Cursing Neverland

So, here I sit, the imprints from the keyboard scarring my forehead, my hair, or what’s left of it, jutting in spiky clumps, my coffee lukewarm and untouched.

Lukewarm. Seems my coffee is more in tune with me than I know.

You might think I’m stuck at a writer’s block, but I’m not. I’m stuck in Neverland. I’m spinning my wheels. I’m firmly entrenched in between. Neither here, but certainly not there. I really want to be there and every time I feel like I’ve made good solid progress, I look up to find I haven’t budged an inch. Off from a meteoric start only to be stalled in the middle.

I’m not moaning, believe it or not, I’m stating a fact. It’s just that, like Alice, I can see the door, but I can’t seem to fit through. They say that Rome wasn’t built-in a day and now I know why. The foundation they laid is miles deep and acres wide. Far too substantial for the building that perches atop.

I think I’m missing something, the thing is I don’t know what it is. So now I sit. The ideas are there, I just can’t plant my butt or focus my mind enough to flesh them out.

I’ve plateaued. It’s a long way back down, but a quick descent, while the ascent stretches on, up and out of sight and the climb is slow and arduous.

But I keep climbing because once in a while, I see brief flashes of light. Moments when I hear my writing has made an impression on someone. It’s not like I go looking for praise. Quite the opposite, I want to know exactly where I’ve failed so that I can fix it. That said, every now and again, it’s nice to hear that I did something right. Afterall, I am still learning. I think my problem is that I’ve never held much stock in preconceived notions. If I hear of one, I go out of my way to prove it wrong. Unfortunately for me, more time than not I succeed only to be met with a stonewall of “because”.

So I apologize for my silence lately. I am in steeping mode. I have no excuses. I can only promise to try harder. I’d say I need some extended time to write, but I did nothing, or felt I did nothing, with my year off. I think I need an assistant, someone to read, keep me on track, offer guidance. Essentially my very own writing coach. Someone like Rocky’s coach Mickey Goldmill. Can’t you just hear it now? “The worst thing that happened to you, that can happen to any fighter writer: you got civilized.”

Well, I’m off to have the first 21000 words of Appetites dissected. I then have to come back, work on Echoes, write more for Appetites and polish up The Last Gift to be submitted to Spectral Press.

Stay tuned.

Now, what order do the A, S, D and F keys go back on the keyboard? How am I ever going to find the R.A.W. website if I can’t get the keys back on?

About Dale Long

Writing ambushed me from the shadows. At first I pushed it aside as nonsense, but luckily my wife and two girls saw the potential. Since then I have had an article published by Metroland, placed as runner-up and in the top ten in humour writing contests and various other contests. The icing on the cake was placing as runner-up in the WCDR's Wicked Words contest (130 entries) and having my entry published in the contests anthology of the same name. My entry was an exerpt from my upcoming novel, Echoes.
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9 Responses to Cursing Neverland

  1. Nate Shenk says:

    Don’t worry, I sometimes can’t fit through the door either.

    But that’s only because I’m a fatass.

  2. Oh, the anguish of being a writer, Dale. You’ve hit it on the head and, sad to say, I recognize it all too well. Sometimes planting myself in the chair is the bravest thing I do. And I so relate to your comment about getting civilized. All of the excellent things I’ve learned on my writing journey now sit beside me at the desk alternately cheering me on or booing me, so that getting sentences on the page can be a struggle. When I first started writing my historical I just sat and wrote, blissfully unaware of what I didn’t know and what I ‘should’ be doing. I get it now–ignorance is bliss!

    • Dale Long says:

      I never thought of it that way, but you are absolutely right. Expectations sit on my desk hold that very large ruler upon which I measure my writing, unfairly most times, but it can impede the creative process.
      Got some great feedback on my second novel so I feel reinforced.

  3. Diane Dooley says:

    Oh, the writing life!

    I have an elaborate system of rewards and punishments in place, designed to keep myself on track. I haven’t been doing very well lately. And so…off to clean my husband’s truck. If I hit my word count this week I’m gonna get treated to Thai food for lunch. *sigh* I wish I didn’t have to put these things in place, but, at heart, I’m lazy and easily distracted.

    Keep at it, Dale!

  4. Linda Cooper says:

    Oh the writer who does not write, the singer who does not sing, the painter who does not paint! What IS that?? Why do we do the things we don’t want to do, and don’t do the things we do want to do! I have my writing room all set up…it has been that way for two years….and now and again I wander in and blow the dust off of the desk. I am a writer…trapped in a human body ….trying to find a way to emerge!

    • Dale Long says:

      Don’t knock the dust, Linda, it makes for a great doodle medium. 😉

      I do the same thing too, wander the small cramped space I call a writing room as well. I tried decorating to suit the book I’m working on, music etc. All that helps. Turning of the internet and the outside world, works even better.

      The joy of a finished piece and sharing it with friends and readers is the best reward. Kinda like reading out lod in Dorothea’s class, or James and Sue’s.

  5. Linda Cooper says:

    I think having an Accountabilibuddy is a good thing too!

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