In Search of the bon mot


I suppose it’s writer’s block.

The swirling of ideas without focus. The blank brain mirroring white screen. The missing vocabulary. The onslaught of clichés…the inability to come up with a single fresh thought.

And vining around writer’s block, self-loathing. The inner critic who says, There’s no market for what you want to write. You’ll never land an agent, because you write trite tripe. The culture has moved on. Nobody’s interested in love stories anymore unless they’re loaded with toilet humor and sex.

When I began the novel submission process, I knew this day would come. And knowledge gave me a certain power over the voice of self-defeat…at least, for the first week or two. But momentum only lasts so long. And as I feel myself slowing, slowing, it gets harder to keep the pedals turning, until at last, the very thought of writing a blog entry on a Monday morning makes me think I’m unworthy of the gift.

The great thing about writing both music and prose is that when I stall out on one, I can shift to the other. Trouble is, even the music is about words right now. Texts are the bane of my existence. Oh, for someone to collaborate with, who writes gorgeous texts that make us rethink all our inner clichés!  Right now I feel like I’m methodically pulverizing my head against a titanium wall. (How’s that? Did I freshen up a cliché?)

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Oh dear, here I am, writing about writing again. But this is what’s on my mind.

So I’m going to turn the tables on you. I want you to jar me out of my paralysis.  Since you are my target audience, I’m going to draw on your collective wisdom. Can you answer either of these questions for me?

  1. Think romantic comedy. Not Ghosts of Girlfriends Past romantic comedy (really some raunchy moments), but While You Were Sleeping and Return to Me romantic comedy. What books/authors have you read that echo those kinds of stories—with or (preferably) without humor?
  2. Here’s my song refrain…I’ll take a risk and set it out there, in the hopes that someone can inspire me with a good Scripture passage and/or focal point for the verses, which cover six or seven pages of scribbling and still haven’t come into focus:

Rise up, rise up singing
Leave behind all that bound you.
Christ is risen,
There is nothing now that can harm you.

2 thoughts on “In Search of the bon mot

  1. I had to look up “bon mot.”

    “methodically pulverizing my head against a titanium wall” is quite nice. Made me think of reading “Politics and the English Language” which I just threw out in pre-packing cleaning… which is to say, good job.

    Your refrain made me think of Exodus, but that’s not so very helpful, and when I actually checked chapter 15 it did not contain everything tied together.

    I wish that I could be of help. I read a lot, but know oh so very little about writing.

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