♦Welcome to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop!♦
What is the most difficult part of your artistic process?
Welcome back to another edition of the Open Book Blog Hop! If you’re new to the series, the authors included are grateful for your reads and appreciate, even more so, when you share our writings with your friends. If you’re new to the series, welcome aboard. The authors engage and impress weekly. Be prepared to become a regular reader.
Every part of the process is fraught with its own difficulties. I’ve written before about many of the aspects, and the struggles to be found in each. There are, however, a couple more details that I can speak to, as far as difficulties.
First, there is the writersbane known as the book blurb. It is certainly not as bad as crafting loglines, but it is close, because it is a major step on the way to that summation. Taking your work down to a paragraph, after spending months or, more likely years, is no easy task. Those who are good at it are privileged. If you think you are good at it, then you probably aren’t. That’s one of worst parts about blurb writing (or writing on the whole). Self-doubt is what drives us toward our best writing.
Summarizing each of my books into a pair of short paragraphs has been a struggle every time I embark on the task. When I wrote the blurb for the last in the trilogy, all of the inhibitions released and I satisfied the work with a couple of concise lines. The strange thing was that I didn’t feel anything more need be said. If I did write more, then I risked giving up a lot of information. So there the lines stood.
During my graduate studies in screenwriting, I practiced log-line writing. Of course, writing screenplays helps you to learn crafting on a budget, so to speak. It was great practice for blurb writing.
There is always hiring out, too. If you can swing that in the budget.
Second on my list of difficulties is blogging. Keeping up with the weekly entries is a struggle. This is less often about writing and more about topics on which to write or vlog. The other day, in fact, I mapped out my plan for the Zo Duck series for the next year. That was easy as pie, because it is something I meant to work more on, but also have had a long time on which to think.
I’m grateful to my colleagues on this hop, who I work with to brainstorm topics to keep us going. It has allowed me to reduce the heavy lift to something far more manageable. This is, of course, when there is no book in the queue. The lift in those times becomes quite a feat.
Even when there are topics to write on, there are often times I sit with my fingers on the keyboard and no clue how to begin. The best remedy is to just start a ramble and try to make it go somewhere worthwhile. A lot of great books started out that way, right? if you don’t think so, you’d be wrong. Sometimes dumping all the gunk in your brain onto the page helps clear the path for the story that’s trying to find its way out of you. That doesn’t negate the difficulty to be found. You might get the entire thing written and off to the editor before you remedy the gunk problem.
When I first published Blue Honor, it had a major gunk problem, but I also had a major lack of capital with which to hire a good editor. Putting the book out in the best possible shape I could manage alone was a stepping stone to raising money to complete the project, and other projects, along with carving the real book out of the chunk of gunk in which it was trapped. Thankfully, I got through that period and the book has been freed.
That’s a risky proposition to undertake. There are those who do not empathize with your journey and will be cruel. There are those who mean well but cannot really help you. And, then, there are those who can help you, but you might not be able to reach, either because of a lack of compensation or bad timing.
Essentially, the writersbane I have found is the gunk. Whether it is trying to hone a great, concise book blurb or writing blogs that will connect with readers and not bog them down in unfocused ramblings.
To find out what the other authors struggle with during their artistic processes, click on one of the links below…