If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Here are the upcoming WWK interviews for the month of June!

June 6 Maggie Toussaint, Confound It

June 13 Nicole J. Burton, Swimming Up the Sun

June 20 Julie Mulhern, Shadow Dancing

June 27 Abby L. Vandiver, Debut author, Secrets, Lies, & Crawfish Pies


Our June Saturday Guest Blogger Schedule: 6/2--Joanne Guidoccio, 6/9 Julie Mulhern, 6/16--Margaret S. Hamilton, 6/23--Kait Carson, and 6/30--Edith Maxwell.


Please welcome two new members to WWK--Annette Dashofy, who will blog on alternative Sundays with Jim Jackson, and Nancy Eady, who will blog on every fourth Monday. Thanks for blogging with us Annette and Nancy!


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Annette Dashofy's Uneasy Prey was released in March. It is the sixth Zoe Chambers Mystery. The seventh, Cry Wolf, will be released on September 18th. Look for E. B. Davis's interview with Annette on September 19th.

Carla Damron's quirky short story, "Subplot", was published in the Spring edition of The Offbeat Literary Journal. You can find it here: http://offbeat.msu.edu/volume-18-spring-2018/


Tina Whittle's sixth Tai Randolph mystery, Necessary Ends, debuts on April 3, 2018. Look for it here. Tina was nominated for a Derringer Award for her novelette, "Trouble Like A Freight Train Coming." We're all crossing our fingers for her.

James M. Jackson's Empty Promises, the next in the Seamus McCree mystery series (5th), was published on April 3, 2018. Purchase links are here. He's working on Seamus McCree #6 (False Bottom)


Dark Sister, a poetry collection, is Linda Rodriguez's tenth published book. It's available for sale here:


Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


Shari Randall's second Lobster Shack Mystery, Against the Claw, will be available in July 31, 2018.

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Monday, January 8, 2018

Resistance

by Linda Rodriguez

You’ve started your story or novel, and you have a few good pages that you’re pleased with. You have to go out of town or deal with some kind of emergency for a few days, weeks, or months, but you know where you’re going with your writing project, and you can’t wait until you get back to the story you’re working on. When you do return, you set up time to write and do everything you can to be prepared and in perfect shape to work. The morning/afternoon/evening to get started again happens and bang! You run smack into some invisible force that refuses to let you write those pages that you want and need to write.

This is resistance, and it’s the common companion of the writer. This is when your own brain turns into a toddler having a tantrum and shouting, “No!” Resistance is the enemy, an internal saboteur, fifth column located inside your head. You may find yourself checking email or Facebook or Twitter, going online to do some research that suddenly seems imperative and falling down the Google rabbit hole. You might find yourself organizing your desk or your files or doing a load or three of laundry. You may find yourself cleaning out closets or suddenly running errands that you’ve been putting off for days or weeks, which have suddenly become imperative. Anything, anything at all, but write what you’ve set yourself to write.

As someone who writes for a living, I’ve a long, close acquaintanceship with my own resistance. Often, I believe I have it under control. Then, it shows up in some new form to bedevil me. Too many times, it can be quite persuasive. It is true that any project, especially a big one, will be easier to accomplish in an organized space. It’s true that some research needs to be done before you put words to paper. And frequently clearing the decks before you work can leave your mind readier to sink into your created world. It whispers perfectly plausible excuses to me that will end up keeping me from writing or from writing as much or as well as I want and intend to write.

One of the ways I’ve found to subdue my resistance is to always have another ongoing project. This takes advantage of one of resistance’s own techniques to throw it against itself as judo and other martial arts do.

This does not mean, “Start another book.” All those million new book ideas that resistance sends trying to seduce you from your project should just be written down in an idea notebook or document and promptly forgotten until the book is over and it’s time to look for new concepts. No, I’m talking about another project that you’ve decided ahead of time you want to work on in addition to the main project rather than instead of the main project.

I offer myself the reward of working on this secondary story when I’ve met my goal on the main project. If it’s a very bad day and resistance is winning, I might allow myself to work on the other project first for a limited time to get my writing muscles moving. I set a timer, though, and when it rings, I must move onto the main book. Often, I may be doing something that’s more fun on the secondary project, such as research or exploratory planning and note making. This makes it an ideal reward.

The nice thing about using a secondary project in this way is that, often by the time I’ve finished my main project, my secondary project is well underway and becomes my new main project while I set up a new secondary project to help me deflect the power resistance wields over me. Stephen King once said, “A change is as good as a rest,” and I think he was right. Also, this technique weakens the power of resistance by making it believe that I am giving way to it, at least somewhat. Yet, it keeps me productive.

What do you do when you encounter resistance? Have you found successful ways to defeat it?



Linda Rodriguez's Plotting the Character-Driven Novel, based on her popular workshop, and The World Is One Place: Native American Poets Visit the Middle East, an anthology she co-edited, are her newest books. Dark Sister: Poems will be published in May, 2018. Every Family Doubt, her fourth mystery novel featuring Cherokee campus police chief, Skeet Bannion, will appear in August, 2018, and Revising the Character-Driven Novel will be published in November, 2018. Her three earlier Skeet novels—Every Hidden Fear, Every Broken Trust, and Every Last Secret—and her books of poetry—Skin Hunger and Heart's Migration—have received critical recognition and awards, such as St. Martin's Press/Malice Domestic Best First Novel, International Latino Book Award, Latina Book Club Best Book of 2014, Midwest Voices & Visions, Elvira Cordero Cisneros Award, Thorpe Menn Award, and Ragdale and Macondo fellowships. Her short story, “The Good Neighbor,” published in the anthology, Kansas City Noir, has been optioned for film.

Rodriguez is past chair of the AWP Indigenous Writer’s Caucus, past president of Border Crimes chapter of Sisters in Crime, founding board member of Latino Writers Collective and The Writers Place, and a member of International Thriller Writers, Wordcraft Circle of Native American Writers and Storytellers, and Kansas City Cherokee Community. Visit her at http://lindarodriguezwrites.blogspot.com

20 comments:

Jim Jackson said...

I always have projects in various stages, so if one of them is temporarily blocked, I can turn to another.

~ Jim

Tina said...

Thanks for this helpful advice. After the holidays and a surprise week of snow here in the Lowcountry, it is very welcome.

Margaret Turkevich said...

I always have two projects going at the same time, with a notebook for ideas for future projects. After dealing with one project for three hours, I take a break, then spend time with the other. I leave blogs and reviews for weekends. I spend several hours on Sunday afternoon planning my writing goals for the week.

E. B. Davis said...

And I thought it was just me. Thanks, Linda.

Warren Bull said...

Lovely picture and good advice.

Carla Damron said...

Resistance is a MONSTER in my house! (And mind.) I, too, like to have several projects going on in different stages of completion. But as in most things, I am my own WORST ENEMY.

Kait said...

Gotta tell ya, I love the face on that child!

Great essay, perfect for the new year. Resistance is a familiar acquaintance in my writing life, you have described it, and the antidote, so well.

Gloria Alden said...

Linda, thanks for getting me to put everything else aside and get back to my tenth book that I've neglected for over a month because of all the holiday shopping, decorating, etc. that came up in December, and the hundreds of emails in my inbox after my computer was down for over a week.

Sasscer Hill said...

I'm so with Carla Damron when she said, " But as in most things, I am my own WORST ENEMY. I am a master at thinking of things I "should" do before I start writing. Thank God for the critique group, it forces me to resist the resistance! I also like Linda's theory of having a second project (besides the laundry) and using that as a way to keep writing.

KM Rockwood said...

Having a second project is a great idea. I usually have a novel and a short story going. I do find that the short stories tend to take precedence--the satisfaction of being able to write "END" is a great motivator.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Jim, I've found that strategy works well for me, too.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Tina, holidays and travel always throw me off track. The trick I've found is simply making yourself get back to work, and I use every trick I can think of to do that.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Margaret, taking that time on the weekends to plan out your week's writing goals is a great idea. I think it always saves much more time than it takes.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Elaine, it's everyone, just about. Have more confidence in yourself and your writing. You deserve it.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Thanks, Warren!

Linda Rodriguez said...

Carla, it's not just you. Many of us are our own worst enemies--and that's why we have to learn to trick and defeat our worst selves.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Kait, resistance is always a problem for me at this time of year, as well. That was what prompted me to write this post.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Gloria, I hear you. Getting back on track with my regular work habits is always what I have to do after all the holiday mess--and this year we had moving on top of that.

Linda Rodriguez said...

Sasscer, having an outsider/outsiders to whom you've made a commitment is one of the best ways to keep yourself on track. Like most, I may disappoint myself, but I'll do almost anything to keep from disappointing others. In fact, I've been thinking of setting up a Facebook group with like-minded friends where we would post our writing goals and then check in each week with word counts and hold each other accountable. Encouragement, support, and accountability work wonders.

Linda Rodriguez said...

KM, I tend not to do short stories, unless I've made a prior commitment to write one for a specific project. I will write essays and poems, as well as work on other novel projects, when I'm looking for a second project.