it definitely IS affecting my writing. Which is why I hate it, lol. And hate feeds into the funk. It’s vicious.

    But I’ll kick it. :)

    Oh how funny! Well she seems cool. Based on, you know, that one article. :P

  8. Kimberly Franklin Avatar

    Okay, so I’ve heard lots of good things about that book. You will have to let me know what you think of it. :)

  9. Dara Avatar

    Thanks for posting this! Right now I feel like the last one…like just one of the 99% that’s going no where. All because of one thing: laziness.

    Kicking the funk is hard…it seems like the only time I can do it is during NaNo, which is once a year. Somehow I have to find a way to extend that through the other eleven months.
    .-= • Recent post by Dara: Victorian vs. Traditional Japanese Clothing =-.

  10. Kristan Avatar

    I’m not being lazy, but just in case I forget, all my book “reviews” are at GoodReads! http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/305343

    {nods} It’s hard to avoid laziness 100% of the time. But if you have the strength to do NaNo, GIRL, you have the strength to do anything!

  11. Pseudo Avatar

    I just atarted reading thirteen moons by Charles Frazier. Beautifully written.

    And I’m TRYING to get back to my writing project. Been hard since the move and the extra two hours a day commuting.
    .-= • Recent post by Pseudo: Random thoughts on fate =-.

  12. Aurora Avatar

    that’s funny, my brain sounds pretty much the same these days when it comes to writing. I think mine and yours might be in some kind of resonance. I think it’s just too damn hot outside… I’m going to say that’s the reason. I need thunderstorms.
    .-= • Recent post by Aurora: Sit with it =-.

  13. Sonja Avatar

    OMG I know what it is! Your funk started a few days ago, right? Like maybe April 3rd? When the iPad came out and you didn’t get one? You’re in a depression because you don’t have an iPad! If we lived closer, I’d let you touch mine and see if that helped. That’s the kind of friend I am.

    .-= • Recent post by Sonja: In which my feelings about the dentist speak volumes about my feelings about my life =-.

  14. Kristan Avatar

    Didn’t he write Cold Mountain? I saw the movie and loved it.

    Oy, that’s a rough commute. But I like driving time as brainstorming time. Maybe that would help make that time more useful?

    Hmm, I just got your thunderstorm…

    OMG WOMAN, YOU ARE BRILLIANT! Must get myself to an Apple Store for some therapy STAT!

  15. Jon Avatar

    Love the quotes–especially the last one!

    Seriously, novels ARE scary. If you think your characters and plot are one way, they move in the opposite direction–it’s like pushing a boulder uphill only to realize at the top that it’s a snowball.

    Keep up the great work.
    .-= • Recent post by Jon: Music and Me =-.

  16. Kristan Avatar

    Jon, I love that analogy! You’re so good at those.