I'm not avoiding the work of writing because I'm too lazy to do it, I just have writer's block, so I have no choice but to binge watch the latest season of Grey's Anatomy instead.
I've started it many times. I've gotten close to finishing it twice. And each time, regardless of whether I was five or fifty pages in, I realized that it was crap. Not the insecure "I'm a horrible writer and don't deserve to live" crap that we all think we write, when really we're quite good at what we do. No, the actual crap that even a mother couldn't pretend to love. At first, I thought I was just being insecure and needed to follow through. Then, when I realized attempt #1 really was bad, I moved on to attempt #2 where I tweaked the plot. Still bad. Attempt #3 and #4 I backed the story up so that it started only a week after the first book ended. Still crap with no real action. Attempt #5 had too much action, full of those horrible author crutches equivalent to your FMC accidentally getting pregnant because she's too stupid to make a doctor's appointment for weeks, despite constant reminders, and then she is surprised by the fallout. It was horrible, and left me once again wondering what I'm doing with my life.
So I'm taking a step back, sipping on some home brew (kombucha, not beer), and reevaluating my life. It's pretty good. I'm engaged and wedding prep is going well. I'm employed and healthy and happy on a personal level. But I have to accept the fact that my usual pantsing isn't getting the job done for The Talented: Part Two. I even attempted some half-assed plotsing for Attempt #5, and that was worse than #4. So I've returned to basics, and went looking for the help of some more experienced writers.
I have a lot of books on craft, but I've decided that for this total gridlock of ideas, Writing for Dummies by Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy was what I needed. Firstly, because I feel like a dummy for having this much trouble coming up with even a mediocre first draft for this book, but also because Randy Ingermanson has a really innovative method called the "Snowflake Method" that I think might actually help me get out of this horrible rut. As a rule, I'm not big on the level of planning that the Snowflake Method entails, but after all of the trouble I've had with this story so far, I'm hoping that following this structure, which has helped Randy write numerous successful books, will help me as well.
It might be Attempt #6, but I'm giving this the old college try, and failure is not an option.