Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Inertia by J.P. Bowie

Inertia, it seems, is what I have been suffering from for the past few weeks. I have 3 - count 'em - 3 manuscripts waiting to be tackled in some form or other - by that I mean added to or just deleted - on my pc at the moment. This happens to me every now and then, and it freakin' pisses me off!

I know I have to write something - that's what I do for heaven's sake. I write. And yet, for some strange reason recently, the words just don't seem to come together. I sit and stare at the screen, my fingers hover over the keys waiting for something, anything, to pop into my addled brain. Nothing. Well, that's not exactly true. Something stirs, and I immediately grab it and throw it out there - and end up hating it. There is nothing worse than boring writing. I know, I've read it, I've written it, and it tears at me when it happens.

I suppose we writers all get these moments when nothing seems to work. You think you have a plot, interesting characters - characters that actually have something to say and do to move the story along - and suddenly, zip! They are not saying or doing anything interesting. These poor people that I have created are suffering from the same malady - inertia. But how can that be? All I have to do is give them fabulous lines to say, derring do to do and voila! - I have a story that will sell some copies, or maybe more than some. But where the hell are these fabulous lines and action sequences? Where in the dank recesses of my inertia-ed mind are they hiding?

Well, I don't have the answer to that I'm afraid, because absolutely nothing is forthcoming, at least not at the present. So, I will soldier on, sit at my computer day in and day out in the hope that words will suddenly appear on the screen that make me sit up and take notice, that will be interesting and will free me from this dire disease... I N E R T I A.

Watch this space.


  1. I've been in those sorts of places, too, and it's definitely frustrating! Good luck and stick with it! Sometimes at the other end, I come out to find that a bunch of things are coming together simultaneously!

  2. That should've read - the dank recesses! LOL. Right Annabeth, sometimes I get a rush of inspiration just when I'm ready to hit the delete button!

  3. I find that when I'm really stuck for what-comes-next or explaining how someone got from there to here, inspiration is more likely to strike when I'm in the shower, or working outdoors, or driving, or not quite awake in bed. It sneaks in sideways, subtle, kind of like noticing something in your peripheral vision. For actually doing the writing, sitting at the computer is essential, but the "aha!" flashes come when you're not looking straight at them.

  4. I feel for you, JP. I think we all get into this sort of head space sometimes.

    However, the problem might not be your writing - it might be that you're judging your writing too harshly. Perhaps you don't like what is coming out because you have to push, because it's not flowing. The writing itself might be just fine. Maybe you should ask someone else for a second opinion.

    In any case, we all have to give ourselves permission to get stuck sometimes. It's so easy to start thinking "I've lost it! It's gone!" when inspiration goes on vacation. Don't worry, and don't panic. This too is part of being an author.

  5. I have a story like that. The characters are fleshed out, the story is conceived and interesting, but I can't get the damn thing back off the ground and flowing. That in itself isn't too bad, but I think the piece has the potential to be one of my best works. It's been in the works for a couple of years now. It may be that I'm afraid of fucking up a super concept. Or maybe that's just an excuse. :>) I'm sure we all know about excuses.

  6. My sympathy, JP. I agree with Sacchi. Sometimes staring too hard at a work-in-progress can be counterproductive, but ideas can show up unexpectedly, when you're doing something else.

  7. I, also, agree with Sacchi. Take a walk, spend time with friends. What works really well for me is going for a long drive somewhere. The monotony of staring at the road ahead of me always puts me into "the zone", where my creative brain takes over and shows me some good scenes.

    I'm also a huge believer in dreams. At least 2 of my novels started out as dreams, with entire scenes "written" when I was asleep. Luckily I've gotten good at remembering them by concentrating on memorizing every scene once I'm awake. Maybe think about the parts that are defying you as you lie in bed to sleep. My husband, the engineer, says he often wakes up with solutions to problems plaguing him at work. Maybe it will work for you too.


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