Sunday, December 8, 2013

on writing and not

When I worked staff at ad agencies, tap tap tapping late into the night, coming up with copy for face creams or shampoos or cameras or drugs with alarming side effects, I longed to be writing my own stuff, imagining the day--like James Dickey (Coke) or Don Delillo (Sears)-- I'd be able to devote time to crafting work of my own invention.

Fast forward to 2012, the year I get a (wonderful) agent (Kate Johnson) and soon after that, bid-a-boom, a two-book deal from Simon and Schuster. The first book's an ebook. This, I'm told, is the new strategy for launching debut authors: first an ebook, then a hardcover that's promoted as a "first book." (Who am I to question?)

My ebook came out last March (check it out here) and the hardcover is due out next year. It's not a series. The ebook is about advertising at the turn of the century (1999) and the hardcover is about a woman who does something heinous and gets away with it for 22 years.

Writing novels is something I've wanted to do since I was eight and devoted a school composition book to telling the undramatic tale of a family of robins who took up residence in the maple tree in our back yard.

It's the opportunity I've always wanted--someone wants my work enough to transform it into a bona fide book. The deadline is yesterday--deadlines are always helpful to creatives in getting work out. So why am I having such a hard time coming up with words tonight? Why aren't words tripping off my keyboard onto the screen? Why is my brain just as resistant to writing the next page of the novel as it was to writing a spot for antacid?

Why is writing so hard, even when it's the one thing you most want to do?

Why were these 300 words such a cinch to come up with, when the scene I'm supposed to be writing stays stuck in my head?


george tannenbaum said...

Congratulations. And keep writing. The blocks will pass. They always do.

Ad Broad, oldest working writer in advertising said...

Thanks, George. Nice to see another writer procrastinating on social media :)