I can’t tell you how many times I’ve suffered from writer’s block. I once read a pretty accurate definition of the dreaded affliction: when your imaginary friends won’t talk to you. In the novel I’m reading, Pretty Is, one of the characters is a writer herself. She’s working on a sequel manuscript, and she narrates how her main character keeps doing the same repetitive things over and over, but he isn’t actually doing anything that advances her plot at all. And she sums it up pretty well by saying he won’t talk to her — and therefore she doesn’t want to force the story.

Well, right now, I’m suffering from the opposite. My characters won’t shut up. I’m sure you’re thinking, big deal! Why are you complaining? That’s a good thing! And I will concede that it isn’t the worst thing by a long shot. But what it means instead is that I write a few chapters, revise them, send them to my writing buddies, and THEN the characters all start talking at once in my head, pointing out important characteristics of themselves I either need to change or left out completely and can I go back and fix them already? What’s worse is the time they typically choose to speak up: when I’m about to go to sleep at night OR when I wake up in the night and to have to get up and pee. Yep. Those are what my characters consider the optimal times to inform me where their stories need to go. They must be nocturnal.

It’s frustrating, and not to mention exhausting.

But I’m done complaining now, I promise.

Because even though I’m sleep-deprived from listening to these chatterboxes in the middle of the night that practically talk over each other (you’d think my characters would have more manners, right?), that doesn’t mean I’m not also eager to do as they say. Because after all, this affliction might be a bit annoying. But if I don’t keep them happy, they might stop talking at all.

And thanks but no thanks, writer’s block. You are NOT welcome here. BTW, anyone want to get me this button?