Thesis – Week 2: DON’T PANIC!

Welcome to week 2 of the self-guided thesis!

…wherein I go into panic mode.

Hey I admit it, I am a recovering professional procrastinator. When I have a deadline, my coping mechanism seems to be either a) make the project even more complicated, involved and demanding! Excellent idea! or b) do something else, completely unrelated, in the hopes said project just goes away. Far away. And doesn’t call me back. Ever.

So what have I done? Other than blog about it? I have faced the blank page/screen and run away screaming. (See? Told you future posts would probably be histrionic in nature.) And I decided to take inventory of all the books I have dedicated to writing. Total number of books, all genres, is hovering a little above 300 (not counting ebooks). I’m ashamed that number is so small.

Here they are, in no particular order, apart how I found them working my way around my room/library (don’t misunderstand, those rooms are one in the same) in a clockwise direction:

The Writer’s Guide to Character Traits, Edelstein. (Excellent resource, should be on every author’s shelf.)
The 3 A.M. Epiphany, Kiteley. (Very good if you’re inspiration is running dry.)
The Elements of Eloquence, Forsyth.
The Etymologicon, Forsyth.
The Midnight Disease: The Drive to Write, Writer’s Block, and the Creative Brain, Flaherty. (Part autobio, part self-help, part craft. Fascinating.)
How to Write a Movie in 21 Days, King.
The Thinker’s Thesaurus: Sophisticated Alternatives to Common Words, Meltzer.
“Quotationary!”, Frank. (I swear, this sounds like a board game. But it’s not.)
Wonderbook: An Illustrated Guide to Creating Imaginative Fiction, VanderMeer. (This book is a trip…)
The Rose Metal Press Field Guide to Writing Flash NonFiction, Moore.
On Writing Horror, Castle. (Another good one from Writer’s Digest.)
Alone With All That Could Happen: Rethinking the Craft of Fiction Writing, Jauss.
Writer’s Digest Guide to Science Fiction & Fantasy, Card.
Writing the Breakout Novel, Maass. (A new addition, just cracked it open.)
Characters & Viewpoint, Card. (Another essential.)
Conflict, Action & Suspense, Noble. (…and yet another essential.)
Author in Progress, Walsh.
Book of Poisons: A Guide for Writers, Stevens. (My emphasis. Bought this one for funsies.)

18 books on the craft, not counting the ones I have on my Kindle, but I’m sure I’ll wind up on Facebook or Twitter if I pick up my phone to tap the app. So we’ll leave that alone for now.

But see that? 18. Respectable, but what isn’t, is the fact that I have 18 books on writing, what to write, how to write, when to write, how to keep writing, what to do when you can’t, what to do when you can’t stop, what to do if someone gets on your shit list (or I should say, your character’s shit list)…and I haven’t written ONE.


57 days. *pops knuckles* Yeah, I can do this…

– &i



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