Thursday, January 21, 2010

Blastin' through the Block: SURROUND YOURSELF WITH REMINDERS EDITION!!!


Welcome to the lasted edition of Blastin' through the Block!

Many people know how important books are, and the magic they can create. They make universes, worlds, lives, and people. They also construct a bond that is immensely strong and unlike any other. When readers look back on books, they don't just remember the stories the books contain; they remember their lives. What they were doing when they read the book, who they shared its pages with, and what they learned about themselves from its words. Not many other things can birth such a powerful thing. But, that's just what books do for readers, they do much more for authors and writers.

Many writers are plagued with self doubt. I'm one of those writers. When I'm having a bad day, I wonder why I'm even trying so hard for something that may never, more than likely won't ever happen. I can never be as good as those legends that stalk my bookcase, so what's the point? The point is something powerful I just discovered.  My books are as different from theirs, as theirs are from each other. I probably will never be as good as those people I admire and it's unfair to judge myself based on them.

The authors I admire get a special place on my bookshelf, a place of honor at the top, the most viewable and easily reached place. Someplace, somewhere, there are authors who doesn't know they made it to the top of my bookshelf, that high place of honor. A place I hope to be someday. This doubt I am absorbed in isn't because of my hope to be as good as those writers. It's the idea that my book will never mean as much to anyone else as it means to me. It will never be at the top of the shelf for anyone.

It's the days I feel like crap, I head to my library. There is no proverbial higher shelf there. Books are arranged by the author's name. All are equal in their own right. They made it to the shelves. They made their way to readers' hands and they have an equal chance to create that special, magical bond. I'm on an even playing field again when I sit down and begin writing. The worries of being on the high shelf dissolve because here, the highest shelf is the dustiest and the one most people aren't tall enough to reach.

Here's my advice for Blastin' through your writer's Block: (1)Surround yourself with reminders that there's something magical about what books mean to authors and writers, more than any other type of person; write in place that reminds you of your goals to make it to a shelf, and never let the fear of the higher shelf win. (2)Sometimes you don't need to do anything other than change your scenery to get rid of the niggling feelings of doubt that make it hard to write. (3)Everyone starts at the same place with a pen and paper, surrounded by the magic of books.

*picture came from http://media.photobucket.com/image/books%20magic/Methos06/AvatarBooks2.gif?o=98

17 comments:

Elana Johnson said...

What a great post. I need to get to the library more. Even better, for me, is the bookstore. I love that place. The smell, the ambiance. All of it.

Then I can get back in my cockpit and go for the dream!

Patti said...

why I'm even trying so hard for something that may never, more than likely won't ever happen.

I was just thinking this very thought when I went to bed last night. I guess it's time to head back to the books.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Perfect post, Bethany. We see this topic come up all over the place and always the question, "What do we do about it?" You did a great job of tackling the issue and providing some solid suggestions. Thanks! :-)

Bethany Mattingly said...

Elana, I love the bookstore too!

Patti, there's something about books that make us all coming back for more :)

Shannon, Thanks for the compliments. :)

Emma Michaels said...

Thanks for this post. It is wonderful. I was having an issue with writers block and now I think I can get past it. You are right, I shouldn't judge myself against others and should just write the best book that I can.

Amalia T. said...

I've been thinking lately about heading to my library to write during the day-- the local branch has odd hours, but I feel like it might make me feel more serious if I'm not in the living room...

Bethany Mattingly said...

Emma, Yay! Go write that awesome book!

Amalia, You should I love going to the library. It's quiet enough to work and you can still people watch if you want. I think you should try it out!

Catherine Denton said...

Feels like I've just been given a shot in the arm of "you-can-do-it-ness". Thank you!
http://influentialparenting.wordpress.com/

Jessica said...

That's so true Bethany! Thanks for the reminder. :-)

Kimberly Conway said...

Great post. I think all writers, even best selling authors, have that self doubt a lot. If you've never been published there is the pressure that your work will never be seen. If you've had some success you worry that you'll never be able to top your last success. But everyone has different taste. What one person thinks is complete crap will become someone else's favorite book of all time. All we can do is write the best book we know how and trust that it will find its audience.

jdcoughlin said...

There is no better place to get yourself back, your voice back, then in a quiet corner surrounded by books, just flipping through pages and reminding yourself why you feel in love with them and was inspired by them in the first place. Then write your a** off.

Amalia T. said...

So, sad story-- my library is an awesome building with SUPER lame hours. The library in the next town over has this AWESOME mural on the ceiling of the history of Paper from Papyrus to today, but I can't get there without a car.

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Love this line: Everyone starts at the same place with a pen and paper, surrounded by the magic of books.

Thanks for the reminder. I should go to the library more.

Bethany Mattingly said...

Catherine and Jessia, I'm glad you both enjoyed this post!

Kimberly, I love what you said and I agree with my whole heart.

jd, ha ha, I agree. :)

Amalia, That is a sad story. If you have a university nearby you could go there. I'm using my campus's library and it's wonderful.

Carolina, The library is a wonderful place. :)

Karen Amanda Hooper said...

Great post! I love your higher shelf concept. I doubt myself and my talent all the time too. I think every writer does. Sigh.

Amalia T. said...

I went to the library! and it was AWESOME! I am converted!

Bethany Mattingly said...

Yay! I'm so glad you found out how awesome it is!!

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