The Well is Dry Question


Dear Author Margo,
I write thrillers and have published a few moderately successful novels. My last one was sloppy and if it weren't for my editor, it would have been an embarrassment. I'm supposed to be well into my next, but I find myself regurgitating the same old characters and plot lines. Worse, my editor has hinted that if this new book doesn’t rack up some decent numbers, he’s going to have to cut me loose. Part me doesn’t care while the other half is quietly freaking out. Is this it? Have I officially reached the end of my shelf life as a writer?


Dear Washed Up and Wrung Out,
Hardly! But maybe. If you hate writing, can't stand the thought of sitting down and going through the process of working on a manuscript, you might just be burnt out. It happens to writers, not just to middle managers and high powered attorneys. Creative typing can be draining especially when you’re just not feeling it. Of course, if you share your woes with a social worker, middle school teacher or public health nurse it would just come off as whining...Which it kinda does...Even to me...When I do it.

What you need is perspective and that doesn’t come cheap. You could get a real job and experience what real burn out is or you can tuck yourself away at some writer’s retreat where, eventually, napping will get so boring you’ll be salivating to get to your manuscript. Either way, you owe your editor a big fat gift card to Bed, Bath & Beyond and that manuscript. Ain't life grand?

Best,
Margo

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