It is not a disease, but a premonition. In reality, the “pre-writing a book blues” is a writer’s block of sorts. It raises its ugly head just before I start writing a manuscript. Why, I have no idea because writing the story is intellectually exciting, it is also somewhat obsessive compulsive.

It seems every time I decide to write a book, sometime between the time there’s enough of an outline to begin tapping away on the keyboard, the “pre-writing the book blues” strike. Each time I try to start, my brain says “no way.” I just can’t force it into writing and if I do, what comes out is garbage…. Well, not garbage, but something that gets heavily edited or even discarded.

How long do the blues last? Good question. I don’t know because I have never tried to track it. Before I sat down to write the novel with the preliminary title called The Assassin, I became aware of it. Once I got going, the words just poured out of my brain and I rambled through the first draft in less than two months.

Rather being away from the keyboard, I couldn’t stop writing it. Yeah, there were periods when I slept, did some things around the house, etc. but my brain was thinking about the plot and the characters 24 X 7.

Next in the queue is a ‘memiography’ titled Gold and Silver Wings. It is a collection of stories from by Dad’s, my son’s and my flying careers. It gets it title because my Dad was an Air Force pilot (their wings are silver) and my son and I are Naval Aviators (we wear gold wings).

Back to the “pre-writing the book blues.” The outline for Gold and Silver Wings is finished along with the intro, the first chapter, and several vignettes. Then, I screeched to a stop. I can’t get into typing it yet my brain is writing the stories. It is really weird. So, this reluctance falls into the “pre-writing the book blues.”

There’s no medicine for “pre-writing the book blues.” At the right time, I’ll plunge into the abyss of writing the book and the words will be unleashed. I use the word abyss because when I start on a novel and even have an outline, I really don’t know how it will end. I think I do, but the characters, as they come to life in the book don’t follow my master plan.

In this case, I know the story line from beginning to end because it is family history that means the unknown can’t be the excuse. So, we’ll see. Right now I am torn between the first major edit of The Assassin or starting on Gold and Silver Wings. At the moment, I’m not sure what I’ll do. Decisions, decisions, decisions.

Marc Liebman

March 2018