|Dr. Fran Orenstein, author, poet, presenter|
Fran joins us today to discuss that dreaded thing that at some point in their careers, all authors will face... Writers Block!
You will be able to see all of Fran's work as well as find out where you can get more information on this amazing multi genre writer.
Fran has also been kind enough to allow me to host a giveaway!
Beating Back The Block: one writer’s cure
Scenario: The Bard sits at a table, quill in hand, creating words that will live on for 400 years, perhaps a thousand years; words spoken by actors over the centuries, memorized by school children. He strokes his beard, scratches his head. Putting quill to paper he writes, “Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. I come to bury Caesar….”
Just then he is interrupted, perhaps Anne calls him to dinner, or a blot of ink ruins the paper. When he returns a day or so later his mind is blank. Why was this character Marc Anthony going to make a speech? Is it a necessary speech? What was the purpose? Is he wasting his time creating a play out of some ancient murder nobody cares about any more. He fiddles with the fire that is dying in the hearth. He checks the inkwell, sharpens the quill, stares out the window. He does everything but write the next sentence. Imagine Julius Caesar never written because William Shakespeare developed a writer’s block that he couldn’t break.
At some point during the writing experience, every writer gets blocked. I have gone into a manuscript that was flowing beautifully and couldn’t write another word. It seemed boring, inane, insipid. What was I thinking? Who would want to read this? Yet, just yesterday it was exciting.
Have you ever closed down the computer, covered the typewriter, or put the pen in a drawer, and your stomach churns every time you think of starting again? I have a simple solution that works every time. I go back to the beginning of the manuscript and start editing and rewriting. As I move along, I realize it’s really good. I understand why I chose to write it. By the time I reach the point of yesterday’s despair, I know what comes next. Even if I only write one page, I’ve moved on.
Once I learned that, I always go to the beginning of the previous chapter and read it through. I generally find things to add or change and it inspires me to continue writing. Bedsides breaking the block, I’ve been editing and rewriting as I go along. Every writer has some technique or there would not be any books. This is one suggestion and the next time you face writer’s block, try rereading to get back into the thread and feeling of the story. Whatever you do, don’t give up…it isn’t fatal.
Fran Orenstein was born in New York. Growing up in Brooklyn and the Bronx, she experienced a fine education in the public schools and the varied culture of New York City. She has a bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Brooklyn College, a master’s in counseling psychology from the College of New Jersey, and a doctorate in Child and in Youth Studies from Nova Southeastern University.
She thrives on reading 3-4 novels a week, which she considers an escape from the real world. Her favorites are detective stories, legal mysteries , horror and intrigue. She likes books written by women about women, but also loves heroes like Jack Reacher, Harry Bosch, and JP Beaumont. Among her favorite authors are Dean Koontz for the beauty of his poetic metaphors, and Janet Evanovich, whose amazing characters make her laugh.
Fran wrote her first poem at age 8, and submitted her first short story at age 12. After a brief spell as an early childhood teacher, and full-time mother, she was an editor/writer for three national career education magazines, and then spent 22 years working for New Jersey State Government in a variety of positions. These included rehabilitation counselor, manager of women’s programs including writing policy and legislation, developing programs in child care, gender equity, and creator of The NJ Coalition on Women and Disabilities. Prior to retirement, she served as Special Projects and Disability Officer for AmeriCorps. Fran has many years of experience writing and publishing academically and professionally. She has written, articles, newsletters, political speeches, brochures, and has presented at national and international conferences on gender equity and violence prevention.
She considers her children and grandchildren her finest legacy. Fran currently resides in the Tampa Bay Florida with her cats.
Her philosophy is three-fold:
1. There is a solution to every problem using creative and positive thinking.
2. Help others, either by a simple act of kindness, or a volunteer project. It will come back, even though it might not be obvious or immediate.
3. Life is an adventure, live it.
Find out more about Fran here...
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