Dark Night of the Writerly Soul

My fourth novel is almost finished, but I have been wandering through a Dark Night of the Writerly Soul for quite a while now and I despair of actually Getting It Done. What is it about creativity? The elusive muse? The self-negating ego from which pours the brain-numbing poison that freezes your pen, your soul, your literary libido and your ability to write a decent blog post? Even my grocery lists suck lately.

I have three novels to my name, with very kind reviews and positive reactions from both friends and Absolute Strangers. (Thank you, darling Strangers! I know no one is supposed to talk to you, but your reviews are even better than the candy I’m not supposed to take from you. It is a curiously magical thing when someone you’ve never met says something nice about your work. It makes me want to revise my cautions about Strangers.)

…I have lovely people who stop me in the grocery store asking when I’m publishing another novel. (Thank you Grocery Store Groupies, stalking me in the cracker aisle. You get my next book for FREE! If I can finish it. Which is what this whining drivel is getting to. And no, that character in my second book, who you KNOW is your neighbor… it isn’t.)

… And, I have people who buy my books… actually BUY them… as gifts for their loved ones. (Seriously. People BUY my books. With their hard-earned cash. It’s terrifying bearing that much responsibility!)

…And yet, despite these darlings and lovelies, my woobly ego wails in my ear that           I SUCK!


That’s what it says, every time I write a grocery list.

I believe I am not alone in this dilemma. I think anyone who flays themselves on the altar of Art, we poor sods who are driven to create work that we tear from our souls like a screeching child, digging its filthy nails into our boggy womb and wailing “I’m not ready! Don’t let me go!”… I believe we must all fear that those feral children we have created will come back to vomit in our shoes. Publicly.

“I told you I wasn’t ready for polite company, but what did you do? You went right ahead and pushed the “publish” button, didn’t ya?”

And, even worse, that the unmannered little brats we’ve created may be our last, because we Suck Too Badly to ever get back in the sack and pound out another one!

Wow. See? Anthropomorphising my books. With weak metaphor, misplaced ellipses and random sexual inappropriateness.


Anyone who makes art must doubt themselves. Mustn’t they?

Anyways… all this whining to say that my fourth book is almost done. It’s epic. It has sex, violence, car chases and zombies.

Metaphorical zombies. And naked Grandparents.

It’s called “Naked, at the End of the World” and I hope to have it ready for publication in the spring of 2015. I hope to be wildly proud of it, and I hope to have its hands washed and hair neatly plaited and teeth brushed so that I can send it out into the world without fearing that I forgot to make it wear clean underwear.


In an effort to ignite my creative womb with a writerly inferno, I am going to try to blog about my efforts to finish the novel. You do not have to read these posts. They will definitely be rife with self-pitying pustulence and gore. There will be profanity. There will be inappropriate innuendo.

But I think I need to do this.

I need to write myself through the process of writing through the process of finishing my novel. That’s not a typo. That’s real authoristic wordsmanshipment. And yes, those are real words.

T’is the season of Resolutions and Goal Setting and Blind Hope in the Future, right? So… I hope to revive my blog, write about my ridiculous whinging, (also a real word, rhymes with cringing) and hopefully give birth to a book baby this spring.

It could be messy.

Feel free to avert your eyes, leave the room, go have a stiff drink… I’ll be here, writing shit.

Thanks! xx

Inspirational places that make me push harder…

I love this blog… Carrie Snyder, author of “Girl Runner”… for writing, child raising, living, breathing… she’s a real person and her posts are brilliant:  http://carriesnyder.com/

If you’re an artist or a creative soul or a human being, you have to read this book. The Art of Asking, by Amanda Palmer. Love her or hate her, her words resonate: http://amandapalmer.net/

6 thoughts on “Dark Night of the Writerly Soul

Add yours

  1. I’m new to all of this, have yet to self-publish anything, hoping to do so one day if the traditional path never presents itself. I’m impressed by people who have done it successfully.

    I suffer from the same problem – always telling myself I’m no good. But, maybe it forces us to get better?

  2. I have bought and read your previous three books ,and cant wait for the fourth.
    Looking forward to reading more blogs.Hell i’d even read your grocery list !!

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