I just read Seven Steps on the Writer’s Path by Nancy Pickard and Lynn Lott. I found the book at Share Exchange in Santa Rosa, it was only available in hard back, but I wanted to purchase something to support the effort and I collect books on the writing process, so it wasn’t a big sacrifice. And I enjoyed this book.
The authors identify the seven steps on the writer’s path as:
Unhappiness, Wanting, Commitment, Wavering, Letting Go, Immersion, Fulfillment. I will not belabor the points here, you can read the book yourself.
There was a moment in the book that struck me. Nancy Pickard wrote “By the time I started to plot the tenth book in my series, my whole creative spirit was in rebellion, and it couldn’t have happened at a worse time.” The author suffered through, then conquered her writer’s block and her resistance, but Twilight (No, not that Twilight) would be the last in her mystery series. I remember that book. I had read all of Pickard’s previous mystery novels and enjoyed them, so of course I picked up the current novel, Twilight. And I couldn’t read it. The opening was so sad and depressing that I thought, there is no way I can drag myself through this story, and so I uncharacteristically abandoned it. And years later I read about how the author had a difficult time dragging herself through that very story!
I am of the clean your plate, finish your book club. So to actually put down a book after only reading a few pages was a radical act for me. Yet this particular novel was irredeemable in my eyes
I don’t know what that means, but the coincidence is fascinating. Can readers sense an author’s ambiguity? We usually can tell when an author is phoning it in. And I very much can tell if a book was written only because the subject is trendy (like later Twilight (that one) knock offs), but to sense the frustration and blocks of the author? That’s different. Spooky. Watch what you write, it may be more revealing than you know!