In Bird by Bird, Anne Lamott says: “There are few experiences as depressing as that anxious barren state known as writer’s block, where you sit staring at your blank page like a cadaver, feeling your mind congeal, feeling your talent run down your leg and into your sock.”
I would call what I’ve been experiencing writer’s reluctance rather than writer’s block, where every thought of the task that lay ahead of me was accompanied by a loud and phlegmy “Ugh!”
I don’t want to write a synopsis.
I don’t feel like writing a synopsis.
Why do I have to write a synopsis?
According to the publisher’s guidelines, I can’t submit my manuscript without it. Bah! Humbug!
I know what a synopsis is, and I have written one, at one time or another, but UGH!!! After putting it off for as long as possible, picking up dog poo and flossing my teeth (not with the dog poo and yes, I did wash my hands!), I decided to start by checking the internet for “how to write a synopsis”, quite sure that somebody had penned a helpful blog or article. And I wasn’t disappointed. Literary agent Nathan Bransford has a humorous blog post along with tips on tackling the writing of a synopsis. Fiction Writer’s Connection and Marg Gilks also have articles on the topic.
I summarized their steps and tips but, Ugh, I still couldn’t settle down to write it. The monstrous task of paring down 65,000 words and plot twists and turns into only a few pages overwhelmed me. Ack!
Super K to the rescue! kellyrfineman How fortunate I am to have a writing buddy who has
a big stick! and more confidence delusions in my abilities than I have. She also possesses the ever calming disposition needed to talk a lunatic somebody down from the ledge.
“Here, I’ll do it,” Kelly, who has only actually read the first 10 pages of my manuscript, said. “It’ll be crap but it’ll get you rolling.” And like magic, she jotted down the beginnings of a synopsis for me.
This indeed got me rolling and once I got started, the rest kind of fell into place. It still needed tweaking and adjusting but with considerably fewer complaints on my part.
And so, I believe, writer’s reluctance dovetails with writer’s block – sometimes all you need is a beginning, somebody or something to help you get rolling. Once you do get going, hobbling along, falling down, dragging yourself back up again, you eventually get there.
And I did.
And I feel great.
Today, I cranked out a synopsis for another of my manuscripts and the process was a lot less painful and a hell of a lot quicker.Soon I’ll be a synopsis fiend!