I think I've mentioned on here before about how much I enjoy the first few days of working on a new book. Well, that's not always the case. Sunday I started a new one, the third book of a series in which I've also written the first two. I struggled through a couple of pages before giving up in disgust. The words weren't flowing, I didn't like what I had written, and I had a sense that it just wasn't right. The first two books in this series were written in a fairly distinctive voice that's somewhat different from my normal style, and for whatever reason, I just wasn't able to write in that voice.
Monday I had to run errands all day, so I didn't get back to the book. Tuesday I had some unexpected real-life problems to deal with, so I didn't write any then, either. So this morning I approached the computer with some trepidation. I felt like I could do it, but I wasn't sure. And there's no leeway in the schedule. This book has to be written now.
Luckily, when I began going over the two pages I wrote Sunday, I could see what was wrong with them and knew how to fix it. Once that was done I started adding new pages, and while I'm still not completely satisfied with them, I was able to have a pretty productive day. The voice of this series is back. Maybe a little hoarse and strained, but with some extra work I think it'll be okay. That's quite a weight off my mind. I've never had a case of really bad writer's block and sometimes I'm not sure such a thing really exists . . . but I worry about it anyway, in the back of my mind, in the middle of the night. What happens if the other shoe ever drops and I can't do it anymore?
It's an unsettling thing to think about.
Stan Kenton, Berlin, 1953
1 hour ago