An Inside Look at “Writer’s Angst and Block”

I belong to a bi-monthly critique group. We kick off the meeting by writing for ten minutes from a suggested writing prompt, then we read the snippets aloud.

Usually I enjoy this part of the meeting, but lately I’ve battled “Writer’s Angst” and its close relative “Writer’s Block” so this what happened when I was given the prompt of “The water was heated, the tea was brewed.”

The water was heated, the tea was brewed, but Sara..

Wait a minute. Nope, can’t use that phrase. I need to practice using active verbs and phrases. Ok, try this instead…

The piercing whistle of the tea kettle filled the air, but Sara ignored its piercing cry.

No good. Piercing repeated twice. Ok, easy enough fix. Cut it from whistle and leave it in front of cry.

The whistle of the tea kettle filled the air, but Sara ignored its piercing cry.

Ugh. Still bad. The order of the words makes it flow weird and makes for horrific grammar. Needs rearranging, but I’m running out of time so I’ll just go with it. Now, how am I going to fit in the writing prompt phrase? It’s definitely passive, which I’ve seen waaaay too much lately in my own work so I don’t want to do it here too. Maybe if I–

“Five more minutes left.”

Crap. Ok, easy fix–just activate the sentence.

The heated water beckoned Sara.

No, no, no–water can’t beckon a person. Great, Christie (writing group member sitting across the table from me who just announced her grand prize win in a prominent literary magazine) just turned a page to add more to her work.

“One minute left.”

And that, my writing friends, was all I got done. But, at least it made for a good blog post :).

Saddle Up!

My summer has been filled with lots of distractions, each one pulling me away from my writing. My child’s surgery, house invasions, road trips, and many more things all got in the way of writing.

But now I have a great critique partner who so far has been great about keeping me on task and track to make my deadlines.

So, without further ado, I leave you with Gene Autry’s song Back in the Saddle Again.

Happy Monday!