For fear of repeating myself and repeating myself

I have been silent for a long time, nursing my secret shame. That I am predictable. I have wanted to blog a number of times, but had nothing new to give you. Just more of the same artistic crisis I had at the start of the last book (remember my hilarious overworked Mt Doom moment?) But here I am again, after more than 20 books, feeling the same stuff again and yet somehow still firmly believing that this time it’s unique, special, different. This time I really have lost my mojo. Reeeeeeeally!

Maybe it’s because I’m going back to the magic stuff, back to worlds where people can make corn-dollies come to life and have premonitions of dragons. This used to be my material but now I’m afraid of it. I stand back and look at it, feint left, feint right, back off, go to bed for a while and imagine winning an Endeavour prize home. I swear to you, it feels like I have forgotten the lyrics to a song I’ve known my whole life. I sit down to write and all I manage is weird, stilted dialogue and ham-fisted transitions.

Problem is, though, I have to write. This is not a time to not be writing, and this has nothing to do with a deadline. I wake up every morning between 5 and 5.30, my traditional writing time, with a burst of adrenaline to my heart. My body is telling me to get up and write: it has actually become a physiological need.

My husband is fond of saying to me, “What would you tell one of your students?” Well, let me just say that being the teacher means you don’t have to listen to any advice ever especially your own (and especially when your own has always been delivered in an annoyingly calm and practical way that borders on patronising).

So here I am, in a holding pattern. Repeating myself.

15 responses to “For fear of repeating myself and repeating myself

  1. Kim i just don’t think you realize how brilliant a writer you are. I mean even reading your frustration about being a little blocked was enthrawling and i read till the end just to see what you would say next! I just can’t wait to read more of your stuff and i am so glad that you are going to back magic, i can’t wait to read it🙂 Yeah. I hope you feel better about it soon🙂

  2. wish i could help. can’t think of anything that won’t sound trite.

    do you need a weekend away at an inner city hotel to clear your mind and find the story you really want to write?

    since you said earlier that you were writing for yourself, can you trust to write until that story finds you?

    i know. i type bovine faecal matter, but i’m from texas. we specialise in that.

  3. This is a mood, it will pass, it will pass.

    You are a mind-blowing writer.

    To be up to book 22!

    Mojo will return and this will just be a bad feeling… I read your blog in January, I think, and you expressed a very similar sentiment, maybe not as strongly. But in the next post you had slipped over the threshold and were back in the writing room.

  4. Maybe just immerse yourself in the magical world for a while. Not to write about it properly, but just to explore it. It’s a very cool world. And scarey. And weird. And wonderful. And then who knows what will bubble to the top of your brain?

    Or maybe we could do a vulcan mind-meld?

    I reckon it’s a HUGE story waiting to get out. Hence – stagefright. I love how much you care about your craft! Can’t wait for it to be in print!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. Kim, the fact that your compulsion to write remains strong is an indication that you are, and will remain a talented author.
    Not only are your books inspiring, but your teaching as well. Your uni lectures and YOTN and YOTE classes where you give your students something new every time are inspirational.
    So much of what we all do on a daily basis is a repeat of what we did yesterday and the day before. Boredom seems to be as much a part of life as breathing. Especially now that you’ve achieved so much. Tempting to look around and say ‘what, that’s all there is?’
    I’ve been there. I am there.
    So I’d be inclined to try something completely different, something more to do with living than writing; go on a graveyard ghost tour, learn to ski or ride a horse or any new sport that takes your fancy, travel (more difficult with young children). Anything to flush out the cobwebs.
    Most of all, know that however long it takes to work through this season, all your friends and fans are still inspired by your words.
    All the best.
    Lyn
    (PS. Those Endeavour Homes are not half-bad. We could all see ourselves shacking up in them every time those bloody annoying pics arrive in the mail….)

  6. Kim,
    Suggestion: read Donald Michael Kraig’s Modern Magick – Eleven Lessons in the High Magickal Arts. Do the exercises and rituals and meditations. It is amazing what you will discover about yourself and how much personal power you will develop, not to mention inspiration.
    Your loyal devoted fan
    Vicki

  7. Wings of fancy fly in the breath of magic’s beat. I wish my body would make me wake up at 5.00 and feel like it MUST write! Sounds like a blessing, Kim. Bring on the magic and while you’re at it, cast a good writing spell for me. I must, I must, I must increase my … writing.
    Thank you!
    Joanna :))

  8. I suppose there’s really nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said. Blockage of any sort always sucks, blah and all that. Pretty good stuff up there, actually.

    All I can say is keep doing what you’re doing, because it’s obviously working. Even though writing might feel stilted (and it might be, seeing as even the best authors have really awful first drafts), whatever you’re doing is working. Not to fangirl, your writing is beyond anything I’ve ever read. I’ve never in my life read one book and scrambled to find anything and everything of that author’s that I could, including obscenely expensive books that only contain only a short story of that author’s, or an audio book because, God damn it, I can’t find the physical copy of it. And yet anytime I open one of your books, I fall back into it and everything’s new again, even if I know what’s going to happen because I’ve read it a million times before.

    So, maybe this comment is just my way of letting you know just how much I love your work or my strange way of trying to help you (help me, damn it, because I want that book). Either way, keep at it. You’ll get through. And I imagine that you’ll even impress yourself when the hard copy is in your hands. And, if you just want to bitch, whine, angst, etc., go ahead! You fucking deserve it! ^_^

  9. Wow, thanks all of you so much for your lovely comments. I know at least 9 people want to read it. I’d better get on with it.

    Kim

  10. Make that fourteen, but my to-read pile is once again interfering with the ceiling, so take your time.

    “Kim, Kim! She’s our girl!
    If she can’t write it, no-one…”

    (Should have thought a bit harder about that cheer before I started. Hmph.)

  11. As an emerging author still in my editing cocoon, I am inspired by the fact that even real authors have mind freezes sometimes. Can I humbly suggest that you let your mind wander back to when it all began? When you first decided to write your very first novel? Maybe you won’t feel so pressured when you change your point of view. Relax and enjoy.

  12. Kim, I don’t always like your stories, but your writing style is *so* good I always enjoy. Although I have sworn at you after reading the last page on occasion…but hey, I got to the last page, didn’t I??? That probably doesn’t sound much like a compliment, but it is (one of those great Australian backhanders).

    Nothing annoys me more than a great story but bad grammar and/or no structure. Or plot holes large enough to fit between Kate Moss’ legs. Many times I have jettisoned a book halfway through (or earlier) because I just couldn’t take it any more.

    Anyway, I’d rather read your worst book than a bad writer’s best book. Your writing rocks. Bring on Mt Doom, I say.

    PS just read a couple of the Gina Champions, I’d love to see some more YA from you. Maybe one day?

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