No one likes a writer who doesn’t actually write. The pleas of artistic torture, blank-page anxiety, and I’m-giving-up-(again)-so-that-everyone-on-Facebook-can-urge-me-onward have gone stale. If you want to be a writer, then write. And if you can’t write full time, don’t fret. Neither could we when we began. Write in your downtime. Many successful authors have written their breakthrough novels while juggling full-time jobs, children, and myriad social obligations. So turn off the television and make writing a priority.
Big girls and boys don’t cry, they write. They don’t go on and on about the book they’re going to write “someday,” and they don’t bemoan cases of “writer’s block.” That’s the difference between the pros and the hobbyists, and if you want writing to be more than something you do on the side, you must learn to treat it like a job - a real-life nose-to-the-grindstone job. And the first step of beginning your job as a writer is getting to know your story.
When we sat down to write MOTHER, we spent a couple of weeks brainstorming, researching, and developing characters. We didn’t make the story up on the spot, of course; it had been growing in our minds for a year or more, but we didn’t devote official writing time to it until we were ready to go to work. It’s important not to let yourself get sidetracked by new projects.
After development, it took us about four months to write this 150,000 word book. We would have been faster, but we also spend time daily on our serial novel, The Witches of Ravencrest, as well as our solos, our radio show, and publicity.
So how did we do it? The same way we’ve written our other novels: We sat down and wrote every single weekday and half-days on Saturdays.
There’s much ado about such things as the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus, and “writer’s block,” but we don’t pay attention to any of them. While we don’t have problems with the Tooth Fairy or Santa, when it comes to “writer’s block,” we’re vehement atheists. “Writer’s block” is just a way of putting off the work and there are far too many cures to use it as a crutch.
First and foremost, we recommend writing. Even if it’s nonsense. Just write something. Anything. Let your unconscious mind find its flow and see where it takes you. Another helpful tip is to read. There’s something about reading that greases the gears of the mind, and after a thirty-minute stint, you’ll likely find yourself chomping at the bit to get back to the blank page where anything can happen. There are many other methods, but just knowing that “writer’s block” is a self-delusional absurdity is what works best for us. If you’re even half serious about being a writer, you’re above “writer’s block.”
Be better than “writer’s block.” Rub some dirt on it and walk away - and get back to the business of writing.
Tamara Thorne is the author of many novels including international bestsellers, Haunted, Moonfall, Bad Things, and The Sorority. She’s been interested in ghost stories all her life and has been published since 1991. Alistair Cross’ debut novel, The Crimson Corset, was an immediate bestseller which earned praise from vampire-lit veteran Chelsea Quinn Yarbro, and well as NYT bestselling author of The Walking Dead, Jay Bonansinga. In 2012, Thorne and Cross joined forces and they have since completed three novels, The Cliffhouse Haunting, which reached the bestsellers list in its first week of release, the successful Gothic The Ghosts of Ravencrest, and Mother, which is due out this spring. They are currently working on their next projects, which are slated for release throughout 2015 and 2016.
Together, Thorne and Cross host the popular Horror/Thriller/Paranormal-themed radio show, Thorne & Cross Haunted Nights LIVE!, which has included such guests as worldwide bestseller, V.C. Andrews, Laurell K. Hamilton of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter novels, Charlaine Harris of the Southern Vampire Mysteries and basis of the HBO series True Blood, Jay Bonansinga of the Walking Dead series, Peter Atkins, screenplay writer of Hellraiser 2, 3, and 4, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro of the Saint-Germain vampire series, Jeff Lindsay, author of the Dexter novels that inspired the hit television series, and New York Times bestsellers Christopher Rice, Jonathan Maberry, Christopher Moore.