WRITER’S BLOCK.

I always boasted I never got writers block. Karma must be charging me retribution. Since I published Junie Moon Rising in April, I haven’t had a writing thought in my head. I have tried analyzing the ‘why’ of this.

Is it because I have wasted so much time on the internet, trying to indirectly promote my books by chatting with cyber friends? If so, it hasn’t worked as my sequel has not taken off with a rousing start. I’ve had one KDP give-away and it was my worst ever. I have no explanation as I did nothing different.

Actually, I do not have a huge internet following and I try to stay in touch with as much regularity as possible with my followers. Bloggers with thousands of followers must find it impossible. Therefore, they would be termed ‘followers’ NOT ‘friends’. I tend to find friends which makes it more personal. This does not, however, help book sales a great deal. Sales come from numbers.The secret to followers must be to blog more AND write with more wit and wisdom.

The time spent on the internet has increased since I’m not writing. In fact, I feel that I waste hours a day, looking for answers there. It has to stop and writing has to start again. But how?

I still enjoy attending my writers group twice a month but I have no new material to read. I still, from habit, wake up at 4 am each day, but I do not rush to the computer, brimming over with thoughts I’m anxious to record. In fact, those quiet, early mornings I loved now feel desolate. Winter is here and it is cold and dark. I don’t want to leave my cozy electric blanket but I’m awake and can’t go back to sleep.

The trouble is, I don’t know what I want to write next, or even if I want to write. I’ve written my life story up until I started adopting the children, I’ve always said I didn’t want to invade my children’s privacy by writing about them. Besides, there are many books out there about adoptions.

My one embryonic glimmer of any story is a comedy. After my children were grown I started doing antique shows, touring the East Coast of Australia while selling American vintage costume jewelry. I had a good supply of this for awhile. It was left over from my Seattle days when I owned the exotic and beautiful ‘Diamond Lil’s’ on 1st Avenue in downtown Seattle (my favorite city.) The jewelry is gone now and you don’t find much decent vintage, costume jewelry in Australia so I don’t do that regularly these days, preferring to write.

While doing those shows, you meet the same antiques dealers repeatedly and many of them make good book material. I have had a faint outline for the story in my mind for a few years. The stumbling blocks are these.

A. Will readers find my writing funny?

B. Is it possible to change book genre and not lose your followers?

C. How do I overcome this block and ‘give it a go?’

ANY SUGGESTIONS, ANYONE?

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18 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Tinye
    May 31, 2013 @ 02:15:39

    Tell us more about diamond Lil’s and the interesting people you met at the tea room like ME!! LOL!

    Reply

    • June Collins
      May 31, 2013 @ 07:00:57

      And you were one of the most interesting, Tinye. Not to mention the beautiful music that you made for our enjoyment, just a block down at the Pierre Hotel.

      Reply

  2. Pat Skene
    May 31, 2013 @ 02:57:27

    Hello from Canada June. It sounds like you’re thinking much too hard. I suggest that you stop with all the questions, take a break and ask yourself out on a date. Do something you really love everyday for a bit and relax into the pure joy of having fun. It sounds like you need a holiday from your inner critic and task master. Then and only then, will the muse return. And it will, I promise you…when you least expect it. In a word…chill…and give yourself the permission to recharge your batteries.

    Reply

  3. Cordelle LaRoche
    May 31, 2013 @ 04:06:00

    Is Diamond Lil’s on 1st avenue around any more? I think I remember it, but I may be thinking of the Renton Diamond Lil’s. However, the name made me think of Joe Diamond, of Diamond parking lots, and his wife who was a dancer way back when, (the 1920’s maybe?). I had the opportunity to meet them once and they were definitely a great and interesting couple! I wonder what the story behind Diamond Lil’s is, including when you owned it (for my own personal interest), do you know the history of it? Anyway, I do agree with Pat Skene, regarding writers block, but I do think it would be really nice to write your children’s story and then gift it to them (for their eyes only), for their own personal library. As far as Junie Moon Rising, I think as soon as people start writing the reviews, it will take off. Especially if the writing is anything like Good-Bye Junie Moon. You have a great knack for making me feel like I am right there next to you; I’m laughing at what you laugh at, getting mad at what you’re mad at, and sad or melancholy if you are, in the story. That’s why I hated it when the book was over, I wanted it to never end. Just think of your book as a child, you’ve put everything you can think of into raising it, then you just have to let it go, to live it’s own life, it’s own way. Each child is different. Of course you want it to be popular and for everybody to like it. But really, just like a child, if it’s a good person/book and lives a full life, and you put your best into it, who cares if it’s popular!! It’s a measurement, but not necessarily a critique on your writing. How many times did you tell your kids along the way that if someone didn’t like them, it was the other kids loss. Personally, I think people will be missing out if they don’t read the next book after Good-bye Junie Moon. I have it and will be reading it soon!! Can’t wait!!

    Reply

    • June Collins
      May 31, 2013 @ 07:08:05

      The Renton Diamond Lil’s was very different Cordelle. I immodestly say that my Diamond Lil’s was one of the most beautiful shops in downtown Seattle. I started out with a small but elegent shop in the South Arcade, which is located at the southern end of Pike’s Market. After five years I expanded into a much larger space a block further down and added an elegant tea room. We were located next to McCormack and Schmicks landmark restaurant. I still miss that place even though it was a lot of work.

      Reply

  4. darlenecraviotto
    May 31, 2013 @ 06:55:32

    I read it and I loved it! Pat and Cordelle are both right – stop second guessing yourself, your talent, your sense of humor, etc. etc. The problem with self publishing is there is all this pressure to do the impossible. Writers used to be able to just write, and now they are expected to be marketing experts. Well, that’s b.s. and don’t buy into it. No self published writer has the machinery needed to propel publicity. There’s a reason why publishing is a business and has been around for years. It’s all about the label. A lone self published writer doesn’t have the budget or the other products that can be used to promote a new boo. If you’re in this for the money, Junie it will only lead to heartache. Go play the lottery because you’ll have just as good a chance of making money doing that than you will making cash as a self published author. Not trying to be cruel, just trying to be honest. You are a fine writer and I think you love to write. It certainly shows on the page. Just.keep.doing.it. It’s NOT easy to get up early and write, to have the discipline to keep a writing routine. So mix it up a little bit. Try writing another time of the day. It’s winter and it’s cold so wait til you can sit in front of a fire with a cup of hot Choclate or a hot toddy. Write about those beautiful kids of yours – I was disappointed when your last book ended before I got a chance to really learn more about your family and the upheaval those kids must have brought into your life. Kids do that and as parents we love to hear stories about that. If you’re concerned about your kids privacy, talk with them and see what they have to say. You might be surprised by what they have to tell you. Okay, Im stepping off the soapbox now. Just be kind to yourself, Junie Moon. You have a great passion and a zest for life that comes through your words, and maybe you’re just resting up at the moment, so enjoy that electric blanket in the morning. The writing will be there waiting for you when you feel like finally getting out of bed.

    Reply

    • Joanne
      May 31, 2013 @ 07:02:07

      Darlene! Well said. Your post helped me too even if it was meant for June.

      Reply

    • June Collins
      May 31, 2013 @ 07:20:30

      Darlene, I always listen to you. You have been one of my greatest supporters. And I respect anyone who has been able to make a viable career out of writing.
      I do write for the love of it but it would be great to be able to recoup the thousands of dollars I wasted by not knowing how to format my own book. Joanne knows what I’m saying. She was burned even far worse than me. Her book, Why Whisper, is certainly beautiful enough to have been sold to a publisher…in times past, when publishers were still looking for good material.
      As always, it’s a pleasure hearing from you. Is the wedding over, and if so, how did it go? I’m sure the bride’s mother looked just terrific.

      Reply

  5. Joanne
    May 31, 2013 @ 06:59:16

    Hi Junie! I’ve not written any more books, and thought I might not, but sometimes I get these thoughts about writing one more, maybe in my very old age, God willing. But being online for more hours than I think I should be can’t hurt. I learn so much, visit my friends in far away places. It’s just the old tapes playing the should and shouldn’t song. We worked like mules in our lives, we are on vacation and deserve to do what we want. Haha! I love the internet, and the writing I do here, no matter how little, keeps the wheels greased. (Just in case we want to write more books.)
    Love you Junie Moon!

    Reply

    • June Collins
      May 31, 2013 @ 07:30:17

      If you write again, so will I. Darlene had a good point. My whole book, Junie Moon Rising, was talking about me wanting to adopt. It ended where that was accomplished. One reason I did not write about that part – it was not all beer and skittles. I took only older, damaged children. That is why I haven’t wanted to talk about it. They need homes more than unscarred babies, and I don’t want to deter anyone from taking these older children. Unfortunately, I could tell some horror stories. But we stayed committed and it all ended up well. Six people now live decent, productive lives. Even if I took on some of their scars in the process.

      Reply

  6. Joanne V Mazzotta
    May 31, 2013 @ 15:54:49

    Oh June, I just got the chills all over me, while reading your last post. I can feel what I read and I can tell you this much, (as you know) mine were not adopted and life took one of them and gave him back to me in pieces. Thank God I do, for the way your kids turned out. You did a good thing! ❤

    Reply

  7. rinellegrey
    Jun 03, 2013 @ 09:15:22

    I’ve heard that it can be difficult to start a new project after a series, and I know a few friends who have struggled with this. I know I thought I’d never come up with another story other than my first novel/series, but then I did, and they started to follow.

    Confidence to try a new story is a different thing, and I always find that the best way to do it is to do it for you. Would you enjoy reading the new story you’re thinking of? If so, write it for you, and when it’s done, chances are someone else will enjoy it as well. If not, write the next book!

    I think it’s becoming more and more common for writers to write across genres. I wouldn’t worry too much about it! Write what you want, and have fun. That’s my motto.

    Reply

  8. King
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 16:25:30

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    Reply

    • June Collins
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 23:12:25

      Thank you for your encouraging comments King. Gradually, I am unblocking the block. However, I am a week behind on a new blog post. Will have to put my words where my mouth is this week.

      Reply

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