DEMONS OF THE BLANK PAGE
AJAR Contemporaries, July 2011
From the Author's Preface:
During the ten years I taught in college, and the numerous writing conferences and workshops I have been a part of since then, I've heard volumes of advice about the technical aspects of writing. Plot, character, pace, description, dialogue, theme, metaphor, symbolism, and so on. In the conferences especially, there has been a lot of good practical information about finding an agent, attracting a publisher, self-publishing, e-publishing, and marketing a book once it is in print. All this is very good, helpful, and necessary. For high school and college writers, the technical material is useful; for those writing a book or hoping to make a career in the world of words, the practical material can provide a clear understanding of the publishing landscape.
But again and again in those classrooms and workshops, I was struck by the fact that very little was being said about what might be called the emotional or psychological aspects of the writing process. Over the course of thirty years in the profession, thirteen book publications, and several hundred articles, reviews, Op-Ed pieces, travel essays, food essays, personal essays, political analysis, profiles, and thanks to countless conversations with writers — some famous, some widely published and admired, some struggling to finish a first book or find an agent, and some simply hoping to earn a good grade on a college assignment — I know how critical that interior dimension of the writing life is. In this book I hope to shed some light on that dimension of the work, not as a psychiatrist or counselor, but as an author, because I am sure that writing success - however that term is defined for the individual writer - always has its roots in the soil of the psychological/emotional world.
From chapters entitled "Writer's Block" to "Finding A Mentor" to "Impatience and Rejection", Merullo covers these topics with the insight, empathy and encouragement of an author who has "been there." Demons of the Blank Page is a no-nonsense handbook and guide for aspiring and established writers alike.