Writers Write

In My Head ≠ On the Page

I figured out why this book is taking so long to write. I have story. I have structure. I have characters. I have voice. But, the book on the page isn’t the same one that’s in my head.

In my head, I’ve made the quantum leap. The sound of the words, the way the story moves, the subtlety of foreshadowing–it’s all there. On the page, not so much. It’s like being a millionaire with all my money buried in the backyard. Sooner or later, I have to take the shovel and dig–then clean, count, and bank. Hey, it’s better to be rich than broke, but it’s still work.

I get blocked. It should sparkle. Instead, it’s what-fresh-hell-is-this? The truth is hard. I have work to do. And the discovery of that moment really sucks. Daily.

3 thoughts on “In My Head ≠ On the Page

  1. This is all part of the process, I think. And it sounds like you’re getting there, even it if it’s tough, down-and-dirty work! The backyard metaphor is quite apt. I’m in a similar spot in my first draft process. So I’m trying to give myself permission to write pages without immediately judging them. This is the scaffolding. The bones. The flesh will get added as I move forward and learn more about the world–and as I revise.


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